Three Key Battles - Hull City

Fresh off the back of a two-week Premier League break, the Hammers, looking to end a five-game spell without a win, travel to Humberside on Saturday to face Hull City.

And should they come away from the KCOM Stadium with three points, the Tigers will have been the second top flight side to suffer a double defeat against Slaven Bilic’s outfit this season.

Though Hull boss Marco Silva, appointed in January, enjoyed a turnaround in results to begin with, City are now no longer in such good form and have just four points from a possible 15.

Sitting three points from safety, Saturday’s hosts will be keen to frustrate the Londoners but if the following three Hammers can come out on top against their opposite numbers, it could be a great day out for the travelling Claret and Blue Army…



First up, should the Hammers’ French full-back Arthur Masuaku start at the KCOM, he could come up against former Olympiacos teammate Omar Elabdellaoui.

The duo won the league while with the Greek side last campaign under current City boss Marco Silva, and Masuaku described Elabdellaoui as a brother in our interview with the left-sider this week.

Due to injury troubles, Masuaku has not played as many games for the east Londoners as he would have liked since joining during the summer, but during his pace and energy has been evident when selected.

Elabdellaoui only joined Hull in January, but he has appeared in all but one of their Premier League fixtures so far since arriving on Humberside.



Another Tiger who has impressed since arriving in January has been Lazar Markovic, the Liverpool loanee who has filled the void left by the departing Robert Snodgrass. He, of course, made the switch to London Stadium earlier this year.

The tricky Serb likes to get his head down and dribble with the ball, and that’s evident with the stats, whereas Snoddy – with Andy Carroll to aim at – is more about picking the right cross for a teammate.

Both are yet to grab their first goals for their new outfits, and the Scot would love to do so against his old teammates on his Saturday return.

Despite the lack of successful strikes, both are potential match-winners and the defensive lines will have their eyes on the pair.




With four goals now for the Club – three in his last four appearances – Andre Ayew is beginning to repay the transfer record fee splashed out during the summer after recovering from a frustrating early season injury.

It’s been right place, right time for the Ghanaian of late, though the same can be said about Senegalese forward Oumar Niasse, on loan from Everton.

Niasse tries his luck more often per game than Ayew, however the former Swansea City man’s more considered approach means his passing stats trump his opponent’s.

With these two the goal-grabbers at the moment for their respective sides, both sets of defenders will be fully focused on preventing their enemy having a successful afternoon in Hull.