Hull City vs. Manchester City: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

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Hull City vs. Manchester City: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
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If we're being technical, Manchester City currently control their own destiny in the Premier League race.

Sure, it might be a bit premature to worry about such things, seeing as City still have 12 games to play, but the nine points City currently trail Chelsea are deceiving, since they have three games in hand on the league leaders.

They'll start their charge to the title against a Hull City side that is currently battling to avoid relegation but is also coming off of a huge 3-0 win over Sunderland in the FA Cup that propelled them into the semifinals.

Can Hull keep the good feelings going with a huge upset over City? Or will City triumph again, as they did when they beat Hull in August, 2-0?

 

When: Saturday at 8:45 a.m. ET

Saturday at 12:45 p.m. GMT

WhereKC Stadium, Hull, England

Watch: NBC Sports Network; NBC Sports Live Extra; BT Sport 1 (U.K.); BT Sport App (U.K.)

Chances: Manchester City (58.3 percent), Hull City (19.3 percent) and draw (22.4 percent), according to Bloomsberg Sports

 

Key Storylines

Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Earning wins in the next two games—Hull and Fulham—is vital for Manchester City, as they'll face Manchester United, Arsenal, Southampton and Liverpool after that. It's hard to imagine City coming out of those four games with all 12 points, so winning the next two and keeping pace with Chelsea is of the utmost importance.

With City being knocked out of both the FA Cup and Champions League in the past week, they'll certainly be able to focus on their remaining Premier League games.

One major concern is the status of striker Sergio Aguero, however, as the club fears he reaggravated his hamstring injury against Barcelona, according to Dermot Corrigan of ESPNFC.com.

However, assistant manager Ruben Cousillas played down the injury to BBC Sport, saying, "We don't think it's anything serious. He felt some muscle pain but it was more a precaution than anything else. It's too early to know how long he'll be out. We'll do some tests to assess the injury."

Still, with Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko available, City should be able to overcome any possible Aguero injury, at least versus Hull.

Another major concern is that City appear to have hit a lull in form, as David Mooney of ESPNFC.com writes:

Even in the time between the two games [against Barcelona in the Champions League], the Blues have been playing like a team with the weight of the world on their shoulders. Stoke were only just negotiated in a poor performance from the Citizens, while some individual brilliance rescued the club in the Capital One Cup final—in another mediocre display. Then the less said about the defeat to Wigan the better: The Blues were poor and took their opponents for granted.

Pellegrini's men really did pick a bad time in the season to have a dry spell—eight goals in their past eight games isn't the Manchester City that began the season.

But does Hull have the firepower to take advantage of City's slump? Hull have scored just 30 goals in Premier League play this season, though they've been solid defensively, allowing just 35. And they've only allowed 14 goals at home, a very strong mark, so City won't find the going easy in this contest. 

And City have been far more vulnerable on the road than they've been at home. But is there enough here to predict an upset for Hull?

 

Prediction

No, probably not. City will be desperate to win the next two games before the schedule really gets difficult for them, as a title is truly hanging in the balance between them, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. You could see City coming out a bit sluggish in this one, but not losing.

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That said, expect City to actually be a bit mentally refreshed knowing they are only playing for the Premier League title at this point, with the FA Cup and Champions League behind them. They have 12 games left, and each one is vital. 

They start that run out strong, beating Hull, 3-0.

 

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