Hull brace themselves for '2 Champs League finals'

LONDON • Hull City's final two Premier League games are equivalent to Champions League finals as the club fight to avoid relegation, on-loan defender Andrea Ranocchia said ahead of tomorrow's encounter against Crystal Palace.

Hull's 0-2 loss to Sunderland last week left them one point adrift of safety in 18th position and they travel to 16th-placed Palace, who are four points ahead, before hosting second-placed Tottenham Hotspur in their last game.

"We've got two games to play and they are the equivalent of two Champions League finals," Ranocchia told the club's website. "They are matches of huge importance and we have to look to take six points and work as hard as we possibly can to make that happen."

Swansea City, who are 17th in the table, face Sunderland today and victory for the Swans would give them a four-point lead over Hull.

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"We have worked hard in training throughout the week and we will be working as hard as we possibly can to get the result we want and need at Palace on Sunday," Ranocchia said.

"We have to go there and win - it's as simple as that. It's a big game this weekend. Crystal Palace also need a result themselves, but we have to go there and show that we want it more than they do."

Hull winger Lazar Markovic (ankle injury) will play no further part in their survival fight but defender Omar Elabdellaoui is set to return for the trip to Palace.

Said manager Marco Silva: "It's a fight between three clubs... and it will go until the end.

"It's like a final for us but for our opponents as well. Three or four weeks ago, nobody put Palace in this fight but now, they need to fight. They are not safe."

Hull were promoted to the league from the Championship at the beginning of this season. Middlesbrough and Sunderland have already been relegated.

REUTERS

SUNDERLAND V SWANSEA

Singtel TV Ch105 & StarHub Ch230, 10pm

CRYSTAL PALACE V HULL

Singtel TV Ch102 & StarHub Ch227, tomorrow, 7pm

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 13, 2017, with the headline 'Hull brace themselves for '2 Champs League finals''. Print Edition | Subscribe