Saturday's big match preview

West Ham United v Hull City Saturday, February 20, 3pm Upton Park WEST HAM will certainly have to be careful when Hull City come to town on Saturday. Just two weeks ago, the Hammers allowed Burnley to grab their first Premier League victory since last Oct

West Ham United v Hull City

Saturday, February 20, 3pm

Upton Park

WEST HAM will certainly have to be careful when Hull City come to town on Saturday.


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Just two weeks ago, the Hammers allowed Burnley to grab their first Premier League victory since last October with an abject first-half display and now the Tigers come to Upton Park boasting the unenviable record of not having won an away game all season.

Phil Brown's team have scored a measly seven goals on their travels and gleaned just four draws, though two of those were at Manchester City and Tottenham, where a brilliant display by goalkeeper Boaz Myhill kept Spurs at bay.

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Last season, Hull's survival was built on some marvellous early-season away victories. This time round they have been flouting with the relegation zone throughout the campaign.

They currently sit fourth-from-bottom in the table, but they are just one point behind the 14th-placed Ham-mers, having played a game more.

Back in November at the KC Stadium, the two teams fought out an epic 3-3 draw with West Ham throwing away a two-goal lead and finally having to find a late equaliser to earn a share of the spoils.

Jimmy Bullard was the star of the show that day for Hull, but injury has struck the talented midfielder once again and he is unlikely to be fit to play his part at Upton Park.

Goals have been the big problem for the Tigers this season with only 25 scored in the Premier League.

Winger Stephen Hunt is the top scorer with six, while strikers Jozy Altidore and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink have hardly been pulling up trees.

Brown brought in Egyptian striker Amr Zaki on deadline day and he is likely to be ready to step into the starting line-up.

Zaki scored a fine goal at West Ham for Wigan on the opening day of last season, and that makes him the one to watch this Saturday, given the opportuntity to show what he can do.

Last season, West Ham strolled to a comfortable 2-0 win over Hull thanks to goals from Carlton Cole and David Di Michele and with Mido, Ilan and possibly Benni McCarthy to partner Cole this time, rather than the mediocre Italian, they should have even more of a cutting edge.

After the win against Birmingham, the Hammers should be full of confidence and with the defence beginning to show a little more solidity, everything seems to point towards a home victory on Saturday.

However, the pressure is on at the bottom of the table, Hull City are fighting for their lives and if West Ham think that victory is a formality, then they could come unstuck.

Surely they won't think that.

POSSIBLE TEAM: Myhill, Gardner, McShane, Dawson, Mouyokolo, Fagan, Boateng, Hunt, Carney, Altidore, Zaki.

Prediction:

West Ham 2 Hull City 0

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