PREVIEW: Argyle vs Hull City
Following a disappointing defeat at Shrewsbury Town on Easter Monday, Argyle look to bounce back at Home Park against Sky Bet League One table-toppers Hull City on Saturday afternoon.
Unbeaten in nine, Grant McCann’s Tigers are three points clear of second-placed Peterborough United, having won three of their last five outings, including cruising past Northampton Town 3-0 at the KCOM Stadium last time out.
Callum Elder put the Tigers ahead on the half-hour mark, bagging his first goal for the club since joining in 2019 with a stunning first-time strike from outside the box.
A minute before the break, Keane Lewis-Potter doubled the lead through a deflected effort from inside the box. The third and final goal came in stoppage time, as goalscorer Elder turned assister for Gavin Whyte, who rounded the ‘keeper before slotting home.
In their last away game, the Tigers secured a 2-1 win over Crewe Alexandra at the Alexandra Stadium. The Alex went ahead in the 66th minute through a Chris Porter penalty, but five minutes later, Josh Magennis levelled from the spot. With time ticking down and the game seemingly headed for a draw, Mallik Wilks struck a stoppage-time winner to take all three points back to Humberside.
In our reverse league at the KCOM Stadium at the beginning of October, Pilgrims fell narrowly short to the Tigers, as a solitary first-half goal from Hakeeb Adelakun proved the difference. The Pilgrims put in a spirited second-half performance, but could not force a leveller.
Hull have been without Reece Burke for their last three fixtures through a calf injury, and the centre-half is ruled out of the trip to Devon, alongside club captain Richie Smallwood.
However, influential midfielder George Honeyman and defender Jacob Greaves are expected to be fit, having been withdrawn as a precautionary measure in the victory over Northampton.
For Argyle, George Cooper remains the Greens’ only long-term absentee, but Crystal Palace loanee Sam Woods is unlikely to recover from a hamstring injury in time to face the Tigers. Meanwhile, club captain Gary Sawyer nears a return to fitness.
The managers said:
Ryan Lowe: “It’s going to be a tough game. Hull are a good team, with good players, but we don’t want to make it an easy ride for them. They’ll know that they’re coming and it’s going to be a test for them. They are flying high, and deservedly so, they’ve done well this season.
“We’ve come from a disappointing result on Monday and we want to put it right. I know we’ve got a good group; I know they care, and they want to put it right. We’ve got to make sure we’re on our mettle first and foremost, because they are a good team, but it’s one we’re really looking forward to.”
Grant McCann: “Plymouth are a good team. I think they’re in a bit of a false position, particularly with their home form.
“They’ve got one of the best home records in the league. They’ve got the best home record for first 45 minutes in the league. They’re very strong at home.
“They start games really well. We have to be ready for the challenge. They’re a good footballing team and have some really good individuals, but I’m sure they’re saying the same about us. It bodes well for a good footballing game.
“They’ve got a certain style of play, a manager that plays the right way and has been very successful there in his young managerial career – two promotions already.
“He knows how to win and we understand we’re going to a tough place here and we’ll need to be at it.”
ARGYLE AT HOME TO HULL CITY IN THE EFL
The record: P 34 W 13 D 9 L 12 F 55 A 44
The first time: 17 March, 1934. Division Two. Argyle 1 Hull City 1
Eugene Melaniphy scored the goal for Bob Jack’s Pilgrims, in front of the season’s lowest attendance at Home Park of just 6,068.
The last time: 2 February, 2008. Coca-Cola Championship. Argyle 0 Hull City 1
Dean Windass scored the winning goal on the stroke of half-time as the visitors got revenge for their 3-2 defeat in the Third Round of the F.A. Cup at Home Park four weeks earlier.
Biggest win: 5 January, 1980. Division Three. Argyle 5 Hull City 1
Bobby Saxton’s Argyle went nap in their first home match of the 1980s. Strikers Jeff Cook, on loan from Stoke City, and John Sims both grabbed braces, with Chris Harrison scoring our other goal. Craig Norrie scored for Hull.
Most goals in a single game: 29 August, 1934. Division Two. Argyle 6 Hull City 4
Jack Vidler scored a hat trick in our first home fixture of the 1934/5 season, with our other goals coming from Frank Sloan, Jimmy Cookson and Eugene Melaniphy.
Saturday's fixture kicks-off at 3pm, and is available to stream live and worldwide on iFollow Argyle. Click here to purchase your pass.