Hull Team Guide: European strain makes survival a good season

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Team Name: Hull

Manager: Steve Bruce

Last Season: 16th

Who they’ve signed so far: Jake Livermore (Tottenham Hotspur, undisclosed), Robert Snodgrass (Norwich City, undisclosed), Tom Ince (Blackpool, Free), Harry Maguire (Sheffield United, £2.5m), Andy Robertson (Dundee United, £2.85m)

Out of the exit door: James Armstrong, Robert Koren and Abdoulaye Faye (all released), Matty Fryatt (Nottingham Forest, free), Conor Henderson (Crawley Town, free), Paul McElroy (Sheffield Wednesday, free), Cameron Stewart (Ipswich Town, free), Mark Oxley (Hibernian, loan), Conor Townsend (Dundee United, loan), Joe Dudgeon (Barnsley, free)

Star Man: Curtis Davies

The centre-back enjoyed a superb campaign last term, playing so well he gained dark-horse status to make Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad.

With Koren now gone, Davies has been appointed club captain for the coming season, a role he can perform with vigour as the lynchpin of Hull’s defence.

DaviesSticker

Under the Radar: Robbie Brady

The Irishman was a bright spark in the Tigers’ early season form, scoring four goals in his first seven all-competition starts.

Injury then cruelly denied Steve Bruce the chance of regularly relying on the winger’s dazzling skill and his recovery for the start of this campaign is a huge boost.

If this awkward interview is anything to go by though, don’t hang around too long for any of his Sky Sports chats:

Team Liability: Nikica Jelavic

It’s fair to say Hull’s capture of the Croatian front man was seen to be an impressive coup for the KC Stadium club.

That doesn’t hide the fact that Jelavic has been something of a hot and cold performer during his time in England.

If he gets it right, the former Everton man’s partnership with Shane Long can fire Hull to more than just safety. If he doesn’t it’s back to the Sone Aluko-shaped drawing board for Bruce.

Title Odds: 5000/1

Best Bet: To finish in the bottom half @ 1/4

Our Verdict:

There’s a lot to like about the makeup of Hull’s squad, there’s some flair players like Ince and Tom Huddlestone blended with workhorses like Davies and Long.

If it wasn’t for the extra load of the Europa League they could have caused a top-half stir this season, as it is survival should be seen as a happy result.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.