Hull v Swansea: The Tigers must be clinical

Five goals in six for the impressive Llorente

Hull’s 1-1 draw with Burnley at the end of February was a missed opportunity. They had the lead against a team that had taken just one point on the road, in a game sandwiched by tough games at Arsenal and Leicester. Having lost the latter two, Michael Keane’s late equalizer for the Clarets begins to seem more significant.

Hull had their chances in a dominant first half with Dieumerci Mbokani and Kamil Grosicki guilty of wasteful finishing. Those two plus Ahmed Elmohamady and Abel Hernandez had nine shots between them in the final third, yet Hull’s only shot on target was Tom Huddlestone’s penalty.

In some ways it is positive that they are creating these openings, which they were not doing in the first half of the campaign. However, Hull have to be more clinical while they are on top, simply due to their situation. The Tigers are four points adrift of safety with the league’s worst goal difference and the three teams above the relegation zone are in form.

Crystal Palace and Leicester have just won back-to-back matches while Swansea City are third in the six-game form table. Paul Clement’s side have scored 12 goals in that time, despite those games including Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City away.

Fernando Llorente has looked beastly in the box and he netted an injury time winner that his side had well-deserved. Every time Gylfi Sigurdsson or another lifts a cross towards, the fear in opposition centre-backs is palpable and Burnley’s pairing simply could not handle the Spaniard.

It should not be underestimated the importance of Tom Carroll, who has been a steady presence in midfield along side the driving force of Leroy Fer. Martin Olsson took his goal well last week and impressed in the second half at Man City, where Swansea deserved arguably a point.

Apart from that day, which saw the Swans lose 2-1 late on, they have capitalized while on top and that could be the deciding factor this weekend.

The Football Lab’s Verdict: 1-2
Betting Tip: Swansea or draw at 8/15