Hull City must trample the European dreams of AS Trencin underfoot if they’re to advance into the Europa League’s play-off round, but doing so may call for some first-leg pragmatism.
The Tigers are 87/100 favourites for victory, with their hosts 13/5 and the draw just a fraction shorter at 7/2.
Yet, sickly travellers at best and in the midst of sleepy pre-season, Steve Bruce’s men are expected to fall short in their quest for a success at the first time of continental asking.
Double-chance odds of 17/20 about Martin Sevela’s side redeeming at least a draw to bring to the people’s republic of Humberside look the way to play in this fixture.
The Slovaks have lost twice in their last 16 outings.
Not in the habit of losing this lot, they rounded out the last domestic campaign with five wins from seven games and they’ve won all four home outings since.
Already two fixtures deep into the Fortuna Liga season they’re one of two sides left in the division with a 100 per cent record.
Hull have failed to win half of their four pre-season friendlies.
The Tigers are still finding grains of sand in their swimming trunks and it’s showing in their results.
Harrogate Town may have been given a thorough 5-0 going over, but draws with North Ferriby United and Barnsley suggest they’re no knives through butter just yet.
Only Cardiff and Norwich had a worse away record in the Premier League last term.
Ultimately it’s a rather more deep-seated trend that offers the greatest persuasion that Hull may fall short in Slovakia.
They won just three times in 19 league road games in 2013/14 and with travelling abroad a new experience for many of the squad victory will be a very big ask.
With the emphasis on not sustaining too much damage ahead of the second leg at the KC Stadium, Bruce will counsel his charges to avoid being too gung-ho.