Premier League Preview: Tottenham Hotspur-Hull City
Premier League Preview: Tottenham Hotspur Vs Hull City, White Hart Lane, London, England, Suturday 16th January 2010, 15:00GMT.
The beleaguered Tigers travel down to the capital for a vitally important clash against one of this season's surprise packages. Spurs have had a sensational season so far, sitting in fifth place only one point off the Champions League places.
The Tigers were on the end of a thrashing when Harry Redknapp's team visited Hull City's, KC Stadium in the second week of the season. The star of the show was the Jemain Defoe who scored a fabulous hat trick in the five-one drubbing.
The game this time has come at a time when both teams have not played in over two weeks because of the incredible snow falls that have affected the whole of the English football league system.
The Tigers have come off the back of a winless streak that has lasted since Nov. 25 of last year. However, this streak has included trips to Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Aston Villa, with the Tiger's gaining three points from a possible 18 points.
Spurs have had a much more fruitful Christmas and New Year period. They have won three games from five to continue their fine form this season, and solidified their position as a real contender for one of the European spots.
Phil Brown's side for the clash will be without the services of Club captain Ian Ashbee and Jimmy Bullard who are still recovering from long standing injuries. Bullard is nearing recovery but is still two weeks away from a return to first team action. Brown will also be without the services of Daniel Cousin and Seyi Olofinjana who are on International duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.
However, the Tigers will be able to recall Dean Marney, Anthony Gardner and Kamil Zayette to the squad after recovering from recent knocks. Unfortunately, U.S. international striker Jozy Altidore, has been given compassionate leave to try and make contact with family members that are caught up in the Haiti earthquake disaster.
Redknapp also has a few injury concerns, with influential keeper Carlo Cudicini still out with a broken wrist and Aaron Lennon, Jonathon Woodgate, and Benoit Assou-Ekotto all suffering from groin injuries.
The Londoners still have doubts about David Bentley and club captain Ledley King who are struggling to return from injuries which could mean a return to the first team for Sebastien Bassong to play alongside Michael Dawson.
Hull City boss Brown will be hoping that Redknapp has one eye on the recent tax evasion allegations that have been laid at the Tottenham manager's feet. The added distraction may help the East Yorkshire team, who have been fending off continued interest in Irish International midfielder Steven Hunt, who scored Hull City's consolation goal last time.
It is rumored that Wolves have increased their original bid of £3-million to £4.5-million for the talented player.
The Tigers made an official statement on the club website stating that any interest would be rebuffed as the club would not be selling their main players.
"Regarding Stephen Hunt, the Club is now becoming bored with continual speculation within the...media surrounding his future and would like to place on the record that the player is not for sale."
Spurs, and Defoe will be hoping that he can maintain their current run of good form that has seen the striker score nine goals in as many games, which includes five goals in the game against Wigan. However, their attempts to sign John Carew from Aston Villa have not been successful.
This game is vitally important for both teams, with Hull City attempting to get back on track after a very difficult set of fixtures and for Tottenham to try to maintain their push for Europe.
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