When Robert Burns wrote ‘the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry’, I’m 99.9% sure he was referring to writing match previews; specifically those where your plans to connect with an ‘interviewee’ flounder.
You didn’t know Burns was a blogger for Ayr Utd?
But that’s what’s happened I’m afraid, so you’re stuck with me. I did consider a Q&A with myself, but at the risk of getting flummoxed by my own line of daft questions and needless jibes, I thought maybe instead I’d just preview the game in the traditional way.
So, Hull City. What do we know?
Well, when we played them back in November and drew 0-0, Andy Dalton – editor of the award-winning Amber Nectar website and podcast – was rather more concerned with events off the pitch at the KCOM Stadium than on it.
Quote: “Things are as grim as ever. City are rooted in the bottom three with a poor manager, a poor squad and owners who veer between malice and negligence. The universally loathed owners remain in place and the club is up for sale”
But, contrary to Andy’s prediction, the Tigers gave the Canaries a proper run for their money on a rain-sodden night Humberside night, and there was little to warm the hearts of the travelling canaries aside from a guilt-edged chance for Tom Trybull that he managed to head wide.
Andy’s prophesy of a 0-2 was some way off coming to fruition, although few argued with his take on Chris Martin, once of this parish: “He is awful. He’s a greater threat to us than you”.
Tigers’ fans were heartened by their performance that night, and fair enough because they made life tough for City, but what they probably weren’t prepared for was it to signal the start of a ten-game unbeaten run in the league that stretched from the end of November through to the end of January.
It was a run that was spearheaded by the highly-rated Jarrod Bowen and which took them to the edge of the playoffs. A coincidence it may have been, but the mood of Hull fans was also buoyed in late autumn when it appeared the Allams were on the point of selling up.
It may also be a coincidence that their fine run ended around the same time Assem Allan decided finally to turn down the offer that was on the table but despite the continued uncertainty, the Tigers remain in the playoff hunt. While they are now down to 12th, only five points separate them and sixth place Derby County, and so they won’t be here tonight just to go through the motions.
They have however enjoyed more success at home than on the road – we’ll ignore their win at Elland Road because Leeds fans will take it personally – and after losing at Forest on Saturday they have now lost four on the spin on the road.
In that time they have scored just once and have conceded at least two goals in each of their last six away games. In fact, while I’m loathe to mention it, [*whispers*] they have conceded 17 goals in that run.
So, an ‘along come Norwich’ evening awaits? Or will the collective nerve be held, and the P-word countdown continue with another win?
Calls for this special time to be enjoyed are bang on the button, but when the prize is so huge it’s bloody hard sometimes. I suspect tonight will be one of those.
But, as I keep banging about, chances like these don’t come along too often. And with this one being so unexpected, it would be a crime not to take the opportunity to pi$$ off the whole of Yorkshire, the Midlands and Ipswich.
Even with ten to go, there are going to be unexpected hurdles and hiccups – they’re inevitable – and football’s mischievous gods will make sure they occur when we least expect them.
Just not tonight eh? Especially with Blades and Los Blancos both winning.
Penney predicts: This won’t be as easy as some of us might reckon, especially at this stage of the season. But Aarons and Lewis will deal with Bowen whichever side he plays on so it’s 2-0 City for me.
Andy assumes: I like Nigel Adkins, as he seems like a thoroughly nice chap, but I don’t think tactically he can live with Farke. 4-1 Norwich.
Gaz guesses: My hugely unreliable gut tells me we’re due a *temporary* stumble sometime soon, but there’s no logic in plumping for anything other than a Norwich win. So, Canaries 2, Tigers 1.
Cookie concludes: There’s a chance we could be playing catch-up again depending on Tuesday’s results. I’m expecting a tense nervous affair with Hull setting out to frustrate. 1-0 City with a big dollop of angst.
Stew suspects: At some stage it’s inevitable the pressure will affect our performance – but not yet, I reckon. In that case, our football should be too much for Hull. City to win 3-0.
Siri says: City 3 – Hull 1