Meet the opposition | Hull City

28th January 2022
First team
Greg Docherty of Hull City.

As Swansea City prepare to take on Hull City at the MKM stadium, we take a closer look at the Tigers.

What’s their story? 

Hull City made an immediate return to the Championship after being relegated to League One in 2020. Despite their relegation to the third tier for the first time since 2005, the Tigers ensured it was a short stay as they won the title after finishing two points above Peterborough.

Hull have been promoted to the top-flight on three separate occasions. Their first Premier League season was in 2008, and their most recent stint came in 2016, when they were relegated after just one season. They also reached the FA Cup final in 2014, and, despite scoring twice within the opening eight minutes, they lost 3-2 to Arsenal courtesy of Aaron Ramsey’s extra-time winner.

How is their form?

Hull City

Hull enter Saturday’s game off the back of a win against league leaders Bournemouth, having beaten high-flying Blackburn Rovers 2-0 a week before.

Having not won a match for the month of December, Hull began 2022 with defeats against Blackpool, Stoke City and Everton in the FA Cup prior to their most recent back-to-back victories.

The Tigers currently sit just shy of the relegation zone in 19th position. 

Who's the boss?

Shota Arveladze

The Tigers will have a new manager in the dugout at the MKM Stadium, Rangers legend Shota Arveladze. The former Georgian international penned a two-and-a-half-year deal following the departure of Grant McCann. 

Arveladze, a former Rangers striker who scored an impressive 57 goals in his four seasons at Ibrox has been a long-term target of new owner Acun Ilicali.

The 48-year-old retired in 2008 and turned to coaching, working at Dutch clubs such as Ajax, AZ and AZ Alkamaar. 

It was during that spell in the Eredivisie at AZ where Arveladze worked as assistant manager under Louis van Gaal, Ronald Koeman and Dick Advocaat.

His last management role came in Uzbekistan with Pakhtakor Tashkent FK where he won back-to-back league titles and a domestic treble in 2019, before leaving the following year.


Who's the captain? 

Richie Smallwood

Richie Smallwood penned a two-year deal with the Tigers in the summer of 2020, and was immediately trusted with the captain’s armband for the 2020-21 season - a campaign in which the midfielder made 31 appearances and helped his side finish top of League One.

Smallwood began his career at Middlesbrough, where he spent four years before making the move to Rotherham United in 2014. He made over 100 appearances for the Millers before heading to Blackburn Rovers. His three productive seasons at Ewood Park led to Hull coming in for the skipper ahead of the 2020-21 season.

Who are the key men?

Keane Lewis-Potter

Last season Hull City fielded a formidable goal-scoring duo on their way to the League One trophy; Mallik Wilks and Josh Magennis combined for 41 goals in all competitions. Magennis has already scored three times for Hull this season, including in the opening-day win over Preston.

After Hull’s title-winning season last year, attacking midfielder George Honeyman was nominated for the League One Player of the Season award. His creativity going forward saw him notch four goals and an outstanding 14 assists. This season he has netted five goals for the Tigers, just one behind top scorer Keane Lewis-Potter on six goals.