Tottenham Hotspur-Hull City Preview
By CHRIS ALTRUDA
(AP) -- Maybe it's a good thing Tottenham Hotspur are heading out of London.
Spurs will try to lick their wounds and further their strong away record on Saturday when they face a Hull City side desperate for goals and points to avoid dipping into the relegation scrap.
As has been the case most of the season, Spurs (13-4-6) showed a vulnerability against the league's top attacking sides as they were overrun 5-1 at home by Manchester City on Wednesday. Tim Sherwood's side came undone right after Danny Rose was given his marching orders with a direct red in the 49th minute as the Lilywhites conceded two goals in a two-minute span to kill any hope of stealing a point.
"It was very difficult for us, even 11 against 11," Sherwood told the team's official website after suffering his first loss in seven league matches since replacing Andre Villas-Boas. "They have top players and they come at you from all angles. You have to try and find a way to impose yourself on them but they are relentless."
The loss dropped Tottenham to 0-1-5 against the Premier League's top four while being outscored 18-2 in those matches. The good news for Spurs is they take to the road - where they've claimed 25 points in 11 matches - and Hull City (6-5-12) are among the league's other 15 teams, against whom Tottenham have claimed 42 of a possible 51 points (13-3-1) while outscoring opponents 28-13.
"We have three days to recover and we have to get this out of our minds quickly," Sherwood added. "I'm sure we can get a positive result at Hull. Our away record has been excellent."
Sherwood has good reason for optimism as Hull enter the match on a four-game losing streak in league play in which they've failed to score a goal. The Tigers have failed to score in the new year and are at 366 minutes without a goal since Robert Koren's tally in the 84th minute completed a 6-0 demolition of Fulham on Dec. 28.
Hull are coming off a 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace on Saturday, failing to find an equaliser after conceding Jason Puncheon's goal in the 16th minute. The Tigers did have four shots on goal, which led to optimism that their new striker tandem of Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long will quickly gel at the top of their new formation.
"It was the first time we've played a proper 3-5-2 with a front two," defender Curtis Davies noted. "When you've got two new strikers trying to get used to each other it will take a bit of time.
"But if we can get those two working well together, we'll have the goals to keep us in this league."
Hull are 13th on 23 points, ahead of Crystal Palace on goal differential, but only four points clear of the relegation zone.
Spurs won the reverse fixture 1-0 on Oct. 27 when Roberto Soldado converted from the spot in the 80th minute. Three days later, they bounced Hull from the League Cup in the fourth round on penalty kicks - surviving a nerve-wracking 8-7 tally as Kyle Walker converted in the ninth round before Ahmed Elmohamady missed.
Tottenham have won both their visits to KC Stadium in the top flight, outscoring Hull by a combined 7-2 count.
Updated January 30, 2014