The International Break is over, Thank God! Tonight we get back to proper football and the bread and butter of the Championship. Hull City travel to the iPro Stadium tonight to face Derby County in front of the Sky Sports cameras. It’s set to be another tough test for Leonid Slutsky’s side as he tries to merge several new signings into the team following the closure of the transfer window.
Both sides have been inconsistent so far this season with both on 7 points after 5 games. Both clubs will have ambitions of pushing for the playoffs and with Gary Rowett at the helm expectations are high at Derby so the home crowd will be expectant tonight.
After a largely disappointing transfer window Leonid Slutsky managed to get some good business done late in the window as 5 new signings arrived in the final week. Keeping hold of Kamil Grosicki was also massive for Slutsky and he will be hoping he keeps delivering performances like he did last time out against Bolton. If the new singings can bed into the side quickly then City may just push for the playoffs this season.
There is some added spice to tonight’s game as Tom Huddlestone and Curtis Davies could both face their old side after moving to Derby in the off season. A win tonight would see City into the top four ahead of the weekend and it would send out a real statement of intent as this will be one of the toughest away games all year.
Leonid Slutsky is a happy man now the transfer window is closed and he is looking forward to stamping his authority on the team now there will be no more comings and goings, “We made eleven new signings and it was a difficult time for me. We will see the quality but I am sure each player is a really good player and I am sure each player will help the team to reach our target”.
“I am happy because transfer window close and now I can focus on matches and tactics. Really it is maybe an easier time but now I have to be more responsible and I must show my work and my level.”
He also analysed the threats Derby will pose, “I watched their match live against Sheffield. Very good team and all players are experienced but like each team they have strengths and weaknesses but we will use their weaknesses.”
Derby boss Gary Rowett said it has been hard to prepare for the test City will pose as Slutsky will be giving debuts to several new players, ““There have been a lot of changes there and we have been the beneficiary of those, with Curtis and Tom coming into the building.
“They have tried a few formations and they’ve got a number of new signings who could play. So it’s quite difficult to predict what they are going to do.
“They were always going to have a pretty solid base and plenty of pace in forward areas, so we will have to be mindful of a lot of different things.”
City have several new signings who could all make their debuts tonight. Fikayo Tomori, Jackson Irvine and Nouha Dicko while Stephen Kinglsey and Jon Toral will be pushing for starts after featuring against Bolton. Leonid Slutsky’s injury worries have also eased as Markus Henriksen is fit again while the boss will make late decisions on striker Fraizer Campbell (groin), Evandro (hamstring) and Ondrej Mazuch (knee).
Sam Winnall could make his Derby debut tonight but fellow new signing Maikel Kieftenbeld is not yet eligible to play. Darren Bent and Max Lowe will both miss out but Curtis Davies and Tom Huddlestone could both face their old side.