When Mike Phelan was given the chance to lead Hull City back into the Premier League, he will have hoped a caretaker reign would extend to two attractive fixtures at the front end of his diary.
After the looming international break there is a trip to Phelan's boyhood team Burnley, where he spent his formative years as a professional footballer, but first, on Saturday evening, comes a date with the club that went on to define him.
Manchester United was where Phelan spent 19 years as a player and...
After a Premier League season in which Leicester City became one of the most unlikely winners in history, the underdog trend has continued into the new campaign. Over the first two weeks, the promoted teams have all impressed, with Burnley collecting three points, Middlesbrough four and Hull City -- tipped rock bottom by most pundits -- six. Only one newcomer, Norwich, got relegated last season. Considering the solid start, one wonders whether the two-out of-three rate can be emulated, or even bettered, this time.
Some of the new arrivals are better equipped than others. Middlesbrough have recruited heavily and look the strongest on paper, while Burnley have struggled to do likewise and rely on much of last season's core. Hull have done well to even get a team out at all, having kicked off the season with 13 fit senior players. Yet resources and results do not always correlate in the Premier League. Below follows an examination of the approaches of the three teams and what the underlying numbers tell us so far.
Hull's first-team coach Stephen Clemence was full of praise for Adama Diomande after he fired the Premier League team to an EFL Cup second-round 3-1 win at League Two Exeter.
The Grecians, conquerors of Brentford in round one, threatened an upset when Jake Taylor put them in front with a stunning 25-yard strike, but their joy was short lived as Diomande equalised within 60 seconds.
He added a second slightly against the run of play after 77 minutes before Robert Snodgrass killed the game off by...