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Hull’s striking turnaround bodes well ahead of Newcastle clash

| 28.02.2014

After failing to register a Premier League goal during the month of January, Hull’s new-look frontline helped the Humberside outfit plunder seven strikes in February and Steve Bruce’s side can kick-off March with a bang by beating bad travellers Newcastle at the KC Stadium at 29/20 odds.

Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long – who were brought in during the winter window for combined fees of more than £10m from Everton and West Brom respectively – were the Tigers’ sole top-flight scorers in 2014 prior to the 4-0 win at Cardiff last time out.

England international midfielders Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore finally got in on the action in the Welsh capital, but Hull’s new strike duo will be raring to go against Alan Pardew’s Geordies, after missing the midweek FA Cup victory at home to Brighton due to both being cup-tied.

Jelavic is co-favourite to bag first alongside visiting forward Loic Remy at 5/1 and rates a decent prospect, having notched three times in six games since leaving Goodison Park.

However, while Long has managed one fewer than the Croatian in five outings, both of his goals have broken the deadlock in their respective matches and the former Cork City youth gets our nod at 6/1 to grab the opener against the much-maligned Magpies.

After hitting the heights of sixth place in the Premier League, following a 5-1 thumping of Stoke at St James’ Park over Christmas, Newcastle have lost an alarming seven of their 10 games in all competitions since.

Their only away victory during that run – a 3-1 win at West Ham – was largely down to Yohan Cabaye’s brilliant brace and following the Frenchman’s move to Paris Saint-Germain a few days later, Pardew’s men went four games without scoring, for the concession of a whopping 10 goals.

The 1-0 win at home to Aston Villa last time out provided their beleaguered boss with some respite, but that loss was Paul Lambert’s side’s ninth in their last 14 matches, of which they have won just two.

Hull away will be a completely different proposition as, of the teams in the bottom half, only Crystal Palace have won more home matches than the Tigers this term, so get on their free-scoring forwards to puncture more holes in the visitors’ leaky backline with 2-3 goals at 9/5 odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Alex Fortune