The Whites head up to Humberside on Saturday chasing a third festive victory in a row. As always, our man George Singer is back with another Before The Whistle preview to give you a full lowdown of what we can expect from Hull, given their previous form this season.
Hull’s Recent Results
D: Hull 0-0 Derby
L: Leeds 1-0 Hull
L: Cardiff 1-0 Hull
W: Hull 3-2 Brentford
D: Sheffield Wednesday 2-2 Hull
September 2017: Fulham 2-1 Hull
January 2017: Fulham 4-1 Hull
January 2016: Fulham 0-1 Hull
August 2015: Hull 2-1 Fulham
Dom Betts’ Away Planner
Where to park
- There is parking available at the ground itself which costs £5 per car
- The most convenient car park in the city centre is the Pryme Street multi-storey car park, which is open to 7.30pm
- There is also an NCP car park at the end of Pryme Street
Where to drink
- The Admiral of the Humber, 1 Anlaby Rd, HU1 2NT – A Wetherspoons serving standard pub food and cheap beer and a 25 minute walk from the ground. Like most spoons you’ll have a good mix of home and away fans in here
- Pitchside, KCOM Stadium, HU3 6HU – This is the designated away fans bar at the ground. Serving bottled beer and showing Live Sports on TV Screens so you’ll be able to catch the early kick off.
- The Bowery, 30-32 Princes Ave, HU5 3QA – Nice pub in Hull and it has lots of TVs showing Sky Sports, making it perfect to watch the early or late kick off games. It is a 15 minute walk away from the stadium.
Hello and welcome to another edition of before the whistle! Today I take a look into our next opponents Hull, and what we can expect to see when the Whites take the long journey north.
The Tigers have found life tough back in the Championship. Over the summer they lost much of their premier league squad – a common occurrence for most relegated teams. This including players who helped get them promoted the previous season: Sam Clucas, Andrew Robertson and Tom Huddlestone.
Whilst this summer clear-out brought in over £40m, £20m of which was reinvested, they have struggled to replace the players with similar quality. Their early results have suffered: losing 11 out of 24, and shipping 41 goals. With these numbers, the Tigers have quickly fallen down the table, now finding themselves in 19th place. Whilst their team likely has enough quality to stay up, this poor form has triggered a change in manager – the owners swapping Leonid Slutsky for Nigel Adkins.
Adkins was a strange an unexpected hiring. He hadn’t been seen in management for 18 months, when he was sacked for failing to get Sheffield United promoted from League One. He has been promoted once from Championship, with Southampton, however this was 6 years. Perhaps the Hull owners know something that we don’t, however if they are purely hiring him due to Southampton’s previous promotions I’d be surprised if he’s the man to turn them into promotion candidates.
Good appointment or not, what does Adkins need to fix?
Hull’s leaky defence:
First thing on Adkin’s to-do list is to patch their leaky defence. According to the expected goals method, Hull have the 4th worst defence in the league. So where are they conceding these chances?
Their defence is conceding chances all across their 18 yard line – both inside the box and out on the wings. Hull’s defence isn’t blessed with pace, especially with a 34 year old Michel Dawson at centre back. If Fulham are able to play quick, direct football on the break, and move the ball around an isolated defence, we should be able to take advantage. By playing a pacey front 3, something similar to the Sess/Ayite/Ojo line-up against Cardiff, we should be able to exploit this.
Who do Fulham need to watch out for?
With 10-goal Jarod Bowen, and Fraizer Campbell, both recovering from injuries, Hull will likely be without their main attacking contributors. Hull have struggled without these players, not scoring in 3, so this is without doubt a good time to play them! However, if the Tigers are going to create chances, they’ll likely come from Grosicki – who has scored 6 and assisted 4 so far this season:
Above shows the loaction of Grosicki’s shots, and which have resulted in goals. Grosicki is outperforming xG with his shots, suggesting he’s unlikely to continue this hot form in the long term. His shooting profile shows a man who’s clearly happy to take shots outside the box, scoring 3 from long range. 75% of his shots from his right foot too, suggesting he’s happier cutting inside from the left wing. Therefore, if Fulham are able to put pressure on him, and force him on to his left foot, we should be able to reduce his impact on the game.
Grosicki is creating plenty of chances – far more than anyone else in the team. These chances tend to be from crosses, aimed at the striker or the opposite winger. 3 of his assists have been to crosses to the Bowen (Hull’s regular right winger), so this is something Fulham will need to look out for.
Notes for Slav
So, what would my notes to Slav be, if I was helping to prepare the Fulham team?
- Play a pacey front 3 to capitalize against a slow Hull defence
- Put pressure on Grosicki to stop him from making long shots – and force him onto his left foot
- When Grosicki puts crosses in, ensure the right winger is marked
This article was written with the aid of StrataData, which is property of Stratagem Technologies. StrataData powers the StrataBet Sports Trading Platform, in addition to StrataBet Premium Recommendations.