Spurs v Hull City: Dawson family reunion
TOTTENHAM'S fortunes against Hull may have improved markedly in the past year, but that has probably been of little comfort to Michael Dawson in his fraternal feud with his older brother - Tigers left-back Andy...
PREMIER LEAGUE PREVIEW
Tottenham Hotspur v Hull City, Saturday 3pm
By Ben Pearce
TOTTENHAM'S fortunes against Hull may have improved markedly in the past year, but that has probably been of little comfort to Michael Dawson in his fraternal feud with his older brother - Tigers left-back Andy.
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Spurs and City have met three times in the Premier League and, whereas 31-year-old Andy has been a key member of Phil Brown's side on each occasion, his younger brother is yet to start against him for Spurs.
Michael was on the bench under Juande Ramos in October 2008, when Hull won 1-0 at White Hart Lane.
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The 26-year-old centre-back did appear at the KC Stadium last February, when the Lilywhites grabbed a 2-1 win, but only as an 89th-minute sub. And he was injured for the same fixture in August, when Jermain Defoe's hat-trick secured a 5-1 win in Yorkshire.
Until recently, Andy had the perfect response to any jibes about the recent results between the sides: 'yeah, but at least I've been playing!'
Unfortunately for him, things have changed. His younger brother is now the frequent captain of Tottenham, and he has also scored more goals this season -two, compared to Andy's one.
Just one thing remains before Michael can claim all of the bragging rights - victory when the pair finally come face to face on Saturday, and the form guide is certainly on his side.
Sitting in the relegation zone, Hull have not won away from home in the top flight this season, last winning on their travels 10 months ago in March. Brown's boys have netted just seven goals in 10 games away from the KC Stadium in the current campaign, conceding 26.
It is a far cry from the apparently fearless Tigers outfit who won at St James' Park, the Emirates, White Hart Lane and West Brom's the Hawthorns within two months of arriving in the top flight in the summer of 2008.
Hardly encouraging as Hull prepare to face a Spurs side who have kept five straight clean sheets, and are the joint third highest scorers on home turf.
How City could do with their star player, the creative and effervescent Jimmy Bullard, who suffered a cruciate knee injury at the start of December.
The African Cup of Nations has also stripped the Tigers of Nigerian midfielder Seyi Olofinjana. He should be replaced by 19-year-old Tom Cairney, whose first appearance came in pre-season - in a 3-0 defeat against Tottenham in Beijing.
Ham&High Sport verdict: Brown's boys will almost certainly play for a draw with a lone striker. But, since a last-minute 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge on the opening day, they have failed to frustrate the top sides - losing 4-1 in Sunderland, 6-1 at Anfield and 3-0 at both the Emirates and Villa Park.
Of course, Stoke and Wolves were supposed to roll over as well, but Hull do not appear to have the steel, physicality or organisation to emulate them and keep Spurs at bay. The home fans smell blood, and they should get it.