PR: Swansea City vs Hull City
Once again we have been kindly provided a preview to Hull City by the OSC. This weeks reporter is Jason Harrison.
The last time I was writing a match preview for Hull City OSC, The Tigers were 3rd in the table on 11 points and Swansea 3rd bottom on only 5 points. There were some warning signs however, as despite being amongst top scorers in the league at the time, we also had the joint leakiest defence (along with Swansea). Since then, goals have dried up whilst the defence continues to gift goal after goal to the opposition. If Swansea were to get the 3 points tomorrow, they would go above us in the table. Quite some turnaround in the last couple of weeks.
Talk in the media and on social platforms this week has been about tightening up at the back, as well as a change of system and formation. Ironically, that’s what has led to the upturn in fortunes of the hosts for tomorrow’s game. The Swans started with their own 3-at-the-back system before changing to a 4-3-3 and finally settling on a compact 4-4-2. That traditional formation has seen them win and then lose their last two matches, also both at home, by a 1-0 scoreline. Most people reading will be familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the classic, Mike Bassett formation. With plenty of support on the flanks and 2 up top, it can be a solid system that can threaten on the counter. But there’s also an opportunity to dominate in the middle of the park with an extra body. That’s why I’m hoping Shota changes to a 4-3-3 system.
However many central midfielders that Shota chooses, one player they won’t be lining up against is former City loanee Liam Walsh. The midfielder has ruptured his Achilles tendon and definitely won’t feature. 32-year-old Joe Allen has the quality and experience to dominate proceedings if given time however. Trivia question: What do Mason Mount, Reece James, Conor Gallagher and Harvey Vale all have in common? They’re all recent winners of the Chelsea Academy player of the year award. I’m hoping and predicting that City line up in that 4-3-3 system with Pelkas and Vale on either side of Oscar up top. A midfield of Seri, Slater, and Tufan would provide the work rate and creativity to overrun Swansea’s 2-man midfield, while McLoughlin coming in at the back would help to sure things up a tad. Personally, I’d continue with Ingram in goal.
Score Prediction: 0-1 to the black and amber.
Predicted Line-up: Ingram, Christie, Elder, Greaves, McLoughlin, Seri, Slater, Tufan, Vale, Pelkas, Oscar.