Blades too sharp for Hull: Championship Preview
Hull take on Sheffield United in Friday night’s EFL Championship game, with both teams in need of a win for differing reasons. Infogol’s Analyst previews the game using expected goals to advise the best bets.
Hull Expected Goals (xG)
Hull City find themselves deep in a relegation battle, now sitting fourth bottom after a midweek defeat to Middlesbrough. They were deservedly beaten on Teesside, and once again struggled to create many chances (xG: MID 1.6 – 0.7 HUL).
Nigel Adkins’ side are in a real rut, having won just one of their last 11 league matches. They have failed to score in seven of those matches, but have generated 13 xG in that time scoring just six, so they need to find their finishing boots and fast.
Their all-round process has been the 14th best in the league, so they aren’t as bad as their position suggests, but this is another tough test for a side bereft of confidence.
Sheffield United Expected Goals (xG)
Sheffield United won one of 10 league matches between 21 November and 12 January, a run that meant they slipped adrift of the play-off places, but they look to have picked up of late with three wins from their last five; their play-off challenge is back on track.
A home win over QPR in midweek was a much deserved one (xG: SHU 1.9 – 0.7 QPR), as they once again created a host of chances, something they have been doing all season long.
The Blades’ main strength, though, has been at the back, where they have been the best defensive team according to expected goals, conceding just 26.4 xG in 33 matches – averaging 0.8 xGA per game, which is an incredibly low amount. This should give them a huge edge in this match.
Though Hull are better than their league position suggests, they are likely to find it difficult to break down the Sheffield United rear-guard, so few goals are expected. The Blades are the better of the two sides, and are worth backing at 8/5 to get the win.
Under 2.5 goals @ 4/5
Sheffield United to win @ 8/5