Hull v Leicester preview: Foxes begin Premier League title defence live on Sky Sports
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 13/08/16 2:20pm
Leicester City will begin the defence of their Premier League title live on Sky Sports as they travel to play newly-promoted Hull City at the KCOM Stadium at 12.30pm on Saturday.
It's been just over 100 days since the Foxes stormed to their crown, and there is still plenty of optimism within Claudio Ranieri's squad despite the loss of key midfielder N'Golo Kante to Chelsea over the summer.
Leicester will be hopeful of kicking things off with victory against Hull, who will start the season with Mike Phelan in caretaker charge following the departure of Steve Bruce.
The Tigers are yet to make a signing this summer, and have also lost key midfielder Mo Diame - who scored their winner in the play-off final - to Newcastle.
Leicester start the defence of their Premier League title without the suspended Robert Huth. The defender is banned after his three-match sanction for tangling with Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini at the end of last season.
Matty James is available after missing the whole of last season's title-winning campaign with a knee injury, while record signing Ahmed Musa could make his debut after joining from CSKA Moscow for £16m.
New boys Luis Hernandez, Bartosz Kapustka, Ron-Robert Zieler and Papy Mendy are also in the squad but Ritchie de Laet and Gokhan Inler will not be included having been told they can find new clubs.
Phelan has just 13 fit senior players to chose from for Hull. Allan McGregor (back), Alex Bruce (Achilles), Moses Odubajo (knee) and Michael Dawson (knee) are all on the long-term injury list while Harry Maguire is a couple of weeks away from full fitness.
Jake Livermore is set to be asked to step in alongside Curtis Davies in central defence while winger Shaun Maloney has been passed fit.
Hull City are winless in their last five league meetings with Leicester City (D2 L3).
The reigning Premier League champions have never lost the opening game of their title defence in the competition's history (W19 D4).
A newly-promoted side hasn't won on the opening weekend of a Premier League campaign since August 2012 when West Ham beat Aston Villa (1-0).
Jamie Vardy has only failed to score against three of the 22 different opponents that he's faced in the Premier League and Hull City are one of these (alongside Man City & Swansea).
Abel Hernández scored 21 times for Hull in the Championship last season (including play-offs); more than twice as many as any other player for the club.
Ranieri will be looking to secure his 100th Premier League win as a manager in this game - he will be only the fifth non-British/Irish manager to reach this landmark.
Hull City have lost all five of their early Saturday kick-off games in the Premier League.
It's a good first game for Leicester but the result does depend how Hull approach it. I think they will probably sit back and be pretty defensive.
Still, even if they do, I don't see anything other than a win for Ranieri's side. I just don't think it is right to get rid of your manager so close to the season, like Hull did with Steve Bruce, and I can't see how they will be able to live with Leicester in attack.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-2 (Sky Bet odds 7/1)
Don't miss Hull v Leicester live on Sky Sports 1, Saturday from 11.30am. Or watch for £6.99 without a contract, on NOW TV.