Steve Bruce has labeled Hull City’s current situation the worst injury crisis he’s faced in 17 years of management.
His ravaged Tigers squad faces a West Ham side fading from the top half of the table but coming off a miraculous FA Cup win over Everton in penalties midweek that could give the Hammers some momentum. The two will square off at 8:30am ET live from Upton Park on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
Abel Hernandez and Nikica Jelavic are the most recent additions to the Hull City squad carnage, having both picked up injuries. Jelavic avoided serious knee damage but will be out until the end of January, while Hernandez has a minor adductor tear and could be out up to six weeks.
Add that to the serious injuries to Robert Snodgrass and Mohamed Diame, and the highest-scoring player left fit is defender James Chester with two goals this season. That doesn’t bode well for a side that has finished with a goose egg in 10 of its last 14 games across all competitions. This has all forced Bruce to go with Sone Aluko up top as the lone strike option, with few options left. He does have recent Arsenal loanee Yannick Sagbo on the bench.
So it will be up to West Ham to turn their fortunes around against the faltering Hull City side, with the win midweek the club’s first win since the holidays in any competition. Sam Allardyce makes just one change from the FA Cup win as Alex Song returns to fitness, sending Winston Reid to the bench.
West Ham: Adrian, Jenkinson, Collins, Tomkins, Cresswell, Song, Noble, Nolan, Downing, Carroll, Valencia
Bench: Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Reid, Poyet, Amalfitano, Jarvis, Cole.
Hull City: McGregor, Chester, Bruce, Davies, Dawson, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Elmohamady, Quinn, Aluko.
Bench: Harper, Figueroa, Maguire, McShane, Ramirez, Ince, Sagbo.