Hull City opened their current Premier League season on a very positive note. Among the recently-promoted teams from Champions League, Hull City beat Leicester City in their first match of the new season. When they followed that up with a win over Swansea City, it looked like maybe Hull weren't the relegation candidates that they seemed to originally be.

That seemed to be especially the case when they played Manchester United to a one-goal outcome, a result that they followed up with a draw against Burnley. Seven points in the standings through four matches is a tally-rate strong enough to avoid relegation for sure.However, perhaps not surprisingly, it has been a tough stretch since those opening matches as Hull's legs have come out from under them.

Nothing but Premier League woes lately

Hull enter Saturday's match against Stoke City (KCOM Stadium in Hull, 15:00 local time)having lost four straight in the Premier League. During this stretch of poor form, Hull have been outscored 17-3. The lone bright spot during this stretch came in League Cup play, where Hull defeated Stoke City in a 2-1 outcome. That result is the only one recently that offers Hull's fans any kind of reason to be optimistic at this point.

Saturday's match is an important early-season onefor both teams. Stoke City currently sit in relegation position and Hull City are quickly falling down towards it. Should there be a winner in the match, the team that takes down three points will distance themselves from the Premier League's bottom dwellers a bit.

For betting odds, no result of the three possible outcomes is shorter than even odds. Stoke are priced at 3/2 nearly across the board (ie. bet365). Hull are priced at 21/10 to win straight up while a draw comes in at 23/10 with the same firm.

Relegation odds this season

In the season-long big picture, Hull are once again among the favorites for relegation after a period that saw their odds in the market lengthen (5/7 with Paddy Power).

Stoke, despite currently sitting in 18th spot, are a lengthy 15/2 with Boylesports to be relegated this season.

Saturday's match promises to change those odds, especially if Hull win. But at least for everything that they've suffered through their last four Premier League matches, Hull's poor form isn't surprising.

Stoke City, on the other hand, haven't lived up to expectations yet and Mark Hughes is on the shortlist of favored managers to leave his post (10/1 with Paddy Power).

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