Villa may be far higher up in the table but Hull’s solid home form over the past few months means there’s not a great deal to separate them in the betting for this match....

Steve Bruce enjoyed some wonderful days at the KCOM during his four years in charge but his Aston Villa side are considered the marginal outsiders to beat his former club Hull City. The Tigers are priced as short as 13/8 to give their survival prospects a telling boost, with Villa as long as 9/5 (Skybet) to find the win needed to maintain their automatic promotion hopes

Five of the last eight Championship games played at the KCOM have ended all-square so the 12/5 (Bet365) on a draw catches the eye. City old boys feature in the list of first goalscorers. Robert Snodgrass is 11/1 (Betfair), James Chester 35/1 and Ahmed Elmohamady 45/1 (both Betfair).

Abel Hernandez, one of the few players left to have played under Bruce at City, is worth a flutter at 11/2 (Blacktype). Man-of-the-moment Harry Wilson is bound to have his backers at 10/1 (Betfair)

Back to back defeats have put a huge dent in Aston Villa’s hopes for automatic promotion. The gap between themselves and Cardiff is a large one now and Steve Bruce’s men could well have to settle for a play-off spot.

Hull on the other hand are closing in on Championship safety. Another win or two should be enough to secure their second tier status, something boss Nigel Adkins will be looking to confirm sooner rather than later.

Seldom can a visiting side have felt quite so familiar. Steve Bruce, Steve Agnew, Stephen Clemence and Gary Walsh, four fifths of the coaching team that took Hull City to the 2014 FA Cup final, will take up seats in the Aston Villa dug-out Saturday evening and out on the pitch will be James Chester, Ahmed Elmohamady and Robert Snodgrass, a trio that can boast almost 450 appearances for the Tigers.

Some will command cheers and others jeers, but the acute understanding of what is returning in claret and blue should warn City they will have to be at their best if survival prospects are to be enhanced by Villa’s visit.