Back Hull for Premier League return with minds refocused

Although Hull’s chances of winning a first major trophy were diminished for another season after a quarter-final loss to Manchester City in the Capital One Cup, there are big reasons for optimism on Humberside.

For starters, the 2013/14 runners-up still have the FA Cup to enter early in the new year, but more pertinently, the Tigers have a fine chance of taking an immediate path back to the Premier League.

The latest cup disappointment will only aid a mission that manager Steve Bruce has already proved capable of completing both at the KC Stadium and twice before that in a former life as Birmingham manager.

Hull holding onto their man despite relegation from the top flight last season was no coincidence, neither is the fact that a sprinkling of departures aside, Bruce has been able to hang onto the vast majority of his best players.

There are not many squads in the second tier of English football blessed with the amount of internationals the Manchester United legend has at his disposal and 10/11 on promotion looks a decent bet as a result.

The 7/4 on a top two finish is even more alluring though. Hull’s current position of fourth in the table is reflective of this, while there are only three points between the Tigers and leaders Brighton.

In such a tight race, Hull commanding the healthiest goal difference in the division is also a huge tick in their promotion box.

Owning the joint-stoutest Championship defence, marshalled by skipper and last season’s player of the year Curtis Davies, is a massive boon to the Assam Allam-owned club bouncing back too.

There are plenty of goals in the side as well. Record signing Abel Hernandez appears to have put settling-in issues behind him on Humberside, with the Uruguayan leading the way on seven league strikes.

Although there is a quintet of teams including Middlesbrough, Brighton, Derby and Burnley all having amassed over 30 points heading into December, Hull’s squad alongside Bruce’s experience may just render them the value title-winning bet at 4/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.