Managers are often criticised for not being able to revive their team after they fall behind. Nigel Pearson gets his fair share of that, often bemusing supporters with his substitutions.
But perhaps this frustration stems from a misunderstanding of the number of matches actually won by the side that concedes first. In the Championship this season just 13 per cent of matches have been won by the side conceding the opening goal.
That’s not least because the Championship is full of managers like Nigel Pearson. Leads are hard won – they ought to be defended in the same way. And this season Nigel Pearson can point to getting that part of the equation right. Leicester are yet to lose a match in which they’ve taken the lead. That said, it’s been three months since they won after falling behind at Middlesbrough.
The Foxes should expect no favours at the KC should they conceded first. Hull have won all 10 matches in which they have opened the scoring. In fact they are the only Championship side yet to drop a single point after scoring first.
That resilience is part of the reason Hull have claimed more points since Leicester City were top of the Championship than any other side in the division. From the last 33 points available Hull have claimed 25, Leicester have managed 12.
The form book would put this one down as a home win. Hull have scored twice in each of their last four games to take a maximum 12 points from 12. Leicester meanwhile have failed to score in three of their last five outings.
Both sides have strong defences. Leicester’s remains the best in the division, Hull’s the third best.
The likelihood is that, like so many Leicester games this season, this match will be settled by the odd goal. Headlines writers are unlikely to be talking of a ‘Christmas Cracker’.