CHAMPIONSHIP specialist Vince Blissett (@Vince_RFC) shares his verdict from Friday night's contest between Derby and Hull.
Derby v Hull | Friday 8th September 2017, 19:45 | Sky Sports
After the international break and transfer window closing, the Championship gets back into action with Derby hosting Hull.
Both sides will be blooding new acquisitions and it’s hard to know who will go straight into starting XI’s and how they’ll settle in.
Derby signed Maikel Kieftenbeld from Birmingham on deadline day and the midfielder seems to be a Gary Rowett type of player, so could well come straight into the team (this transfer fell through).
Jacob Butterfield went out to Sheffield Wednesday to make room in a loan swap that saw Sam Winnall go in the opposite direction. I’m not so sure about that move but with Darren Bent out until Christmas it probably makes sense.
Derby have played out two low scoring homes games so far, although against good defensive units in Wolves and Preston. The first of whom they deservedly lost to and the latter, which required a penalty to break the deadlock.
Away from home has been a different story though with three games seeing Both Teams To Score bank and a total of nine goals. The Rams’ shooting stats don’t differ too much from game-to-game so I’d be inclined to say the quality of the opposition is a big factor.
Hull had a busy last few days of the window with Nouha Dicko, Jackson Irvine, Stephen Kingsley and Fikayo Tomori all joining to boost the squad depth.
All are very good additions but Irvine especially could prove to be very shrewd business after impressing hugely for Burton last season. Having been on duty for Australia in Melbourne on Tuesday he may have to wait for a full debut.
Hull lead the way in goals scored so far this season, notching up 12 from their five games, exactly double the average. Having put four past both Burton and Bolton at home does skew that slightly.
The Tigers haven’t been able to keep the opposition at bay though, with just one clean sheet, against Bolton last time out. In all BTTS has won in four of Hull’s games and Over 2.5 Goals has landed on four occasions too.
These two have a common fixture under the belt having both hosted Wolves in the opening weeks, which gives a good comparison. The outcome may have been the same – Derby having lost 2-0 and Hull losing 3-2 – and the stats were fairly similar in both games.
But there’s one stat that differs fairly significantly – xG. Both fired in around the same number of shots and shots on-target as each other but in differing ways. Derby could only muster up efforts from range and half chances losing the xG 0.58 – 1.92 as a result.
When Hull hosted Wolves the xG 2.32 – 1.66 in Hull’s favour – that does include a penalty though so it was about even if you take that away. The thing the Tigers did well in that game, and others since is to create good chances and if they keep doing that they’ll score a hat full.
It’s a little early in the season to read too much into stats and the like fully but I’d have Hull down as the better team on neutral ground so was a little surprised to see Derby such heavy favourites.
The betting angles
Backing goals is an option but there’s always a lingering doubt with a Gary Rowett team. He tends to prefer defence over attack and with some extra time on the training pitch over the last two weeks I wouldn’t want to risk it.
Instead, having Hull onside is my preferred option. I think they’re the better team, should create a few very good chances, are improving defensively and the odds are good. Double chance is an option but I’ll take the Draw No Bet angle at 19/10 (BetStars).
As an added Friday night bonus, there’s a spot of value in the Anytime Goalscorer market. Jarrod Bowen has started the season very impressively and has found the net four times in five leagues games from the right wing, including twice last time out.
Bet365 have him priced at 4/1 to notch again and it looks too big to me.
Derby v Hull – Hull draw no bet (19/10 BetStars)
Derby v Hull – Jarrod Bowen to score at anytime (4/1 Bet365)