On Friday the 15th of April 2022, 20th placed Hull City host 17th placed Cardiff City at the MKM Stadium in the EFL Championship. Back in November 2021 when these two teams met, Hull won 1-0 thanks to a Keane Lewis-Potter goal. Coming into this game, Hull City won 1-0 away at Middlesbrough and Cardiff City won 2-1 away at Reading.
Hull City won their previous game 1-0 against Middlesbrough coming into this game with the only goal scored by Keane Lewis-Potter. This win puts Hull 15 points clear of the relegation zone and their record stands at 12 wins, eight draws and 21 losses. Defensively, Hull have been very tight leaking only 45 goals against an xGA predicted value of 58 goals, a difference of +13 goals (xGA – actual goals conceded).
While Hull’s defensive overperformance must be praised, their attack is lagging behind. They have missed several big chances from close range as seen by the fairly big orange and red circles. As a result, Hull have scored the joint second-lowest goals with Peterborough United (only Barnsley have scored fewer). Due to their superior defensive record against the other two teams, Hull are not in the relegation zone whereas Barnsley and Peterborough look destined to go down.
Hull’s most successful threat creator this season has been Callum Elder but most of his threat has come from set-pieces. From open play, defender Lewie Coyle is the leader in threat creation. Keane Lewis-Potter is the team’s top assist maker in addition to being the top goalscorer.
Cardiff City come into this game having won 2-1 away at Reading. Alfie Doughty and Will Vaulks scored for the Welsh club in that game. That win leaves Cardiff City with a record of 14 wins, seven draws and 19 losses. Despite the win, over the course of the season, Cardiff have been one of the worst-performing defences this season according to xGA. The tool predicted Cardiff to let in 46 goals until now but they have shipped 61 goals, a difference of -15 (xGA – actual goals conceded).
Seen above is the performances of Cardiff City relative to the rest of the league. Cardiff have scored goals at a rate of 1.06 goals per 90 as against an xG per 90 of 1.13. They also rank below the 60th percentile in the following categories: assists per 90, passes per 90, progressive runs per 90, key passes per 90, smart passes per 90 and through balls per 90.
A win for Hull City will see themselves distance further from the relegation zone. Meanwhile, Cardiff will look to solidify their mid-table status.