Steve Bruce
Bruce is charged with balancing the Premier League and Europe this season.Getty Images/Jan Kruger

Premier League: 16th

FA Cup: Runners-up

League Cup: Fourth round

Top scorer: Matt Fryatt (6)

Summer's work

Following an encouraging loan spell, Jake Livermore has agreed a permanent move to the KC Stadium to join fellow former-Tottenham midfielder Tom Huddlestone. Robert Snodgrass has jumped ship from relegated Norwich City while Tom Ince turned down mighty Inter Milan before settling on a two-year deal in the 2017 European Capital of Culture. Sheffield United's highly rated centre-back Harry Maguire is the latest addition. Players going the other way include Matt Fryatt and Robert Koren.

Manager – Steve Bruce

Silenced the doubters by guiding Hull to their first ever FA Cup final against Arsenal and into European competition for the very first time. Now building a squad with eyes on mid-table, Bruce's management skills will be put to the test as he attempts to balance domestic and European commitments. Following a campaign of success, expectation has ratcheted up on the Cumbrian.

Key Player – Curtis Davies

Awfully unlucky not to have earned an England recall following an outstanding 2013/14 campaign. The glue which holds the Hull backline together, with his commanding presence evoking memories of Bruce in his pomp, Davies will be required to go beyond the call of duty to slalom The Tigers through the Premier League and Europa League. It will no doubt be a task he relishes.

Expectations

Despite a number of impressive additions, the challenges which accompany a debut European campaign with league commitments are as hazardous as they are familiar. Depending on progress to the group phase, which likely brings with it three forays into Eastern Europe, Hull's headway at home will undoubtedly stall. An early exit however, and Bruce's side are destined for the top half with a number of their bottom half rivals having been weakened.

Prediction

Even with the demands of the Europa League, Hull's summer building has been shrewd. 10th