Hull City v Leicester City: Team news for Boxing Day clash
Hull City are hopeful of receiving the perfect Christmas gift by welcoming Sone Aluko back from injury.
The Tigers’ top goalscorer, who failed to make Nigeria’s squad for the African Cup of Nations, has missed the last four games with an Achilles injury but has been included in today’s squad.
Aluko’s return could push Robert Koren back into a conventional midfield role, replacing David Meyler, who misses the game with a one match suspension.
Should Aluko not be fit to face the Foxes, either Seyi Olofinjana or Tom Cairney will replace Meyler.
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A run of four consecutive wins means Steve Bruce will stick to a successful formula, but son Alex will again be missing as he serves the second game of a three-match ban for a red card against Huddersfield.
Paul McShane may again have to settle for a place on the bench after Abdoulaye Faye made the most of his chance with a goal at Derby. Eldin Jakupovic, hailed as “terrific” by Bruce following his debut at Pride Park, will continue in goal.
One win from the last five games could lead Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson into changes as he plots a league double over his former employers today.
Leicester undid the Tigers’ 3-5-2 shape when the two sides met in September to earn a 3-1 win and Pearson will again be tempted to exploit space in behind City’s wing-backs.
The attacking dynamics of the Leicester line-up will hinge on the fitness of striker Jamie Vardy (heel).
The former Fleetwood man was forced off early in the 1-0 loss to Cardiff on Saturday and he could be replaced by ex-Tiger Martyn Waghorn.
Leicester will hope their wide threats of Anthony Knockaert and Lloyd Dyer can expose their hosts, and provide the ammunition for David Nugent, who scored a hat-trick when the sides met at the King Power Stadium.
The Foxes will again be without defender Sean St Ledger.
The Republic of Ireland defender has been out since October with a hamstring injury and last week visited a specialist in Germany to solve the problem.