The 2022-23 EFL Championship season is about to get underway. The first of the Saturday afternoon kick-offs sees Hull City take on Bristol City at the KCOM Stadium. Both teams finished in the lower half of the table last season, with the Tigers ending in 19th position and the Robins in 17th position. While Hull struggled in the attack, scoring only 41 goals, Bristol leaked 77 goals at the back. Both teams will be looking to get off to a good start this season to stay further away from the drop zone.
Hull City stayed up in the EFL Championship last season after being promoted as EFL League One Champions in 2020-21. They finished the campaign with 14 wins, nine draws and 23 losses. The team scored only 41 times in the season, five less than xG estimated. This also meant that they ranked second from the bottom for goals scored (only relegated Barnsley scored fewer).
Displayed above is the shot map of Hull City last season, excluding the penalties. As one can see, there were a lot of chances in and around the opponents’ six-yard box. However, most of them were saved by the keepers while some were entirely off target. The Tigers’ top goalscorer last season was Keane Lewis-Potter, who scored 12 goals. He has since been sold to Premier League team, Brentford, for €19 million. As a result, Hull might find goals even more difficult to come by this season.
Callum Elder was Hull City’s most successful threat creator last season, with a majority of his threat coming from set-pieces. From open play, it was the right-back, Lewie Coyle, who generated the most threat. Last season, George Honeyman and Ryan Longman had the joint most assists for the Tigers, with four each, but the former left in the summer for Millwall.
Bristol City ended the last campaign in 17th place with a record of 15 wins, 10 draws and 21 losses and a goal difference of -15. They scored 62 goals (more than any other team barring the top six), but they also let in 77 goals (only Peterborough United and Reading allowed more). Even though they let in two or three fewer goals than what xGA predicted. It won’t be good enough this season if they are aiming for a top-half finish. In an attempt to fix their leaky defence, Bristol City have roped in Kal Naismith from Luton Town and Kane Wilson from Forest Green Rovers.
Both Hull City and Bristol City will need to move on from the struggles of last season in attack and defence, respectively, and aim for a fresh start. To mitigate the loss of Keane Lewis-Potter, the Tigers have bought as many as four players from the Turkish leagues – Ozan Tufan, Allahyar Sayyadmanesh, Benjamin Tetteh and Doğukan Sinik. Bristol City, meanwhile, have so far kept hold of their star man, Andreas Weimann, despite rumours of him possibly leaving the team.