Relegation favourites Hull City stunned the reigning champions Leicester City on the opening fixture of the 2016/17 season at the KC stadium. Hull started the game as huge underdogs but eventually took home all the three points with Abel Hernandez and Robert Snodgrass scoring for the hosts. Even the Hull City manager expressed his doubts over his team’s chances of competing in the top flight before the season began but with an excellent win on the opening day, the Tigers not only did them a huge favour but also gave us a slight reminder of what’s waiting for us this season.
It’s going to be another season of the unexpected where teams won’t be sure about winning the game until the final whistle. Let’s take a look at the three talking points from the game:
Leicester Have Problems When The Opponent Allows Them To Control Possession
Leicester City are a breathtaking team when they get the chance to utilise a turnover but they are drab and dull with the possession. There’s no creativity in the middle of the pitch for The Foxes, Mahrez tries a bit from the flanks but when he’s contained, there’s just nothing the team offers in terms of building attacks from the middle. Hull City contained Mahrez more or less while allowing the visitors to have possession. Even though stats point out that both the teams had the same amount of possession, there was little offered by both the teams going forward.
Leicester Lack A Plan B With Two Counter Attackers Up Front
Leicester City fielded Jamie Vardy alongside new recruit Ahmed Musa against Hull City to provide the breakthroughs needed in the tie. The biggest problem which the visitors had was that the two forwards are very similar in their gameplay, both being counter attackers with pace. There isn’t a target man or one who can play with his back to goal. Leonardo Ulloa provides a bit of that but he is not the first choice anymore.
With the defenders not allowing much space to run in behind, both of them struggled with their primary tactic. It seemed increasingly like the Champions are over-reliant on their counter-attacking strategy, struggling to change when it was needed, lacking a plan B.
Hull City Have A Decent Starting XI
Mike Phelan complained about the lack of signings before the start of the season rightly but he does have a decent first eleven to work with at the KC Stadium. The Attacking Trio of Snodgrass, Hernandez and Diomande are good enough to cause a few problems for the opposition while the central defensive pairing of Livermore and Davies looks to be a real asset for the team.
Against Leicester, Hull defended brilliantly with Davies making some stunning blocks to deny the visitors any joy in front of the goal. The midfield needs to be a bit better, though, but on the whole, it is a decent starting lineup. The Tigers need some signings urgently as they have huge injury problems at the moment with some important players spending time on the treatment bench and no one to turn to from the substitute bench when the game would require some change.