After a brief dip into League One, Hull City have returned to the Championship and will be hoping to avoid the second-tier drop this time around.
An abysmal second half of the season during the 2019/20 campaign saw The Tigers drop from a comfortable mid-table position to the relegation z0ne.
However, Grant McCann’s side regrouped and enjoyed an excellent season in England’s third-tier, winning the title and confirming their place back in the Championship.
The East Yorkshire club face Preston North End on the opening day of the season and will be hoping to continue their momentum into the higher division.
Here, we take a look at the latest team news ahead of Hull’s season opener…
Honeyman will miss Preston clash
George Honeyman was instrumental to Hull’s success last year, but he is expected to be absent on Saturday, according to Hull Live.
The midfielder requires ankle surgery – an injury he was suffering late into last season but pushed on as The Tigers went on to lift the title.
There is no timescale of when Honeyman is expected to be back in contention.
Mallik Wilks boost
The newly-promoted Championship club have played their most recent pre-season games without Mallik Wilks.
However, the talismanic wide-man is expected to be ready come Saturday. Wilks scored 19 goals and provided eight assists last time out and his influence will be tested this year, but he certainly has the ability to step up.
Wilks also offers versatility and can operate anywhere across the front line – an excellent player to have if McCann finds himself short of player this season.
Duo continue to recover from illness
Randell Williams and Thomas Mayer are continuing to recover from Coronavirus. Speaking to Hull Live about the duo, McCann said: “Randell and Tommy have contracted the virus, so it’s disappointing news and we hope they get better soon.
“Sean [McLoughlin] is on the borderline a little bit, he’s not feeling too well. He’s had a PCR test so we’re waiting to hear the results of that.”
Callum Elder nearing a return
Callum Elder was also excellent last season and the left-back’s consistently high performances earned him some Championship interest ahead of this campaign.
However, his pre-season has been plagued with injury. The good news, though, is that he is nearing a return. McCann said to Hull Live: “Callum, we’re hoping at a push we could get him (ready) for the first game, if not he’s not going to be far away and he’ll be available for the second.