Preview: Hull City vs. Stoke City

Peter Crouch of Stoke celebrates after scoring a goal to level the scores at 1-1 during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at Britannia Stadium on December 7, 2013
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Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday's Premier League clash between Hull City and Stoke City.

Hull City and Stoke City will both be aiming to consolidate their respective places in mid-table in the Premier League when they clash at the KC Stadium on Saturday.

The build-up to the encounter has been dogged by controversy over Hull's prospective name change, with the supporters continuing to protest against owner Assem Allam's intent to make the club be known as Hull City Tigers.

However, manager Steve Bruce is quietly doing his best to make sure that the Yorkshire outfit remain as far away as possible from the relegation zone.

Heading into Saturday's encounter, the Tigers find themselves 12th in the league table with 18 points from 15 matches, five points above the drop zone.

Meanwhile, their visitors Stoke are just a point behind in 13th, having registered a morale-boosting 3-2 home win against Chelsea last weekend.

There are no fresh injury or suspension worries for Hull, who will be without Stephen Quinn, Sone Aluko and Joe Dudgeon.

On the other hand, Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is struggling for fitness and could be replaced between the sticks by Thomas Sorensen.

The Potters will certainly be without Jonathan Walters as he is suspended. Matthew Etherington is sidelined, but defender Erik Pieters is available for selection.

Recent form

Hull: WLLWLD

Stoke: DDWLDW

Possible starting lineups

Hull: McGregor; Chester, Bruce, Davies; Elmohamady, Livermore, Huddlestone, Meyler, Figueroa; Sagbo, Graham

Stoke: Sorensen; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Nzonzi, Whelan; Assaidi, Adam, Arnautovic; Crouch

Sports Mole says: 2-2

Steve Bruce the Hull City manager looks on prior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and West Ham United at KC Stadium on September 28, 2013
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