On September 24th, Liverpool host Hull City at the expanded Anfield. Both teams in this one have started better than they were expected to, so this has the potential to be a very interesting match.
Liverpool have already registered wins over Arsenal, Chelsea, and defending champions Leicester City this season. Despite their incredibly different start, they have won 10 points from their first matches and find themselves toward the top end of the table.
Hull City are expected to be relegated this season. They have been odds on favourites to be relegated all summer. Yet, Hull have started the season defiantly with seven points from five matches, with their only two losses coming against title contenders Arsenal and Manchester United. Surprisingly enough, they find themselves solidly midtable and have had about as good a start as could have been expected.
Liverpool will continue to miss the services of young players Joe Gomez and Sheyi Ojo. More senior players Daniel Sturridge and Georginio Wijnaldum are both doubts going into the match.
Hull City’s squad wasn’t good to begin with, but they have also been in a big injury crisis from the opening day. Alan McGregor, Greg Luer, and Moses Odubajo are all out for half the season, while Alex Bruce likely won’t be back until December. Michael Dawson is also out until mid October.
Early on Liverpool have taken an approach that they may concede some goals, but they will outscore you. They have scored 11 goals, the third most in the league, while conceding eight goals, the most in the top eight. Hull have conceded only seven goals, but, according to Whoscored.com, they have conceded 21.4 shots per game, far and away the most in the league with the second worst allowing 18.2 shots per game. They haven’t been great going forward either taking only 10.2 shots per game, the sixth least in the league.
Liverpool: Roberto Firmino
After a poor start to his Liverpool career, Roberto Firmino has cemented himself as one of the first names on the team sheet for Liverpool. He already has two league goals this season and has scored or assisted 0.73 goals per 90 minutes in his first two seasons at Anfield. His ability to create goals, score goals, along with the fact that he is a very good presser makes him perfect for Jurgen Klopp. He was sensational in Liverpool’s only home match, and he’ll hope he can match that impact against Hull.
Hull City: Sam Clucas
Hull have had a surprising number of positives so far this season, but the biggest has no doubt been Sam Clucas. The 25 year old had been a winger for most of his career going into this season, but Mike Phealen decided to move him into midfield and he has thrived there. Considering Hull will likely be on the back foot in this match, they’ll need Clucas to help patrol the midfield and keep Liverpool out of dangerous areas in front of the back four.
Hull have had some good results to start the season, but their underlying statistics show some worrying signs. When you concede as many shots as they have this season, you’re going to concede a lot of goals. Now coming up against a Liverpool team that scores in bunches, the Tigers will have a very tough time getting anything out of this match.