Hull’s imported X Factor to help them reign the north east

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Of the four men to arrive at Hull on transfer deadline day, two were immediately given the opportunity to impress the home fans when West Ham came to visit.

Neither Abel Hernandez or Mohamed Diame disappointed, as the pair scored the goals that helped earn a two-all draw for the Tigers in an entertaining match.

The point moved Steve Bruce’s side up two places to 10th in the Premier League but, crucially, extended their lead over their fellow north east rivals.

According to Ladbrokes, Newcastle – who sit rock bottom of the table and are the first subjects of the customary managerial speculation – are the favourites to top the north east mini league this season, at odds of 6/4.

However, it’s Hull’s 9/5 price that should be snapped up with glee after the opening four games of the season and especially after the West Ham clash.

Shrewdly, Bruce resisted the temptation to throw all of his newly-purchased quartet into the fray, keeping on-loan duo Hatem Ben Arfa and Gaston Ramirez on the bench until the 79th minute.

Starting in a 4-4-2 system that partnered Hernandez and Nikica Jelavic together, the former Red Devil now has a number of options to choose from in what looks a well-rounded Hull squad.

Throughout the side, Hull look to have the tools necessary to impress this term.

Andrew Robertson and Ahmed Elmohamady are ever-willing runners from full-back, who provide dangerous crosses with reliable consistency.

Diame, Tom Huddlestone, Jake Livermore and Stephen Quinn form a complementary midfield, while Michael Dawson and Curtis Davies will become a dependable centre-half pairing in time.

Up-front, Hernandez showed himself to be a dynamic finisher and Allan McGregor made a host of top-drawer saves.

With Ben Arfa and Ramirez able to provide craft from the bench, or in a 4-2-3-1 system, it’s Hull who are currently streaks ahead of the north east pack.

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.