What can be learnt from the first half of Hull City's season?
1) As we head into 2015, Hull are hovering precariously above the relegation zone. The Boxing Day win over Sunderland was followed by a defeat to Leicester City, and with seven defeats in the last ten games, the pressure is on managerSteve Bruce to turn things around next year.
2) Hull have scored 18 goals this season, which is far from the worst record in the Premier League, but they have had the second fewest amount of shots in the Premier League - just one more than Aston Villa, the league's lowest goalscorers. The Tigers need to get more shots away if they are to stay in the top flight, with Abel Hernandez and Nikica Jelavic blowing hot and cold so far.
|Attempts on goal||Games|
3) Hull's lack of attacking threat is largely shown by the fact that they rank in the bottom four when it comes to successful passes in the final third. Summer signings such as Hatem Ben Arfa and Gaston Ramirez have added little to the side, and ultimately Bruce will know that he needs his attack to fire on cylinders if they are to stay up.
|Successful Final Third Passes||Games|
4) Another stat to highlight Hull's poor work in the final third is that they have created just eight big chances this season, according to Opta. That's six behind the likes of Sunderland, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Aston Villa, four teams who are likely to be in the relegation battle with Hull, and that must improve in 2015.
|Big Chances Created||Games|
5) A somewhat more positive stat is that Hull strikers are rarely offside, with only Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Newcastle drawing more offside flags. Part of this could be down to the few times Hull get in behind defences anyway, but Hull should be able to take something away from having so few offsides.
6) Defensively though, things look a little better. Here, we see that Hull have made more interceptions than any other team in the Premier League this season, racking up 353 - four more than nearest challengers Arsenal, which is something that will please Bruce.
7) The amount of defending done by Hull is probably represented by the high stats in that area, and here we have another; the Tigers are tied at the top of the table when it comes to total clearances, with QPR also totaling 749 clearances.
8) Again, Bruce's men rank high when it comes to particular defensive stats, and this time it's concerning blocks made by outfield players. With 103, Hull are clearly top of the tree, and have a number of defenders who are willing to put themselves in the firing line to keep opposing attackers out.
9) Yet something Bruce will be concerned about heading into 2015 is Hull's poor disciplinary record. Hull have had four players sent off this season, with leaves them joint-top for red cards alongside Aston Villa and Swansea City. The Tigers need to be more disciplined in the second half of the season, with suspensions harming their chances of turning their fortunes around.