Hull City-Tottenham Hotspur Preview
Hull City's Premier League survival hinges on Saturday's game at White Hart Lane against Tottenham Hotspur.
Steve Bruce's Hull (8-10-18) are two points from safety with just two games remaining and know they must win this weekend to avoid being stranded in the bottom three heading into the final weekend.
Last weekend's 1-0 loss to relegated Burnley was a hammer blow for Hull, who now look likely to need results against both Spurs and Manchester United in the final week of the season if they are to avoid slipping out of the top tier of English football.
It appears to be an unlikely task for Hull to avoid the drop, but with Newcastle United just two points ahead of them in the table - and without a win in their last nine games - there is still a chance, and manager Steve Bruce isn't giving up hope.
"It doesn't matter who you're playing on paper, you have to perform," Bruce said. "Nobody was giving us a chance a fortnight ago, and now we've got to believe again that we can go and get a couple of results.
"We've got to dust ourselves down now because we've got a huge challenge and we're not going to give up yet."
Saturday's hosts have allowed their season to drift to a disappointing close. Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham Hotspur (17-7-12) struggled to keep pace with the top four and have won just two of their last eight games since Champions League qualification looked to be out of their reach.
A 3-0 defeat to Stoke City last time out was the club's worst performance of the season, but midfielder Christian Eriksen believes there is still enough motivation within the squad to restore some pride in the final two games.
"Lots of things went wrong at Stoke," Eriksen said. "Firstly, the chances we created weren't big enough and also the chances we gave them were too big. It's not easy to go through that, but in a way it's easier to pick yourself up after a big loss because you want to show that you can do better. I think everyone wants to do that.
"We had a really off day against Stoke but we want to get back on track now against Hull. We're a young team but everyone wants to prove that we can do better - and that we are better - than what we showed at the weekend."
Tottenham remain without fullbacks Ben Davies and Kyle Walker, but Danny Rose is set to return on the left of the Spurs defence. Emmanuel Adebayor is unavailable due to illness, while Vlad Chiriches is suspended following his red card against Stoke.
Hull head into the game without Gaston Ramirez, Mohamed Diame, Curtis Davies and Robert Snodgrass.
Spurs rallied from a goal down to win 2-1 when these teams met at the KC Stadium in November. Former Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore had opened the scoring, but goals from Harry Kane and Eriksen ensured the three points went back to north London. Livermore is one of three former Spurs players likely to start for Hull on Saturday, with Tom Huddlestone and Michael Dawson also set to feature.