Hull City v Man Utd preview

Hull City's Premier League fate is in their own hands ahead of the visit of champions Manchester United, who may have other things on their mind.

Tigers boss Phil Brown knows victory for his side will secure Premier League football for a second year and compensate for a disappointing second half to the season.

Fanciful dreams of European football, sparked by City's rise to third spot in the early weeks of the campaign, have been replaced by the nightmarish prospect of a return to the Championship after one win in 21 matches.

However, the Tigers could be given a helping hand in their bid to pick up three points at the KC Stadium on Sunday, with United not expected to select their strongest team.

Much has been made over whether the title winners have a duty to Hull's relegation rivals to field their best line-up, but Sir Alex Ferguson can surely be forgiven for giving his key players a rest ahead of next Wednesday's UEFA Champions League final.

Ferguson's squad strength, though, will be in evidence and the Red Devils are certain to pick a team that is capable of doing themselves, and the Premier League, justice.

Hull team news

Hull will be hoping to welcome back Kamil Zayatte and Bernard Mendy for the game as Brown's side seek a first Premier League home win since the 2-1 success over Middlesbrough in early December.

Zayatte missed last week's 1-1 draw at Bolton, which lifted the Tigers out of the bottom three, due to concussion suffered in the previous week's defeat by Stoke City.

Mendy sat out the game against his former club due to a toe injury, but both players have been wrapped in cotton wool and Brown hopes to have the duo available.

If Zayatte fails to overcome the effects of concussion, then Kevin Kilbane could again continue at centre-half, with Anthony Gardner still out with a back problem.

Midfield pair Ian Ashbee and Jimmy Bullard are long-term absentees, while Brown will have to make a change up front as on-loan striker Manucho is ineligible to face his parent club.

Caleb Folan is back from suspension, so could replace Manucho, although Craig Fagan and Daniel Cousin are other options for Brown.

United team news

United boss Ferguson is certain to make changes to his team, with the trip to Rome in mind, but Rio Ferdinand could feature.

Ferdinand has been struggling with a calf injury and has been challenged to prove his fitness against Hull to ensure he will be able to face Barcelona.

There have been claims that rookie keeper Ben Amos could start in goal, with Ferguson reluctant to risk Edwin van der Sar's understudy Tomasz Kuszczak following an injury to Ben Foster.

Kuszczak, however, is likely to start, while Brazilian twins Rafael and Fabio could be at full-back, with captain Gary Neville used at centre-half.

Darren Fletcher seems set to play due to the midfielder being suspended for the Champions League final, and the likes of Darron Gibson, Rodrigo Possebon and Nani could be involved.

Teenage duo Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck are in contention for a starting role and Carlos Tevez could be handed a start for potentially his final Premier League appearance for the club.

Possible starting XIs

Hull City: Myhill, Ricketts, Turner, Zayatte, Dawson, Mendy, Barmby, Boateng, Kilbane, Geovanni, Cousin.

Man Utd: Kuszczak, Rafael, Neville, Ferdinand, Fabio, Welbeck, Fletcher, Gibson, Nani, Macheda, Tevez.

Source: Sky Sports
Date Published: 22 May 2009