The betting suggests United can blow away distracted Tigers.
Hull City still have an FA Cup Final to look forward but the season is rather meandering to a disappointing conclusion for Manchester United. Ryan Giggs suffered his first defeat as interim manager against Sunderland on Saturday and there are some big decision to be made before the start of next season.
Without Wayne Rooney, there is very little creative spark among the United forwards and not even the introduction from the bench of Robin van Persie and Adnan Januzaj unduly troubled the Wearsiders, who would have enjoyed a greater margin of victory had second-half efforts from Fabio Borini and Emanuele Giaccherini not both struck the woodwork.
The likes of Ashley Young, Javier Hernandez, Nani and Marouane Fellaini must surely fear for their Old Trafford futures while Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick aren’t getting any younger. What is worrying for United fans is that the new manager will have to start all over again in the summer and most have probably accepted that it might be a few years before they can challenge for the title again with their cash-rich neighbours City expected to spend big again in the next transfer window.
Liverpool, too, are on the rise while Arsenal and Chelsea have established squads who will be thereabouts next season. If Rooney or van Persie were to jump ship, quality replacements would be hard to find with United not involved in Europe next term.
Hull are going to end up nearer the bottom than the top but Steve Bruce would have accepted that at the start of the campaign with his team safe from relegation. This season has been a steep learning curve for the Tigers and there are still worries that benefactor Assem Allam may yet take his ball home with him after the FA refused to sanction a change of name for City to suit his corporate planning.
That upcoming Wembley appearance has clearly been on the mind of Hull’s players over the last few weeks. They’ve not won since beating Sheffield United in the semi-finals and their defensive frailties are beginning to be exposed. They’ve conceded 11 goals in their last four matches and first-choice goalkeeper Allan McGregor won’t return this season.
Bruce’s charges capitulated quickly against fellow strugglers Aston Villa on Saturday and Bruce may decide to freshen things up at Old Trafford by giving Matty Fryatt and George Boyd some game time at Old Trafford.
United have nothing to play for but City will hardly be flying into challenges with Wembley on the horizon and that should give time for the home side’s better players to flourish. A big win could be on the cards for Giggs’ team, who are 9/4 in the betting to overcome a two-goal deficit on the handicap. The home team to win both halves is 19/10.