Steve Bruce can not be happier with the start his plucky Hull side have made in their return to the Premier League, but he’ll know all too well that as the season progresses and his squad depth is increasingly tested, their task of staying in the division will only get harder.
Unfortunately for Bruce, injuries continue to mount and he could well find himself making a request or two of the chairman come January.
They may sit comfortably tenth, with a respectable three wins and two draws from their first eight games, but their start is largely due to defensive solidity rather than attacking prowess.
They’ve scored only seven goals all season, a fact fortunately tempered by the concession of only nine goals.
It makes his latest loss to injury, keeper Allan McGregor, a major blow. McGregor has been one of the stars of the show for Hull this season but now faces six weeks on the sidelines with a thigh injury, meaning Bruce will be forced to call on veteran backup Steve Harper.
Other injuries include forwards Danny Graham and Sone Aluko, while Robbie Brady remains a doubt and Jake Livermore will be ineligible to play against his parent club.
It all makes it a tall order for Hull (13/2 to win) against a Spurs side who play at home for the first time since their shock 3-0 defeat at the hands of London rivals West Ham.
Since then Andre Villas Boas’ side have responded in the best possible fashion, recording wins over Aston Villa and Sheriff Tiraspol, scoring four goals and not conceding. The home team are 2/5 to claim victory and make up for their last performance at the Lane.
Andros Townsend replicated his form on the international stage with a goal against Villa, while just as crucially Roberto Soldado scored his first Spurs goal from open play. They’ll once again present Spurs’ best attacking threat and can be backed at 7/1 and 7/2 respectively to break the deadlock.
Townsend in particular looks a great punt at that price, especially having graduated to the rank of players who were granted a midweek rest in Europe, while his manager described him as “fearless” following another electric display on the wing.
As for Hull, any shock will surely depend on the form of former Spurs man Tom Huddlestone, who will be asked to create much of the visitor’s attacking play. Given the likelihood that he may return to haunt his former side with an obligatory goal, he might be worth a pop at odds of 10/1 to score at any time.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.