Hull City To Be Relegated?

Eddy HironoCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2009

HULL, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 01:  Phil Brown, manager of Hull City looks on during the Premier League match between Hull City and Blackburn Rovers at the KC Stadium on March 1, 2009 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

Hull City started the '08/'09 season so promisingly. Victories at White Hart Lane and more notably, the Emirates Stadium underlined the fact that they were a force to be reckoned with.

Unfortunately for them, the word "were" is the most important word in that sentence. Once flying high in the league, they have now won one of their last 13 games. If that isn't relegation form, I don't know what is.

Their desperation can also be seen from their manager Phil Brown apparently clutching at straws after their recent FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, trying to deflect attention from his team. 

He accused Cesc Fabregas of spitting at his assistant manager (a claim which has not been backed up by any solid proof), and said that Arsene Wenger refused to shake his hand in the two league fixtures prior to the FA Cup encounter.

The latter of the claims has since been proven to be false, as video footage of the two matches clearly show Wenger and Brown exchanging handshakes at the final whistle.

Although Hull City seem to be well-positioned in the league, safe in 13th place, a closer inspection of the table will reveal that they are actually only four points from the relegation zone.

With 40 points being usually enough to guarantee safety, Hull City should be safe if they can get at least seven points from their remaining eight matches. However, that is a very big "if."

Here's why:

Apr. 4

Hull City vs Portsmouth

Portsmouth are themselves not out of relegation trouble. With 32 points and a game in hand over the other relegation candidates, they need the points as much as Hull do. The big difference is that Portsmouth are on their way up, while Hull are in free-fall. Man-for-man, Hull are no match for Pompey.

Peter Crouch, Glen Johnson and Sean Davis are all playing very well at the moment, and their performance against Everton last week certainly shows they are up for the battles. Even with home advantage, the most I can see Hull getting is one point.

Prediction: One point


Apr. 11

Middlesbrough vs Hull City

Another relegation candidate. Middlesbrough have to win their home games to try and stay in the Premier League, and home games do not come much easier than against Hull City.

This is a crucial match, as anything other than a Boro win will see the likes of Plymouth and Crystal Palace visiting the Riverside Stadium next season. I fancy Boro to win here, but the best Hull can manage away from home is a point.

Prediction: One point


Apr. 18

Sunderland vs Hull City

Another away game, another relegation candidate. Sunderland are right below Hull, and with home advantage, the situation again looks bleak for Hull City. With Kenwyne Jones back to full fitness, Sunderland have a decent strikeforce of Djibril Cisse supporting Kenwyne Jones.

This should be bad news for a defence that is the second-worst in the league, letting in 52 goals in 30 games. I fancy Sunderland to pick up a home win here.

Prediction: Zero points


Apr. 25

Hull City vs Liverpool

Is any analysis really needed here? Liverpool need the points to push Manchester United to the wire. The 2-2 draw back at Anfield will also mean Liverpool are likely to take Hull seriously this time. Three points for the Reds.

Prediction: Zero points


May 2

Aston Villa vs Hull City

Aston Villa have way too much quality and pace for Hull City to handle. The midfield of Barry, Petrov and Sidwell will totally overwhelm whatever combination Phil Brown can think of. Away from home as well, Hull City don't have a ghost of a chance.

Prediction: Zero points


May 9

Hull City vs Stoke City

Another relegation candidate. This time, being at home, Hull City will be thinking of getting a win, and will probably look to attack Stoke.

However, Stoke City just seem to be made of sterner stuff than Hull, and will definitely make use of the long throws to unsettle a leaky backline and an unconvincing goalkeeper. I do not see Stoke getting beaten here.

Prediction: Zero point


May 16

Bolton Wanderers vs Hull City

Usually, this would be a walk in the park for Bolton, who do seem to be distancing themselves from the other relegation candidates with some of their players being on fire at the right time.

Kevin Davies is the second-highest English scorer in the league, and Bolton just seem to be pulling themselves together at the right time. By May 16th though, Bolton might already be safe, and if complacency creeps into their game, Hull City might sneak a point.

Prediction: One point


May 24

Hull City vs Manchester United

This match depends on whether the title has already been sewn up. If it hasn't, then Hull City will be on the end of a heavy beating, as there is no way Manchester United will let Hull City prevent them from a title.

If it has been sewn up, then Hull City might well sneak a draw, but will it be enough?

Prediction: One point

Total tally: 5 points + 33 points = 38 points

Overall, I certainly do not see Hull getting enough points to stay up, and I think they will go down. You can count them unlucky, as Jimmy Bullard would have added steel and creativity to their midfield, but then he got injured for the rest of the season shortly after signing for them.

The truth is, though, that their team is just not good enough to stay up. Their performances early on in the season were probably possible because opposing teams had not viewed them as a threat, and their confidence spurred them on to victory after victory.

Once the league's teams sat up and took notice, they began to get outplayed regularly.

To end this off, I recommend any readers out there to consider a punt on Hull City to get relegated. Odds for this to happen are very good, at 3.75 at bet365. That's close to $4 for a dollar staked, and is top value.


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