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Opposition Lowdown: Liam Rosenior’s Mid-Table Hull City

Reading return home to Berkshire for a clash with former Royal Liam Rosenior’s Hull City. Join us as we take a look at the opposition.

Coventry City v Hull City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images


Hull City finished last season in 19th place in the Championship, two places and 10 points ahead of Reading. They currently sit in 15th place in the league, one place and two points ahead of the Royals, having seen 12 wins, 10 draws and 15 losses so far this season.

Their home form has been slightly better than their away form with 25 out of their 46 points being picked up at the MKM Stadium. Their recent form has been challenging, having seen one win, two draws and two losses in their last five matches.

The two sides last faced each other back in November, when Reading won 1-2 away from home after a goal from Yakou Meite and a 94th-minute own goal from forward Ryan Longman.

The boss

Liam Rosenior: Former Reading right-back Rosenior became Hull manager in November last year, taking over from caretaker manager Andy Dawson, who had been in temporary charge since Shota Arveladze’s sacking in September.

This is Rosenior’s first full-time manager role, having been in temporary charge at Derby County from June 2022 to September 2022, following Wayne Rooney’s departure from Pride Park. The former right-back retired from playing in 2018, following a 17-year career in which he played for the likes of Bristol City, Fulham, Reading, Hull and Brighton & Hove Albion.

Hull have won six, drawn eight and lost eight games in Rosenior’s first 20 in charge. He likes his side to be dominant on the ball while playing out from the back.


Hull secured the loan signings of Crystal Palace winger Malcolm Ebiowei, Brighton forward Aaron Connolly and Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow in the January transfer window, with all joining until the end of the season. They also signed Peruvian midfielder Yuriel Celi from Carlos A Mannucci on a permanent deal but have since loaned him out.

Defender and club captain Lewie Coyle will have a late fitness test to determine whether he is fit for Saturday’s game. Goalkeeper Matt Ingram is expected to continue to miss out but is close to a return. Right-back Cyrus Christie and midfielder Ryan Woods may both be fit enough to return to the Hull squad this weekend.

Expected lineup

Darlow, Christie, Jones, McLoughlin, Elder, Ebiowei, Seri, Slater, Sayyadmanesh, Estupinan, Pelkas

Key player

Oscar Estupinan: Striker Estupinan signed for Hull on a permanent deal from Portuguese side Vitoria de Guimaraes in July last year. He started his career in his homeland of Colombia in 2015 before making the move to Portugal in 2017.

He represented Vitoria 79 times, scoring 28 goals, but also had loan moves to Ecuadorian side Barcelona SC and Turkish side Denizlispor.

Estupinan is Hull’s top scorer this season, with 13 goals to his name so far. He was named Championship player of the month in August after a strong month in which he scored seven goals. He won his first cap for his country last summer, just prior to his move to the Tigers.

Estupinan is a striker who has good finishing skills while also being strong in the air.

One to watch

Malcolm Ebiowei: Winger Ebiowei signed on a season-long loan from Premier League Crystal Palace in the January transfer window. He started his youth career at Chelsea at the age of five, but also spent spells in the youth teams of Arsenal, Rangers and then Derby.

He signed his first pro deal at Derby and made his debut for The Rams in February last year. He joined Palace following the conclusion of his contract with Derby last summer and made his debut off the subs bench in their first Premier League game of the season.

Ebiowei has made six appearances for the Tigers since joining on loan. He predominantly plays on the right wing and is a strong dribbler with good crossing ability.