- Tigers make PL return
- Leicester seeking big start as champions
- Ranieri: Bookmakers must do 6000-1
- Hull currently features 13 senior players
It’s not impossible but it simply hasn’t happened in the Premier League era.
Hull City will host reigning champions Leicester City on Saturday (Watch live, 6:30 a.m. ET on CNBC and online via Live Extra) as the Tigers look to become the first team in the PL era to open a new season with a win against the title holders. In the previous 23 seasons, sides are 0-4-19 against the champions.
Now that Claudio Ranieri‘s group has pulled off the impossible, 19 other teams will be gunning for Leicester in 2016/17, and it all starts against the Tigers.
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Leicester will have to replicate its incredible feat from a season ago without N'Golo Kante, who has since moved on to Chelsea. However, the Foxes have retooled and added several impressive signings this summer, including Ahmed Musa and Nampalys Mendy.
Meanwhile, Hull will have to overcome a disappointing summer in the build up to its PL return, after failing to make a splash in the transfer market and losing Mohamed Diame to Newcastle.
Tigers fans are reportedly set to protest their team’s first match after ownership dropped the ball on adding talent to compete with England’s top competition. Manager Mike Phelan currently has a mere 13 fit senior players to select from, which is missing veterans Michael Dawson, keeper Allan McGregor, Moses Odubajo and former boss’ son Alex Bruce.
What they’re saying
Hull manager Mike Phelan: “We’ve got to perform. The players who are here have earned the right to play in this division and I’m sure they will want to play for themselves and the club. I know those players will give it their best.”
Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri: “It’s easier for ET to come to Piccadilly Circus. It is impossible. It is more difficult than last season. It is normal that we can’t win the league. For this reason I say the bookmakers must do 6,000-1. I am very curious, all the world is curious, what will happen with Leicester. I am very curious to see where we finish.”
Despite the loss of N’Golo Kante in the midfield, Leicester has done plenty over the summer to not only make due but contend for the PL yet again. Hull has a chance to make a major impact in their opening match, but the Foxes are simply too talented. Hull 1-4 Leicester