Hull have shown a remarkable level of endeavour and resolution in their bid to avoid being relegated in their first season back in the Premier League, but the these Captain Cook-like characteristics may amount to nothing on account of the fixture list’s dastardliest plans.
The Tigers currently reside in the safe haven of 12th spot, six points clear of 18th-place Crystal Palace and, if Steve Bruce could have just one thing this Christmas it would be for the season to end right now.
This mid-table standing is what has inflated Hull’s odds for relegation to 3/1, which could prove a costly mistake for the bookies come the end of the season.
For a start, despite the healthy bumper the Humberside club have wedged between themselves and the drop zone, they’ve collected just two sets of three points in their last 10 league outings, suggesting stagnation, as opposed to progression following just two defeats in their opening seven.
Furthermore, with the exception of Manchester United and Liverpool, the Yorkshire outfit have faced every top half side away from home so far.
This means, for those of you unfamiliar with the scheduling of a standard football season, the majority of the better teams must visit the KC at a time of year when point-accumulation is most critical.
The bulk of their away games at the business end of the campaign will, therefore, be contested against relegation rivals, who will all be regarding Hull as must-beat material. It’s a far from ideal scenario and it could quite easily see the fluff plumping up the cushion between them and the trapdoor disappearing.
Goalscoring woes are another issue they must contend with. There have only been two league games this term in which they’ve scored more than one goal meaning some January firepower is much needed.
If it arrives, that could prove decisive, but as things stand, taking a punt on Hull slipping through the Premier League floorboards doesn’t look the worst bet in the world.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date
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