On Saturday August 24th, Norwich will play the newly promoted Hull City at the KC Stadium. Neither team were able to come away with a victory in their first game of the season with Norwich getting a point in a 2-2 draw vs Everton and Hull were beaten 2-0 by Chelsea in their first Premier League game since 2010. Norwich were able to come away with a point after being outplayed by Everton but were clinical in front of net turning home their only two shots on target. Hull were swept away rather easily in the first half of their game against Chelsea after going 2-0 down inside 25 minutes. This will be the first time Hull and Norwich have ever met in the Premier League.
Hull are almost injury free going into their game while Norwich have a few injuries to important players that may keep them out of the game. Hull City do have one injury in the form of Irish midfielder Stephen Quinn who has a hamstring injury that will keep him out until mid September. Norwich have a few injury problems with Robert Snodgrass, Gary Hooper, and Sebastian Bassong will all face late fitness tests to try to play and Anthony Pilkington out until the end of the month. Snodgrass is struggling with a groin injury, Gary Hooper with a calf injury, and Bassong with a knee injury which may or may not keep them out.
Anthony Pilkington will be out with a knee injury that has been bothering him all summer and has forced him to miss last weeks game and pull out of the Republic of Ireland side just before that, all injury news from physioroom.com. Norwich fans will see if Johan Elmander, who just completed his 1 year loan move from Galatasaray, will make his debut. This will be Elmander’s second stint in England after playing for Bolton from 2008-2011. The big surprise for Hull on the opening day was that Steve Bruce abandoned his 3-5-2 formation he used to get Hull up and switched to a 4-3-3. The midfield was exposed as Chelsea cut Hull up and really could have scored more than two goals. Hull fans will see if Bruce sticks with this new 4-3-3 and just makes adjustments or if he goes back to his 3-5-2.
This will be the first time they have ever met in the Premier League but they did both play in the Championship in 2010-2011. In the two times they played each other that year, Hull won 2-0 at Carrow Road and it was a 1-1 draw at the KC Stadium. Of the 22 players that started the last time they played, five of them, two for Hull three for Norwich, started the teams opening fixtures. The players that were able to keep their spots were Robert Koren, James Chester, Russell Martin, John Ruddy, and Wes Hoolahan. Norwich City have brought in two players for fees that would have broken Hull’s transfer record in this window, Gary Hooper for £5.5m and Ricky Van Wolfswinkel for £7.25m.
The players that could prove key to their respective teams to success are Tom Huddlestone, Robbie Brady, Ricky Van Wolfswinkel and Wes Hoolahan. Hull were out of the game against Chelsea pretty early but what they lacked, especially early on, was the ability to create chances. Two players who could help them in those areas are Tom Huddlestone and Robbie Brady.
Brady was Hull’s top assist man last season with 13 assists in 33 appearances and will hope to be played in his usual wide roll instead of in the middle three like he was played against Chelsea. Huddlestone just arrived at Hull from Spurs and came on as a substitute in the Chelsea match.
Whilst he didn’t get a huge amount of playing time at Spurs with only 11 starts he still had a decent run of form at the end of the season. Huddlestone had an impressive 39% crossing accuracy which contributed to him creating a chance every 47 minutes he played. He will also put good balls into the box and help Hull on set plays where he actually created more chances, 12, than he did in open play, 10. For Norwich, they did not create to many chances, only eight shots total with only two finding the target, but they were very clinical, scoring with the only two shots on target. Ricky van Wolfswinkel can help Norwich continue to be clinical if he can keep scoring, like he did on his debut, and an improved performance from Wes Hoolahan can help Norwich create more chances. Last year, Hoolanhan created 43 total chances, equating to one every 57 minutes, had a 36% cross accuracy and was successful in more than half his dribbles completing 34 out of his attempted 65. In his two seasons in Portugal, Ricky van Wolfswinkel was able to score 29 goals in only 35 appearances, 31 of which were starts. If he be that clinical he will be good for the season and could help Norwich see off Hull.
Norwich are widely considered the better team in terms of talent but Hull will have to make their home a fortress of they are to stand any chance of staying up and since it is in Hull they are the slight favourites at 2.44 to win. Hull are only slight favourites though as Norwich are 3.15 to win and the odds of a draw are 3.4, all odds from Pinnacle Sports. Hull will be wanting this game as it is at home and against a team that they could get points from and they will not want to be shoved to the bottom and in the thick of the relegation race so early on.
Final Wrap Up
Injuries: Stevan Quinn (Out), Anthony Pilkington (Out), Gary Hooper (Game Time Decision), Robert Snodgrass (Game Time Decision), Sebastian Bassong (Game Time Decision)
Prediction: 1-1 Draw
2.44 Hull City Win- £10 bet wins you £24.40 (includes initial £10 bet)
3.15 Norwich Win- £10 bet wins you £31.50 (includes initial £10 bet)
3.4 Draw- £10 bet wins you £34.00 (includes initial £10 bet)