Hull vs. Huddersfield Predictions: Low scoring affair at the MKM Stadium
Hull vs. Huddersfield Odds
The Championship returns on Friday evening as Hull City welcome Huddersfield Town, live on Sky. We've asked JimmyThePunt to preview this one and provide us with his best bets.
Hull vs. Huddersfield Tips
The hosts have endured quite a turbulent campaign off the pitch, but on field, their return to the second tier has been commendable. This is best illustrated by the fact that, as we head into the business end of the season, the Tigers sit 13 points above the dotted line.
Shota Arveladze has a strong squad at his disposal with a number of players returning from injury. Long term absentee Randell Williams remains sidelined, but other than that their Georgian boss confirmed that he had a full squad to pick from with keeper Nathan Baxter and defender Lewis Coyle back available.
Hull’s form pre-international break was patchy, which is why it is odd to see them as short as 13/8 here, especially considering that they have lost all of their last five games at the MKM Stadium.
That being said, the Terriers' form also fizzled into the break. They were knocked out of the FA Cup, then let a two goal lead slip at the Hawthorns before defeats to Millwall and Bournemouth, shipping five goals and failing to score in the process.
The underlying data suggests that they have been fortunate all season long, however, with 21 points left to play for, Carlos Corberan’s side remain well and truly in the race for the play-offs.
From the outside, it seemed a bold move to part ways with Grant McCann and replace him with Arveladze at the back end of January.
At the time, the Tigers were nine points above the drop, though the majority of teams below them had a game in-hand. Hull had a tricky run of games on the horizon though and if their new supremo did not hit the ground running, they ran the risk of getting sucked into the relegation battle.
Since the switch, Hull actually have a slightly worse points per game average. Luckily though, there have been nine teams who have taken fewer points then over that 12 game period and with the teams below them also struggling to pick up points, they look all but safe.
During Arveladze’s reign, both teams to score has clicked in just 25% of Hull’s domestic games. Therefore, given their opponents here, I think siding with a lack of goals is the way to go.
Backing BTTS No would have paid out in four of the Terriers last five league games. According to their underlying data, they have scored 7.5 goals fewer than their xG suggests they should have and conceded 3.6 goals more. Over the course of the season, the average xGD between them and their opponents has been -0.08 illustrating how fine the margins usually are in their fixtures.
I do not think there will be much between these sides on Friday, which is why BTTS No at 1/1 with Betvictor appeals.
Backing goalkeepers to be booked has to be one of my favourite bets, but the circumstances have to be just right for the punt to stand a chance.
You need a no-nonsense referee. Jeremy Simpson has the whistle for this one, he has taken charge of 22 games in the second tier this campaign booking five keepers, one of which was Lee Nicholls. Interestingly, he has booked three keepers- Joe Lumley, Thomas Kaminski and Ryan Allsop- in his last four Championship games.
It helps, but is not crucial, for the keeper to be playing away from home. This way, any time-wasting antics will be brought to the referees attention by the home crowd.
The keeper also needs to be a s**thouse. Keepers time-wasting techniques include, but are not limited to; faking an injury, talking to the linesman, banging the mud off their studs via the goal frame, dropping/throwing the ball back into the crowd after it has been returned and the old faithful drink.
The Championship is home to masters of these dark arts; Brice Samba and Lee Nicholls. Between them this season, they have picked up eleven yellows and one red card for time wasting, arguing and even violent conduct. Interestingly, half of Nicholls cards this season- he has six in total- have come in his last six starts.
Above all though, the keeper needs to be in the net of a side with a lead to protect. Therefore, by taking Nicholls pre-game, the gamble is will Huddersfield be leading going into squeaky-bum time? This season, only Fulham and Bournemouth have won more points after taking the lead than Huddersfield. As previously pointed out, the Terriers live in the realm of fine margins, which does bode well for this angle.
If you wanted to bulk this selection up a bit, you can combine a Nicholls card with Huddersfield double chance and the game to feature over zero cards at 16/1 via Bet365’s ‘Bet Builder’.
Good luck if you are backing any of these selections and please remember to gamble responsibly.
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