Liverpool vs Hull 15:00
Liverpool’s strong run of form came to a juddering halt against fellow title challengers Chelsea on Sunday as they went down 2-1 at Stamford Bridge. Brendan Rodgers’ side will have felt unfortunate though, after a number of crucial decisions by the officials went against them.
Luis Suarez continues to streak ahead of the competition this season when it comes to carving out chances, the Urugyuan’s movement and technique providing near-constant problems for opposition defences. He leads the league for total attempts on goal according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index with 70 to his name, 19 ahead of nearest rival in this regard, Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero.
Martin Skrtel has certainly solidified his spot in the Liverpool starting XI after it looked at one point last season as though he might be about to leave Anfield. The Slovakian enforcer has been a key part of the Reds’ defensive structure this term though, ranking second in the league for clearances with 179.
Fellow defensive colleague Daniel Agger turned in a superb performance against Chelsea, one that belies the fact that the Reds still conceded two goals. He attempted the joint highest number of tackles in the last round of fixtures (9), tied with Stoke’s Erik Pieters, and won all of them.
Hull produced their best performance since their return to the Premier League last weekend as they hammered Fulham 6-0 at the KC Stadium. This upsurge in confidence could be crucial as they travel to Anfield this week to take on a Liverpool side who will still be smarting following their controversial loss to Chelsea.
Given the scoreline at the KC a few days ago, it is perhaps unsurprising to see that some of the most impressive shooting statistics in the last round came from Tom Huddlestone. According to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index, he attempted more shots than any other player in the league during the last set of fixtures with 5.
Huddlestone has also been one of the most impressive all-round performers in the Hull squad this term, adapting quickly to life at the KC following his move from Tottenham. He is one the few players in the Hull team to have moved into triple figures for both passes in the opponent’s half and total defensive contributions (blocks, clearances, interceptions, tackles won), with 134 and 392 respectively.
Defender Alex Bruce has been excellent so far this season playing under his father Steve, providing experience and know-how at the back for Hull, crucial for any newly promoted side. Indeed, he has the best tackle success rate of any Hull player winning 85.7% of his 21 attempted challenges this season.