Hull vs Norwich, 15:00
– Hull struggled to contain a revitalised Chelsea side on their return to the Premier League, eventually falling to a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Steve Bruce did see his side rally impressively after the break though which will have raised spirits ahead of this weekend’s clash with Norwich.
– Robbie Brady caught the eye of many with an impressive display on Sunday, a lack of fear when taking on the Blue juggernaut a pleasing sight for Steve Bruce no doubt. The 21 year old currently leads the Hull squad for attacking contributions with 6.
– Scottish keeper Allan McGregor’s brush with the newly installed goalline technology clearly didn’t hamper his ability to keep Chelsea’s array of attacking talents at bay. McGregor managed 4 saves at Stamford Bridge, keeping the scoreline to a respectable 2-0.
– James Chester was as enthusiastic a defender as ayn in the league last weekend, the young Englishman committing to a joint 1st 4 blocks according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index.
– Steve Bruce will clearly be looking to turn to Ahmed Elmohamady as his general in the engine room this season, the Egyptian turning in an impressive display in a losing effort. Elmohamady racked up squad highs for both passes completed in the opponent’s half and interceptions, with 28 and 5 respectively.
– A powerful Ricky van Wolfswinkel header gave Norwich a share of the spoils against against Everton at Carrow Road. ‘The Wolf’ will no doubt be seeking to give Norwich fans another taste of why Chris Hughton made him a club record signing against Hull this weekend.
– Young midfielder Nathan Redmond was amongst Norwich’s most active attackers last weekend, taking it to the Everton defence with a league-high 6 dribbles. Canaries fans will be hoping his confidence with the ball at his feet continues in the coming weeks.
– Somewhat surprisingly, despite what is being hailed as a solid debut capped by a fine goal, Van Wolfswinkel’s only attempt on goal throughout his 83 minutes on the field was his header to beat Tim Howard. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, along with Swansea’s Wilfried Bony, this was the lowest number of attempts on goal by a striker who scored last weekend.
– Bradley Johnson’s last campaign was defined largely by his brushes with the officials, as he found his hard-tackling style drawing more attention that he would have liked. The combative midfielder looks to have worked on this over the summer though, conceding just two fouls against Everton and winning 60% of his 5 attempted challenges.
– Sebastian Bassong was one of Norwich’s standout defenders last season according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index. However it was Michael Turner who stepped up to the plate against Everton, recording an excellent, squad-high 12 interceptions. This is a big jump from his figures last season where he averaged just 4.4 interceptions per game.