The exit of manager Steve Bruce has seen many football fans predicting an instant relegation from the Premier League for Hull City.
But the Tigers’ squad includes plenty of quality players with top-flight experience, as well as an imperious record on their own patch. Here’s just why you should be backing them for survival…
Firstly, Hull have kept onto key men. While the focus for many promoted sides is to spend big on new signings who often end up failing to gel, the Tigers have – so far, at least – retained the crucial elements of a team who performed so effectively last season.
Abel Hernandez scored 21 times in the Championship last season, and remains on the Tigers’ books, while talented campaigners with a wealth of Premier League experience like Robert Snodgrass, Michael Dawson, and Curtis Davies are all set for another season on Humberside.
There’s also the fact that Hull have squad depth, largely due to young talents progressing. Chuba Akpom established himself as an automatic first-choice player here in 2015-16 aged 21, and others in the Tigers ranks are ready to follow in the footsteps of the Arsenal man.
Physical and composed centre-back Harry Maguire, pacy forward Greg Luer and teenage prodigy Joshua Tymon are just several of the young Tigers with the quality to slot into the first-team whenever they’re called on.
Aside from individual players, there’s the fact the KC Stadium is a fortress.
Hull had the fewest home defeats in the division during the Championship regular season, with just a solitary loss in 23 games complimented by 15 wins and 7 draws. During that period, they scored 47 goals and conceded just 12 (or 0.52 per game).
That strength is something they’re likely to take into next season, and impressive home form has helped them out in the top-flight after promotion before, with seven Premier League victories on their own patch in 2013-14.
With away wins tough to come by for promoted sides, making your home a difficult place for opponents is vital for a side like Hull. Of course, it’s also handy when you can keep a clean sheet away to a side like Arsenal – something the Tigers managed in last season’s FA Cup.
For those tempted to back Hull to stay up next season, now would be the time to do so, with the tasty 11/10 likely to be slashed if and when an established manager enters the Humberside hotseat.
Meanwhile, ambitious Tigers fans can back them for a top-half finish at 12/1.
Hull kick off their Premier League return by welcoming Leicester to East Yorkshire, with 12/5 for the hosts to taste victory against last season’s champions. A result like that could see the odds of Tigers’ survival slashed significantly.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing