West Ham United v Hull City: Match preview

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Injury has been oh so cruel to Hull City and Steve Bruce this season and last week's 1-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion saw them lose two of their most promising assets in their Premier League survival bid.

Just as soon as the Tigers were beginning to gather some stability after the return of Abel Hernandez and Nikica Jelavic in an exciting 2-0 New Years Day triumph over Everton, the attacking duo both limped off within eight minutes of each other at the Hawthorns and consequently face three to six weeks on the sidelines respectively.

To say that Gaston Ramirez and Sone Aluko will be forced back into the squad on Sunday is something of an understatement, as they have been told to recover quickly by Steve Bruce. Whilst they returned to training on Friday morning, a place in the starting eleven could be too much to ask of the pair at this stage.

Hull chasing January signings

Andy Robertson and Liam Rosenior are still ruled out for several weeks as Bruce is on the lookout for a short term left-back replacement in January, but Michael Dawson could make a first appearance since December 13 when he was injured against Chelsea.

Such unrest in the Hull camp has left Sam Allardyce "unsure" on which tactics to select ahead of the game, but the former Bolton Wanderers boss will be boosted by the return of Alex Song from illness, plus Guy Demel and Winston Reid.

*GMS Related

Hammers on a high after FA Cup success

West Ham's midweek thriller replay in the FA Cup against Everton saw two hours of tantalising football, which was all brought to an end by a stunning penalty shoot-out sudden death showdown.

To cut a long story short, Joel Robles missed his penalty and his opposite number, Adrian, converted when called upon and gave West Ham a ticket to the fourth round.

But even if that admirable cup victory has raised confidence at Upton Park there's been no league win in four games now. There's also the issue of fatigue will amongst the squad after a tiresome two hours of football, which Allardyce may have to combat with a sprinkling of rotation.

Hull are fighting for their lives

Whilst Hull's Premier League form was looking to get back on track subsequent to a New Years Day win, a damaging defeat against relegation rivals West Brom last week knocked the East Yorkshire based side back into the drop zone. 

Tigers fans can take a little more confidence to East London ahead of what may seem a daunting trip as I have attended every Hull City victory this season and I too will be making the journey down south on Sunday for what promises to be a great dinner time kick off to tuck into.

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Steve Bruce
Premier League
Sam Allardyce
West Ham United
Hull City

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