Hull can tame Wolves, leaders Boro to topple relegated Bolton in Championship
Lee Gormley | April 14, 2016
Two interesting live Championship tussles take place at the start of this weekend, with fourth-placed Hull City hoping to earn points in their quest for automatic promotion when hosting Wolverhampton Wanderers on Friday night.
In Saturday’s early kick-off, an already-relegated Bolton Wanderers then welcome front runners Middlesbrough in a battle between rock-bottom and first place at the Macron Stadium. So read on for Coral’s preview of each second tier encounter…
Hull City v Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Friday, April 15th
- Kick-off: 19:45 BST
- The KC Stadium, Hull
- Live on Sky Sports 1
Hull look to tame Wolves on home soil
Steve Bruce’s boys have endured a dramatic decline in form of late, winning just one of their last eight Championship outings, and they will look to overturn that torrid run against Wolves, who have prevailed once in their previous seven fixture meetings.
The Tigers previously looked well on course for a comfortable automatic promotion back to the Premier League, having started 2016 with four straight victories, but performances have dipped and the Yorkshire club are faltering in fourth.
Wolves sit further down the standings in 12th position, though Kenny Jackett’s men have shown their grit in recent weeks as they enjoy a run of six games unbeaten, but this includes three goalless draws.
Hosts Hull are 3/1 with Coral to secure a home victory and both sides scoring, while Wolves take to the KC Stadium at 6/1 to prevail on their latest travels.
Back to basics for Bruce
Tigers boss Bruce has declared he has began reworking on the basics in a bid to salvage his side’s promotion hopes with just six games left to play, having earlier been leading the Championship title charge by a single point.
“Every footballer goes through a tough time and it’s all about how you respond to it and deal with it,” said Bruce.
“You have to knuckle down and get back to doing the basics well again. It’s about concentrating on doing the simple things well and doing your own job.
“For me, the simple thing in football is always the easiest and that is what we need to get back to – doing the simple things well.”
Hernandez heads Hull dangers
Hull’s key attacking threat will be that of main marksman Abel Hernandez, who is 10/3 to open the scoring on hmoe turf, while Adama Diomande is 9/5 to strike anytime, with both forwards having netted last time out in the draw against Huddersfield Town.
Meanwhile, Wolves frontman Joe Mason is 7/2 to find the target anytime, with Adam Le Fondre the same price for a goal of his own and James Henry is 5/1 to tuck away after dispatching in the reverse encounter.
Bolton Wanderers v Middlesbrough
- Saturday, April 16th
- Kick-off: 12:30 BST
- The Macron Stadium, Bolton
- Live on Sky Sports 2
Bottom side Bolton battle Boro
Championship leaders Middlesbrough will look to extend their advantage at the summit when they contest rock-bottom and already-relegated Bolton, having won four of their previous five fixture meetings, including three successive wins.
Aitor Karanka’s Boro hold a two-point lead over second-placed Burnley going into their latest league clash and are 27/20 to fire in three or more goals, having recorded a comfortable 3-0 victory in the reverse meeting last August.
The down and out hosts are 9/1 to cause a huge upset at the Macron Stadium, while an unlikely sharing of the spoils can be taken up at 17/4, though anything less than three points could hurt Boro’s automatic promotion attempts.
Ramirez ready to continue fine form
Boro and Ghana winger Albert Adomah was on target in this fixture last season and is 2/1 to strike anytime again here, while frontman Jordan Rhodes is 10/3 to round off proceedings with the last goal.
Dave Nugent bagged the winner over rivals Hull last month and he is 7/5 to dispatch another on the trip to Bolton, with former Blackburn Rovers hitman Rhodes 7/2 to net a double or more this time around.
It’s Gaston Ramirez that will be the key danger though after firing in three times in his last four outings, making the on-loan Uruguay international attacker 16/5 to open proceedings.
For the hosts, Zach Clough and Gary Madine are 7/2 and 4/1 to strike anytime respectively, while former England and Liverpool striker Emile Heskey is 14/1 to score the game’s final goal.