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Hull vs. Manchester United: Tigers praying for a final-day miracle at the KC Stadium

22 May | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Hull vs. Manchester United: Tigers praying for a final-day miracle at the KC Stadium

Steve Bruce will need to beat his former employers for the first time as a manager if his side are to stand any chance of survival

Let’s start with the obvious: things are looking pretty bleak for Hull City. Two points adrift of safety heading into the final weekend, the Tigers know that the odds are stacked against them. 

Steve Bruce’s side need to win their match against Manchester United and hope that Newcastle United fail to beat West Ham – who, let’s be honest, have been on holiday for the last month or so. It is hardly a surprise, then, that Hull are the bookies’ favourites to join Burnley and QPR in the Championship next term.

It’s not like Hull have been playing well recently, either. Aside from a brief upsurge in form that brought wins over Crystal Palace and Liverpool in April, they have struggled for fluency in attack and solidity in defence. If they do go down, the 1-0 home defeat to Burnley will stand out as the moment they blew it.

Oh, and did I mention Bruce’s record against Man United? The former Red Devils defender has been in management for 17 years but has yet to record a single victory against his former employers. His record, in all its misery, reads W0, D4, L17. The writing isn’t just on the wall; it’s chiselled into the brickwork.

United are not averse to slumping to significant final-day defeats, of course. It was not so long ago that Carlos Tevez saved West Ham with a strike at Old Trafford. But with Sir Alex Ferguson no longer in the dugout, Bruce is unlikely to expect any gesture of kindness. His best hope may be that United’s players are already on the beach, without even the prospect of third place to battle for.

But equally, United could enjoy playing with no pressure. Their in-house awards on Tuesday highlighted a certain devil-may-care feeling at season’s end, with Louis van Gaal clearly enjoying himself more than he has for much of the campaign. If he tells his players to go out and express themselves, Hull are unlikely to be able to shut them out.

This is football. Stranger things have happened. But Hull need a miracle. Perhaps even two.