Things change quickly in the Premier League. Four games ago, Manchester City were in second spot – now they’re two points off the Champions League spots. But one thing which hasn’t changed is pundits and fans alike writing off Hull City’s survival hopes.
However, at Ladbrokes News, we think they – and our traders – have missed a trick, with the Tigers a new proposition under new manager Marco Silva.
Here’s just why the Portuguese gaffer’s revitalised side are well-priced to stay up at 3/1…
Hernandez is firing again
Nobody played a bigger part in Hull’s promotion last season than Hernandez, who netted 21 times in 46 Championship games, including an incredible first-half hat-trick against Charlton Athletic.
In the first half of this season, he looked a shadow of that player, scoring just once in his previous ten outings, before a lay-off from injury. But under Silva, he’s enjoying a sudden resurgence.
Three goals in as many games since the Portuguese was appointed has been quite the feat, with the 26-year-old finding the net with a neat header and superb individual goal in the weekend’s 3-1 win over Swansea City. If the Uruguayan can retain that form, expect Hull to become a much trickier proposition for opposition defences.
January buys provide much-needed boost
Had Hull City secured a loan deal for Oumar Niasse six months ago, everyone would have been raving about a fantastic bit of business. And despite a difficult period at Goodison Park, if Silva can bring out the Niasse who terrorised defences for Lokomotiv Moscow last season, they’ll have a huge difference-maker.
Elsewhere, the former Estoril gaffer has managed to bring in Evandro – who played under Silva for Canarinhos – on from Porto. A talented playmaker, he could be the ideal creative spark in a midfield containing the steel of David Meyler and Tom Huddlestone.
With divisive owner Assem Allam apparently freeing up money for the new man – who has also made Norwegian international Markus Henriksen’s loan deal permanent – we could yet see a few more quality acquisitions at the KCOM Stadium, while their rivals flounder in the transfer market.
The gaffer’s experience
Despite apparent scepticism from much of the U.K. media – including pundit Phil Thompson referring to Silva’s appointment as ‘embarrassing’ –, the 39-year-old actually has a fantastic track record in management.
Having taken Estoril from second-tier also-rans to Europa League regulars in his native Portugal, before moving onto Sporting CP, where he won the Portuguese cup in his first and only season.
But it was at Olympiacos where Silva’s philosophy really came into its own, chalking up an incredible 79 per cent win rate as he lifted the SuperLeague with the club last season.
The snobbery over Silva not having prior experience in England has wrongly overshadowed the fantastic track record he’s had, in terms of the response to his appointment. But if Hull keep improving, he could well begin to pick up the plaudits very quickly.
Next up for Hull City is a trip to Chelsea on Sunday, with 16/1 on offer for the East Yorkshire outfit to enjoy victory at Stamford Bridge.
Meanwhile, the 3/1 for the Tigers to avoid relegation looks a very generous price – and with just 10 points separating them from the Premier League’s top half, the 200/1 for Hull to finish in the top 10 could prove to be a truly inspired bet.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing