Hull City are to be without defensive trio Matthew Pennington, Jordy de Wijs, and Callum Elder when they host Chelsea in the FA Cup this weekend, due to injury.
The Tigers face a tough test on Saturday evening as they welcome Frank Lampard’s Chelsea to the KCOM Stadium in the FA Cup Fourth Round after their last-gasp 3-2 win over Rotherham United in the previous round.
A hat-trick from Tom Eaves settled the tie at the AESSEAL New York Stadium and set up a glamour draw against Chelsea on Saturday.
Hull’s league form has followed a very similar theme all season in that it has been just very inconsistent, seeing them come very close to breaking into the play-off picture only to fall to disappointing defeats and be set back time and again.
The bedrock of some of their positive results since Grant McCann arrived has been the solid defence that gives players like Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki the freedom to hit teams on the counter.
Three of those defenders who’ve had joy in recent weeks are centre-backs, Matthew Pennington and Jordy de Wijs, and left-back Callum Elder.
However, McCann has been dealt a significant blow for their clash against the Blues, as he confirmed to the Hull Daily Mail in his pre-match press conference that all three of these will be unavailable for the game through injury. He had this to say: “No Pennington, no De Wijs , no Elder, Grosicki is good. Then there’s just the long-term ones – Jon Toral and Kevin Stewart. Apart from that we’re all fine.
“Callum has picked up another calf injury in the last game and will possibly be out for two weeks. Jordy hasn’t really recovered too well so will probably be another couple of weeks.
“Peno has got a groin strain in training today which was unfortunate. It’s very unlikely he’s going to make the weekend and we won’t know the extent until after he’s had it scanned.”
Pennington was an unused sub in the recent defeat to Derby County, while Jordy de Wijs missed the game completely and Callum Elder has only just returned from the Boxing Day defeat to Nottingham Forest where he was withdrawn in the first half but has picked up another calf injury.
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Grant McCann will have already been expecting a ‘backs-against-the-wall’ performance from his side as they host Premier League giants Chelsea, but this blow has made the job that much harder.
Their usually reliable back four has been reshuffled an awful lot in recent weeks and this has caused a dip in results and performances, seeing them drift to seven points outside the play-off places.
They have a chance to spring an upset in the cup on Saturday and will fancy their chances, given that Chelsea are also stuttering in the pursuit of their own goals of Champions League football.
A host of changes at the back is expected from McCann who essentially has no choice but to do so, with three defenders all out for the game.