Matchday 32 of the EFL Championship will witness a clash between playoff contenders Norwich City and Hull City. Both teams are seasoned Premier League clubs and will definitely be eyeing a promotion back to the top flight of English football. The reverse fixture on matchday three saw Hull beat Norwich 2-1, courtesy of a 19-minute Óscar Estupiñán brace.
Norwich City sits just four points outside the playoff places in 10th place in the Championship. The Canaries are looking to bounce back to winning ways after two losses on the trot. Norwich have scored an unflattering 40 goals in 30 games this season, averaging a mere 1.3 goals per game. The Canaries do better in defence, conceding only 35 goals in 30 games this season, with an average of 1.2 goals conceded per game. The above viz shows the percentile rank of the team in comparison to other teams in the EFL Championship. It can be observed that the hosts are ranked highly in possession and in the attacking department; however, they rank very weakly in terms of crosses per 90 and are on a run of poor form at home this season.
Hull City sit right below Norwich at 11th place, level on points, despite having played and game more. The Tigers are 12 goals behind Norwich and will indeed be looking to leapfrog their opponents by beating them tomorrow. Hull are on a better run of form than Norwich, having picked up seven points out of a possible nine in their last three games, and will be looking to add to that. The away side will be hoping for a repeat of the reverse fixture and will be hoping that their top scorer Óscar Estupiñán can repeat his heroics from last time. Hull City have scored 37 goals in 31 games, with a goal conversion rate of only 11%. They haven’t fared much better defensively, conceding 44 goals and averaging 1.4 goals conceded per game. The above viz tells us that Hull City are a very mediocre team overall, justifying their place on the table with highly average data across all departments.
Highly Accurate on the ball
These visuals tell us that Norwich City are among the best passers in the league. Hull City are just a little behind on their credit as well. The home and away sides both have similar passing accuracy rates at a fairly high 83%, amongst the best in the league. However, Norwich does edge Hull in terms of passes per 90, averaging 511 passes per 90 as opposed to Hull’s 486. Hull have managed to keep an average of 51.1% possession this season, indicating that they are comfortable on the ball.
Vertical Penetrative Ability
As seen in this visual, both teams aren’t highly ranked for their attacks through the central zone per 90. Hull City have managed an average of 18 vertical attacks, while Norwich are right below them with 17. This tells us that both teams lack a talented player with the ability to play penetrative passes through the defence, resulting in a lack of goalscoring chances and thereby a lack of goals. We can infer that there is a lack of creativity overall as the teams rank very low in terms of crosses per 90, telling us they don’t use the wide outlets to compensate for the lack of chances through the middle.
The further visual of penetrative carries tells us there is a lack of penetration through the middle, with teams relying on the wider areas to create chances. At the same time, they don’t rely on crossing heavily, as illustrated by the pizza plots. Both teams need some attacking philosophy to rely on to create more goals.
Norwich will be relying on their main man Teemu Pukki to prove his mettle in front of the goal once again. The Finnish striker has ten goals this campaign with an xG of 9.34. He has had a decent 71 shots all season, scoring a goal for every 7.1 shots.
Oscar Estupinan will be hoping to repeat his performance from the reverse fixture and give his side the three points. The Colombian striker has 12 goals is second in the golden boot standings, tied with two other players. The Colombian is clinical in front of goal, scoring 12 goals from only 53 shots. This has led him to have an xG of 0.21 per shot, an encouraging statistic for Hull City.
Arsenal loanee Marquinhos is expected to miss out on this clutch encounter with a “minor strain,” as per the Norwich camp. There are no new injury concerns for Hull City.
Norwich City and Hull City are both on the edge of the playoff places, with the two teams right next to each other. In what is undoubtedly the match of the week, this six-point clash will surely have significant ramifications in the playoff race. Will the Canaries continue to remain above Hull? Or will the tigers manage to leapfrog their opponents and push towards a playoff place? Stay tuned to find out
Visuals viz the TFA viz engine