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Hull vs Manchester United: Can the Reds move closer to the top four?

Manchester-United-v-West-Ham-Adnan-Januzaj-pa_3055460The frantic festive season fixture list sees Manchester United travel to take on Hull at the KC Stadium on Boxing Day in search of another three points.

After beating West Ham 3-1 in their last outing, David Moyes’ men will be looking to string together a run of victories over the next couple of weeks to close the gap between them and the Premier League summit. As indicates, bookmakers have refused to completely rule out a Man Utd title push although even a Champions League push looks difficult with 4 teams genuinely fighting for the title and potentially out of United’s reach.

It is a former Manchester United stalwart that will be in the opposition dugout though, as Steve Bruce looks to build on a good first six months back in the top flight for his side.

At almost half way through the season, Hull are on track to reach the 40-point target that will more than likely keep them in the division. Ahead of the game the hosts sit in 12th place in the Premier League with 20 points, but have only won one of their last seven games.

This solitary win was a 3-1 home victory over Liverpool, which should act as sufficient warning for United not to underestimate the newly promoted side.

United are in eighth place ahead of the game, but will feel that a couple more victories can move them back within striking distance of the top of the table.

Moyes will be without key striker Robin van Persie once more for this clash, with Danny Welbeck set to deputise again. The England international has scored three goals in his last two outings and will look to continue his strong partnership with Wayne Rooney in the visitors’ attack.

Other injury concerns for the visitors include Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Nani, with the centre of the park an area where Moyes will need to get his selection correct against the industrious Jake Livermore and creative Tom Huddlestone.

With a trip to Norwich and home games against Tottenham, Swansea and Cardiff on the horizon, there is no reason that the champions cannot put a strong run of form together, and will be looking for their fellow title rivals to take points from one another over the festive period.

Despite Hull being at home, United enter the game as favourites at odds of 3/5, with the hosts on the outside at 21/4 to cause an upset. The draw is 3/1.

United have won all four of the meetings between the sides in the modern era, with the last encounter in January 2010 ending in a 4-0 win to the Red Devils.