Hull City take on Bolton Wanderers tonight at the KCOM Stadium and will be desperate for three points ahead of the International Break. City have fallen to back to back league defeats after a positive opening two games and also went out of the Carabao Cup in midweek.
This is a game City have to win if they are to challenge in and around the playoffs this season. Bolton were promoted from League 1 last season but have again hit financial troubles and haven’t recruited as they would have wanted to. The Visitors are currently in the relegation zone with only two draws to their name so far this season.
Bolton did beat Sheffield Wednesday in the Carabao Cup this week which may give them some confidence but even with City’s injuries they will still be firm favourites to come out on top tonight. A home win wouldn’t go amiss amongst the City faithful who are remaining on Slutsky’s side as he tries to stamp his footballing philosophy on his side despite several key players leaving or sitting on the sideline.
The last time City played a team tipped to struggle at the KCOM they were 4-1 winners but Burton did have a man sent off and the hat trick hero from that day is now side-lined for 6 months. Nevertheless Slutsky will be expecting a positive response from his team after losing the last two league games.
The Russian boss will be delighted that there is less than a week to go until the Transfer Window closes and he can finally fully close the Supermarket. Sam Clucas has finally left this week and joined Swansea. Left back Stephen Kinglsey has followed in the opposite direction while midfielder Jon Toral has also joined from Arsenal. Slutsky must hate the transfer window and he will be hoping he loses no more of his star assets before the window slams shut next week.
Leonid Slutsky knows how important tonight’s match is and has called upon the supporters to get behind the team at the KCOM tonight, “Bolton is a very important match and we have unbelievable support. I try to prove the level of the team because when you have that support because you want to play better. I say each team have a good time and bad time and it is very important to support in the difficult time. In this situation you understand you is your friend and not your friend. I hope the supporters can help the team in this difficult moment”.
Phil Parkinson believes his side have to be up for the fight against City and hopes they will have gained confidence after their win over Sheffield Wednesday in midweek, ““I feel we have got to fight our corner. If teams come up against Bolton they have got to know they are going to get a tough game. However you look at it, we lost that in the first two home games of the season. You can make an excuse you like – we didn’t have the grit we need. We were down after the Derby game and also a little philosophical – i.e. we were the masters of our own downfall – but we showed there we can match the top teams and now we’re up against another one in Hull.”
City are going through somewhat of an injury crisis at the moment. To add to the already lengthy injury list that includes the likes of Abel Hernandez, Markus Henriksen, Evandro, David Marshall, Ryan Mason, Moses Odubajo and Will Keane two more players succumbed to injury at QPR. Fraizer Campbell and Kevin Stewart both limped off at Loftus Road and won’t feature tonight.
New signings Toral and Kingsley could both make their debuts tonight which will go some way to plugging the injury gaps in the squad.
Bolton have less to worry about on the injury front and should welcome back David Wheater tonight for the first time since the opening day of the season. Sami Ameobi and Josh Vela are both definitely out while Fil Morais is a doubt.
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