On 7th May 2022, 18th placed Hull City will host third-placed Nottingham Forest on the final matchday of the EFL Championship. The reverse fixture saw Forest win 2-1 back in December 2021. Coming into this game, Hull City were thrashed 0-5 by Bristol City away from home, and Nottingham Forest lost 0-1 to Bournemouth, which cost them to lose the second automatic promotion spot.
Hull City head into this match having been thrashed 0-5 by Bristol City. That loss leaves Hull City with a record of 14 wins, eight draws and 23 losses with one game to go. The main reason Hull City managed to survive the drop this season is their overperforming defence. The Tigers were expected to let in 64 goals, but in reality, they have shipped only 53 goals – a difference of 11 goals.
Given in the above chart are Hull City’s performances in this EFL Championship season relative to the rest of the league. Hull may have survived, but if they are to improve as a team, they need to score a lot more goals. Their attack has found the back of the net only 0.78 times per game, which means they have underperformed on their xG per 90 of 0.93. The Tigers also rank in the middle (exactly 50th percentile) when it comes to key passes per game at 2.44.
Nottingham Forest come into this fixture after losing 0-1 to their promotion rivals. This defeat ensured the Cherries’ automatic promotion to the Premier League, meaning Forest will have to try and earn promotion via the play-offs. Forest’s record stands at 23 wins, 10 draws and 12 losses, with a goal difference of +33 heading into the final game of the season. Nottingham Forest have managed to net 72 goals this campaign, six more than expected.
Philip Zinckernagel is Nottingham Forest’s most successful threat creator in this season’s EFL Championship. However, most of his threat has come from his corner kicks. From open play, it is Scott McKenna who has produced the most threat. The team’s top two assist providers are Brennan Johnson and James Garner, with 10 and eight assists to their name, respectively.
Seen in the above visual is the shot map of Nottingham Forest in this EFL Championship season, excluding the penalties. Forest have taken 553 shots and scored 70 goals (two of the 72 have been own goals by opposition players). This equates to 7.9 shots per goal scored. Four Forest players have netted seven or more times in this campaign.
Nottingham Forest will look to win this game to carry the momentum into the play-offs, and Hull City may turn out to be a spoilsport.