Hull City vs. Manchester United and Pick to Win
Date:Saturday, August 27th 2016
Where: English Premier League Hull, Yorkshire, UK
by Keith, Professional Soccer/Football Handicapper, Predictem
Match Odds: Hull City 36/5, Manchester United 10/11, Draw 17/5
Moneyline: Hull City +720, Manchester United -200, Draw +340
Over/Under Best Market: OVER 2.5 9/8(+112)
So far Jose Mourinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have lived up to the billing, as it seems the Red Devils are unstoppable. The Swedish striker is coming in off perhaps his best performance, scoring both goals for Man United in their 2-0 victory over Southampton at Old Trafford. Manchester United enthusiasts also rejoiced in the debut of Paul Pogba who also put together an impressive opening match in United colors. Additionally, the Red Devils other acquisitions, most notably Eric Bailley has only enhanced the optimism circulating through the always ambitious Manchester team. In fact, the city of Manchester is dominating the English Premier League as a whole as both Man City and Man United sit atop the table after two weeks of play in the 2016/17 campaign. The stock in the Red Devils is never higher and this is reflected in the latest offering as Manchester United will head up the road to Yorkshire to face off with the seemingly harmless Hull City Tigers.
The problem is Hull City is not as innocent as they appear. This team is riding a hot hand, winning their last four fixtures. For Hull City this was not simply a couple wins of inconsequential magnitude. The Tigers fought their way in to the English Premier League by way of a promotion when they defeated Sheffield Wednesday in a play-in game to where they sit now. Hull has made the most of the opportunity as they have secured six points in their first two matches since their prodigal return. These results accrued against Swansea City, a team that many would suspect having Hull for breakfast and then the impressive opening fixture victory against defending champion Leicester City. Hull has a propensity to shock and awe and given the fact they get Manchester United at home with extremely affable odds, it is hard not to dive in on this one.
The best part of this narrative? No one wants any part of Hull. In rare instances we can take a contrarian approach while potentially netting a serious purse if we lay the juice. An enormous amount of steam is rolling in on Manchester United and usually it is situations like this that set up backers to stumble mightily. As we have exclaimed on numerous occasions, taking back juice on favorites over the long term is proven to be a very risky. Now, bookies are asking for a half return on the Red Devils for any taker and given the fact this game is away from Old Trafford, it is dangerous to assume Manchester United has a 200% chance of winning this fixture compared to Hull sporting a likelihood of under 12%. The price dictates the play here and Hull has the results to back up our hypothesis. In the last meeting between these two teams, Hull hung around against Manchester United at Old Trafford before costly mistakes led to their demise. However, this team seems more poised and prepared and anyone who takes them lightly may find themselves bewildered and stunned.
Hull City has found ways to generate offense against teams with traditionally stout defenses. The Tigers have scored twice against both Swansea City and Leicester City, which indicates they may find a way to wreak havoc on Manchester Uniteds chink in their armor, their back line. Of course, we would be remiss to assume that Manchester United will kept off the scoreboard. There is a very good chance that is not happening. With these considerations made and assessed, it is likely both sides will score in this one and perhaps both sides may do so on several occasions. Nevertheless, we are not proponents of laying juice and given the fact we can once again get above evens in returns on three total goals, we will merrily opt in on that opportunity. While it is a longshot that Hull City may win this contest outright, there is certainly more value in playing on a return of over 7 to 1 than risking two units to make one back. Is Manchester United a better team? Of course, but are they a better play from a strategic perspective? Absolutely not, Hull City is our call.
Hull City Recent Form
W Exeter City 3-1
W Swansea City 2-0
W Leicester City 2-1
W Sheffield Wednesday 1-0
L Derby County 1-2
Manchester United Recent Form
W Southampton 2-0
W Bournemouth 3-1
W Leicester City 2-1
W Galtassaray 5-2
L Borussia Dortmund 1-4
Keith’s Prediction for the Game: Hull City 36/5 (+720) and OVER 2.5 (+112)
Leicester City has seemed to be worn thin after enduring a vigorous Champions League play, followed up by a very disappointing portfolio of performances against European elite football clubs. However, as we have stated recently a defending champion is still a defending champion and we get this team at home where home pitch advantage has been significant for this outfit historically. The stock in Leicester has never been lower after they were upended in the Community Shield against Manchester United followed up by an abysmal defeat against recently promoted Hull City to kick off their 2016/17 campaign. To put the Hull City defeat in to perspective, the Tigers were relegated from the Premiership in 2014/15, only to re-emerge after playing their way back in through the Football League Championship last season. Now after being the victim of Week Ones upset of the week, the Foxes are in perfect position for a buy-back opportunity.