Premier League Preview: Hull City vs Manchester United

Brian RhodesSenior Analyst IDecember 26, 2009

HULL, ENGLAND - MAY 24:  Phil Brown the Hull City manager celebrates with his daughter Sophie after the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Manchester United at the KC Stadium on May 24, 2009 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Premier League Preview: Hull City Vs Manchester United, Kingston Communication Stadium, Hull, England, Sunday 27th December 2009, 16:00GMT.

Things have changed little in the seven months since the two clubs met at the KC Stadium on the last day of last season. Manchester United were already crowned Champions and the Tigers were fighting it out at the wrong end of the table to survive for more than just the one season in the top flight.

It was a day when fans of East Yorkshire's finest were glued to the radio. Listening for any updates on the scores from Villa Park, were Newcastle United needed to win to stand any chance of survival and Middlesborough had to defeat West Ham at Upton Park.

For the Tigers, the day was complete, despite a one nil loss as both of their relegation rivals couldn't quite do enough to dislodge Hull City from 17th place in the Premiership.

This season has seen the Tigers spend the majority of the season in or around the drop zone and Manchester United nestled in the Champion's League spots, despite a major injury scare to the Red Devil's defense.

Phil Brown is still without the services of mercurial midfielder Jimmy Bullard, who is out with a sprained medial ligament in his knee, along with club skipper Ian Ashbee. They are joined by Nick Barmby who sustained a calf injury in the nervie three nil loss to Arsenal last week, which was marred by a cynical stamp by Arsenal's Samir Nasri.

Sir Alex Ferguson has more than his fair share of injury worries to contend with. The defending champions are without Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand who both have calf injuries, Owen Hargreaves and Edwin Van der Sar who have knee injuries, Macheda who is suffering from a hamstring problem, Nani (ankle), Neville (groin), O'Shea (thigh).

Ferguson's already depleted defence also has doubts to Nemanja Vidic who has a calf knock, and Wes Brown & Ryan Giggs who are both carrying hamstring problems. This will make the Red Devil's task all the more difficult as they have lost two of their last four Premier League games leaving them three points behind league leader Chelsea and having played a game more then Carlo Ancellotti's team.

As it stands, which ever team Ferguson fields it will be a tall order for Brown's Tigers to over come the reigning Premier League Champions and climb to 12th in the table, but Brown will buoyed by his team's home form which has seen the Tigers go undefeated in six at the KC Stadium.