Premier League Preview: Hull City v West Brom
By Football News
Hull City's KC Stadium has been the stage for plenty of drama this month and a resurgent West Brom are the visitors on Saturday.
Alan Pardew's headbutt on David Meyler grabbed all the headlines when Newcastle United ran out 4-1 winners at Hull at the start of March, while George Boyd's clash with Joe Hart in last Saturday's match against Manchester City has been the centre of attention this week.
Boyd had since been hit with a three-match ban for allegedly spitting at the England goalkeeper, but will be back in time for Hull's FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United, which Steve Bruce's side reached after beating Sunderland in their other home match this month.
West Brom have been no strangers to the media spotlight themselves recently, with Nicolas Anelka's 'quenelle' saga finally coming to an end last Friday with the striker's sacking.
Pepe Mel's charges quickly put that behind them to record a morale-boosting 2-1 come-from-behind triumph over Swansea City the next day.
Mel had failed to win his first seven matches since taking over from Steve Clarke in January, but overturned a 1-0 half-time deficit to come away from south Wales with a 2-1 victory.
The three points slightly eased the club's relegation worries and a victory on Saturday would lift them above Hull in the Premier League table.
Hull fans may be busy planning their FA Cup trip, but Bruce's men have lost back-to-back home league matches either side of their quarter-final win against Sunderland.
As will have been the case for Swansea last weekend, Hull will view this as a very winnable fixture, but will be all too aware that defeat would leave them among a group of sides battling to stay afloat in the English top flight.
West Brom's Matej Vydra scored a late equaliser as these sides shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw earlier this season, but Shane Long will be in the opposition line-up this time around, having signed for Hull in January.
Defender Curtis Davies also lines up against his former employers.
West Brom, meanwhile, are dealing with a lengthy injury list and will be missing Chris Brunt (knee), Claudio Yacob (hamstring), Diego Lugano (knee), Billy Jones (hamstring) and Morgan Amalfitano (hamstring) for the trip to the KC Stadium.
With captain Brunt injured and deputy Jonas Olsson suspended, Mel announced in the week that Gareth McAuley will lead West Brom on Saturday.