playmaker Adnan Januzaj celebrates after scoring against West Ham in the English Premier League, December 21. Reuters
Manchester United, over the past few games, have finally started to look more like the Red Devils of old, and David Moyes will be hoping that resurrection from a we-want-to-forget-it-as-soon-as-possible abyss takes on more positive hues when they travel to the KC Stadium to face Hull City in the English Premier League on Boxing Day.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 6.15 pm IST start with live coverage on Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD2 in India. The match can also be watched via live streaming online HERE. To catch the action live online in the UK click HERE, while viewers in the US can live stream the match HERE. Middle East and North Africa viewers can catch the action HERE, with the same for Australia viewers HERE.
Two victories in a row in the Premier League - and those victories, importantly, has seen three goals scored each - has seen United creep up on the leaders, albeit with eight points still separating the champions from Liverpool and Arsenal.
However, another win against we-want-to-be-known-as-the-Tigers-but-not-really Hull on Boxing Day, and that gap will be cut to five points, with the rest of the group only playing later.
"Away games are always much harder than the home games, we have to make sure we go there and do the job right," Moyes said.
"We have done quite well away from home this season. We will try to keep going, keep the good away form up and hopefully pick up some points."
However, the three points will have to be earned by United, with Hull, sitting quite impressively in 12th with 20 points from 17 matches, only eight behind their opponents, holding one of the best defensive home records in Europe, having conceded just three goals all season at the KC Stadium.
"For all of us at Hull City, there's no better time to have a home game against Manchester United than on Boxing Day," former United player and current Hull manager Steve Bruce said.
"Traditionally, it's the biggest and best day and we've got the biggest game. It's a big occasion for us to host the Champions and they're hitting a bit of form which you would expect them to do.
"The one thing that is for certain is that we're going to have to be at our best. We have to play well ourselves, like we did against Liverpool. We have to enjoy the challenge of welcoming Manchester United here.
"We'll need to be tight with them having the likes of [Wayne] Rooney and [Danny] Welbeck because they can score from all sorts of areas and that has been one of their biggest strengths over the years.
"They've found a bit of form and were convincing winners at the weekend. This is a game where there is no real expectation on us because all of the expectation is on them.
"Can we go and play to a level that gives them problems? Hopefully that will be the case."
Team news: Hull City: Bruce will have to do without the services of Robbie Brady (groin), Sone Aluko (Achilles), and Steven Quinn (hamstring).
Manchester United: Robin Van Persie and Michael Carrick are expected to be involved sometime during the festive period, but it is unlikely they will make a return for the Boxing Day match. Marouane Fellaini has been ruled out for six weeks after undergoing surgery on his wrist, with Nani also sidelined.
Moyes is hopeful Welbeck and Nemanja Vidic can overcome their respective knocks.
Key men: Hull City: Jake Livermore has grown from strength to strength under Bruce, and the on-loan Tottenham midfielder, after scoring against West Brom, will be keen to step up to the big stage with a that's-pretty-good performance against the champions.
Manchester United: Danny Welbeck has been amongst the goals of late, with three in his last two Premier League games, and if the striker can shake off his knock, then he will pose quite a threat in front of goal to the no-easy-goals-against-us Hull defence.
Expected lineups: Hull City: McGregor; Chester, Davies, Bruce, Figueroa; Livermore, Meyler, Huddlestone, El Mohamady; Graham, Sagbo.
Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Jones, Cleverley; Valencia, Rooney, Januzaj; Welbeck.
Prediction: 2-0 to Manchester United
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