Championship Gameweek 11: Hull Good Value At Huddersfield?5 min read
Huddersfield Town got their first win of the season on Monday night, triumphing 1-0 at Stoke.
Hull City moved into the Championship’s top half by beating Sheffield Wednesday by the same scoreline – so what will happen when the two meet?
Huddersfield off the mark
Huddersfield Town’s victory in midweek was by no means a perfect performance – there was very little quality in the game, with Juninho Bacuna’s late winner being the only shot on target for either side.
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Then again, this is not the period in which perfection is the goal.
Having accrued just one win in the prior 10 months, they had to stop the rot by any means necessary.
The performance of substitutes Adama Diakhaby, Isaac Mbenza and Bacuna made a key difference to the Terriers, with the trio bringing fresh energy.
With Diakhaby, rather than the more industrious Elias Kachunga, Huddersfield had raw pace and power on the right of the attack, then the same on the left with Mbenza when Karlan Grant moved into more of a central role.
It could be that Cowley opts for that template here, because when they have direct runners on either flank they do not need to over-complicate their game, which is useful when the team is not playing with a huge amount of confidence.
Hull City rode their luck at times against Wednesday in midweek, with appeals for a penalty against them turned down.
Then again, they had played at least as well in a lot of games this season and not quite got the result due to small things conspiring against them, so Grant McCann will be grateful for one or two moments of fortune.
A goal for Tom Eaves will help the substitute’s confidence, because he showed at Gillingham, where he scored 38 League One goals across two seasons, that he can be a ruthless finisher.
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Eaves has started somewhat hit-and-miss at Hull, where his arguable lack of running power has been slightly problematic at times up against a more industrious counter-part in Josh Magennis – but now he has that first goal he could grow into the season.
Brandon Fleming produced an excellent performance at left-back next to centre-backs Reece Burke and Jordy De Wijs, who have become more battle-hardened over the last 12 months.
The Tactics Board
We can expect Hull to enjoy the territorial advantages in this match.
Their typical strategy is to keep their key wide forwards, Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki, high up the pitch regardless of the state of play.
Sometimes this season, that has counted against them, because we sometimes see the three midfielders – likely to be Kevin Stewart, George Honeyman and Jackson Irvine on Saturday – get outnumbered, so Grant McCann’s game plan is risky.
On the other hand, it means that they give themselves two valuable out-balls and can exert control.
If Bowen or Grosicki lose the ball high up, then at least the other units have had time to advance and sweep up second balls.
Hull’s game plan is not yet fully polished, but it is likely to result in control against Huddersfield who, with Jonathan Hogg at the base of the midfield, do not have the legs to impose themselves high up for long periods of games – and they are in a back-to-basics phase anyway.
The Betting Angle
As much as Huddersfield did well to scrap for the result they needed in midweek, they will be facing a Hull side that have a lot more confidence in the final third and that could be a defining factor.
Tip: Hull to win