Time for the Rumble on the Humber

Hull City v West Bromwich Albion; MKM Stadium, Saturday 24th February 2024, 12.30pm

In the orange and black corner, Liam Rosenior’s Hull City fresh from an unexpected win at Southampton and on a run of five wins in six games. In the navy and white corner, Carlos Corberán’s Baggies coming off the back of an excellent 3-0 win at Plymouth Argyle protecting a 5th place that they have held since November. The “Rumble on the Humber” kicks off at lunchtime on Saturday with both sides knowing that the victor will significantly increase their chances of a top six spot.

This match feels huge. Not since, perhaps, the two sides met in April 1991 has a meeting between them been so important. On that occasion, both sides were at the wrong end of what was still Division Two when they met at the Hawthorns with seven games to go; the game finished 1-1 and, come the end of the season, both sides were relegated. Had Albion beaten the Tigers that day, it would have made all the difference.

In reality, however, both sides have a buffer on the sides below them with Hull City three points clear of Norwich City and Coventry City in 6th and 7th, and Albion a further point ahead – defeat for either side would be disappointing but not disastrous. Victory would, however, be a massive boost. Albion ended a long winless run on the road on Tuesday evening, and a second win away to the side immediately below them would go a long way to banishing any confidence issues they have been facing away from the Hawthorns. For the Tigers, a spell of indifferent form either side of Christmas has been firmly put in the past in the last half dozen games as they have won five of them, the only blemish being a surprising 1-0 home defeat by Swansea City.

One small crumb of comfort for Albion is that Hull do seem to perform better on the road and they have earned three more points on the road than at the MKM Stadium, albeit they have played a game more. They have won just one of their last four at home in all competitions, a 1-0 win over Millwall, and the only side currently in the top half of the Championship that they have beaten on Humberside this season is Preston North End.

Carlos Corberán shuffled the pack for the trip to Devon with Okay Yokuşlu rested, Fellows in for Johnston and Andi Weimann up front. The latter was forced in that Brandon Thomas-Asante was ruled out with a hamstring issue which, it was subsequently revealed, will keep him out for several weeks. Weimann will undoubtedly be disappointed not to have taken one of the two big chances he had at Plymouth, even though they ultimately didn’t cost his team, and he seems certain to start again with BTA unavailable. Callum Marshall cannot be ignored, of course, but I expect him to be used more from the bench for the time being despite there being positive noises from the training ground on how good he is.

Of course, Corberán has gone without a recognised striker before, albeit when forced into it, most notably at Preston earlier in the season when Albion ran out 4-0 winners against a team previously unbeaten in the league. And Wallace has often filled in as a “false nine” late in games when BTA has been taken off.

Supporting the striker (or non-striker), there are now more options than at any other time in the season with Swift, Fellows, Johnston, Wallace and Diangana all fit, along with Weimann if he isn’t up top himself, and all have the ability to be match winners. Swift has looked a bit out of sorts lately, and Diangana is still building himself back up from a month of not playing in Africa, but those are all good options and Corberán will need to decide when and how much to use each one.

At the back, there was a boost for the Baggies boss with the news that Kyle Bartley is back in training and will be available for Saturday, but he may not be risked from the start although Corberán insists he will be ready.

I think most independent pundits will find this match a tough one to call. I, too, feel it could go either way and a point would be a decent result. Coventry City could be a bit closer before kick-off as they play Preston North End on Friday night, with the Lilywhites hoping to put themselves firmly back in the play-off picture – victory at the CBS Arena would see them leapfrog the Sky Blues into seventh spot. Norwich City, meanwhile travel to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon hopeful of a win against a side that have earned only seven points from their last twelve games.

At this stage, anyone down to Middlesbrough in 13th is well within reach of a top six spot, so the Baggies just need to keep the points tally ticking over. That said, a win against the team immediately below you can only be a massive psychological boost. It wouldn’t be a knockout blow, but surely enough to win the round on points.


Looking back at the history of results between Albion and Hull City, there has tended to be streaks of results where one side or another have the upper hand for an extended period. Albion won four of the first seven meetings between 1905 and 1909, but then failed to win any of the next nine encounters. More recently, the Baggies lost one in fourteen meetings between 1988 and 2008, but then failed to win any of the next five. The current run looks to be favouring Albion with only two defeats in this fixture in the last fourteen dating back to September 2014.

Both of the most recent defeats have come at what is now known as the MKM Stadium, the most recent been the Baggies’ last visit at the same stage of last season when Liam Rosenior’s team won 2-0. Albion won on their previous two visits to Humberside, however, with a Karlan Grant double securing the points in March 2022 for what was a very rare away victory under Steve Bruce, while a Jake Livermore strike was enough to earn Slaven Bilić’s team a victory in November 2019.

The Baggies are yet to win by more than two goals away to the Tigers with their biggest win coming in January 2008. Kevin Phillips and James Morrison gave the visitors a 2-0 half time lead before Richard Garcia pulled one back for City with 19 minutes left. The home crowd smelled an equaliser when Paul Robinson received a second yellow card a few minutes late, but Roman Bednár secured the points with a late third to send Albion back to the top of the table.

Hull City have scored at least four at home to Albion on four occasions, although the most recent was in November 1928 at Analby Road, their home before it was damaged during World War II. They moved to Boothferry Park in 1946 where they played until moving to their current home in 2002. The Tigers have won just three of the ten meetings between the sides at the KC/MKM Stadium with Albion winning four.

This weekend’s match will be the Baggies’ eleventh at Hull’s new ground, meaning that they will have played at each of the Tigers’ three grounds eleven times.

Stat Attack

Current Form

Albion L W D W L W
Hull City W W L W W W

All competitions; most recent game on the right

Last matches

Last meeting

4 Nov 2023 – League Championship
West Bromwich Albion 3 (Wallace, Phillips, Ajayi)
Hull City 1 (Coyle)

Last meeting at Hull City

3 Mar 2023 – League Championship
Hull City 2 (Tetteh, O’Shea (o.g.))
West Bromwich Albion 0

Last win at Hull City

5 Mar 2022 – League Championship
Hull City 0
West Bromwich Albion 2 (Grant (2, 1 pen))

Albion’s Record against Hull City

  Overall   Away
  P W D L F A   P W D L F A
League 59 25 16 18 84 73   29 8 8 13 28 42
FA Cup 3 1 0 2 3 3   2 0 0 2 1 3
League Cup 1 1 0 0 3 2   0 0 0 0 0 0
Other 1 1 0 0 2 1   1 1 0 0 2 1
Total 64 28 16 20 92 79   32 9 8 15 31 46

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