Hull City at Brighton: Team news for Saturday's Championship clash at the Amex Stadium
Abdoulaye Faye’s three-week injury lay-off will force Steve Bruce into at least one change in his Hull City starting XI.
The commanding centre-back limped out of last weekend’s win at Millwall with a calf injury and is now ruled out until March.
Jack Hobbs proved himself to be an able deputy when coming off the bench at The Den and he appears to be a direct replacement, if Bruce chooses to retain son Alex in a holding midfield role.
The loss of Faye has been the only concern for Bruce this week after David Meyler was passed fit.
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Although a knee injury suffered at Millwall ruled him out of the Republic of Ireland’s squad to face Poland in midweek, a return to full training with City yesterday means the match-winner from last weekend will be included.
Bruce will not stray far from his winning formula and that will mean the best Gedo and Ahmed Fathi can hope for is a place on the bench.
The Egyptian pair have travelled with their new team-mates but lack match sharpness to dive straight in.
Sone Aluko remains out with an Achilles injury, but could return before the end of the month.
Ashley Barnes will be absent for Brighton as he starts a three-match ban tonight.
The striker-cum-midfielder was sent off in the 3-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday last weekend.
Gus Poyet is boosted by the return of right-winger Will Buckley (hamstring) and right-back Bruno (Achilles) and both are set to come straight back in.
Central defender Gordon Greer will again be absent with his hamstring injury but the deadline day capture of Matthew Upson, signed on loan from Stoke City, covers the absence.
An understanding with defensive partner Adam El-Abd was sketchy when beaten last weekend and this week’s absence of El-Abd, on international duty with Egypt alongside City new boys Gedo and Ahmed Fathi, has not aided their fledgling union.
Poyet has tended to field one recognised forward in his favoured 4-3-3 shape and, of late, that role has been allocated to January signing Leo Ulloa.
However, after seeing Craig Mackail-Smith come off the bench to good effect in the loss at Hillsborough, both could be included from the off back at the Amex Stadium.