How the two teams could shape up tonight.
Hull City host Liverpool tonight at the KC Stadium, in a match which both teams need a result from to salvage their respective seasons. The Tigers are battling relegation, whereas Liverpool still have dreams of making the Champions League.
How will the two teams line-up in tonight’s encounter? I believe both will start with their usual formations that utilise three centre halves. Both sides need to win but a loss is also not an option, so three central defenders can help them both be defensively tight.
Liverpool team and tactics:
Brendan Rodgers‘ men could set-up in a 3-4-3 formation with this team:
Simon Mignolet, Emre Can, Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, Jordon Ibe, Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva, Glen Johnson, Steven Gerrard (captain), Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling
The Reds need a win to close the gap on the top four, they are currently in fifth place in the Premier League table seven points behind arch rivals Manchester United. This is why I believe Raheem Sterling will lead the line in the absence of Daniel Sturridge, the 21-year old could be joined in a three pronged attack by the vital Gerrard and Coutinho.
I think Rodgers will go with this front three as they each have the ability to grab a goal out of nothing, which may be crucial in a tight encounter like tonight’s match. However, three at the back will cover Liverpool‘s tracks and prevent them from getting caught on the break. Emre Can has been playing at right-back in a back four recently but I would expect him to tuck inside as third centre-back, with Ibe and Johnson as wing-backs.
Hull team and tactics:
Steve Bruce’s men could set-up in a 3-5-2 formation with this team:
Steve Harper, James Chester, Michael Dawson (captain), Paul McShane, Ahmed Elmohamady, Jake Livermore, Tom Huddlestone, Stephen Quinn, Robbie Brady, Sone Aluko, Dame N’Doye
Hull are in the thick of a relegation battle, but picked up an important 2-0 win last time out at in form Crystal Palace. Dame N’Doye has been a goal threat since joining the Tigers in January, including scoring both goals in that win at Palace. This is why I believe the man from Senegal will lead the line in tonight’s game.
Defensively, I think Hull will look to pack the midfield and protect that back three of theirs. Liverpool have struggled to pick up points against well drilled and organised teams, this was evident as they drew 0-0 with Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion. Bruce will be hoping to the use the pace of his wing-backs, Elmohamady and Brady, to hurt Liverpool on the counter attack.