PRE-MATCH BRIEFING: CHELSEA V HULL CITY - PART TWO
Club historian Rick Glanvill and club statistician Paul Dutton complete their build up to the first game of the season...
WE HAVE HISTORY
Our first ever competitive game at Stamford Bridge was against Hull in September 1905. Chelsea won 5-1 in front of 6,000 supporters, with Jimmy Windridge registering the club's earliest hat-trick.
The Tigers have never won at Stamford Bridge. In 15 previous league visits here they have managed three goalless draws and 12 defeats, only scoring three goals. We have met four times at home in the FA Cup, winning and drawing two.
Hull's last win against Chelsea was at Boothferry Park (3-0) in October 1988 in the old Second Division. One of the most memorable meetings at the Bridge was at the close of the 1976/77 season. Already promoted, Eddie McCreadie's bustling young Chelsea, two seasons in the second tier, enjoyed a carnival atmosphere and a four-goal romp over John Kaye's Tigers.
There were numerous pitch invasions by over-exuberant young fans. One extended incident almost provoked an abandonment, which would have scrubbed off Steve 'Jock' Finnieston's hat-trick, as well as the Ian Britton goal that provoked it. Chelsea unfortunately dispensed with McCreadie's services that summer.
Hull were the first visitors to the Fulham Road at the start of 2009/10. Chelsea's first double-winning season, under Carlo Ancelotti, began with a first-half goal out of the blue from the much-disliked Stephen Hunt. It took a single-handed display from Didier Drogba to turn the game around: his late second goal, a fantastic finish from an acute angle, deserved to win any match.
|The last 10 games against Hull at Stamford Bridge in all competitions|
|1927/28||Chelsea won 2-0||Old Division 2|
|1928/29||Drew 0-0||Old Division 2|
|1929/30||Chelsea won 3-0||Old Division 2|
|1965/66||Drew 2-2||FA Cup quarter-final|
|1975/76||Drew 0-0||Old Division 2|
|1976/77||Chelsea won 4-0||Old Division 2|
|1981/82||Drew 0-0||FA Cup 3rd round|
|1988/89||Chelsea won 2-1||Old Division 2|
|2008/09||Drew 0-0||Premier League|
|2009/10||Chelsea won 2-1||Premier League|
Chelsea v Hull City in all competitions
Games played 40
Chelsea wins 26
Hull wins 4
Head to head in the League at Stamford Bridge
Games played 15
Chelsea wins 12
Hull wins 0
Biggest league win at Stamford Bridge for each team
Chelsea 5-1 Hull 11/09/1905
Hull have never won a league match at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea won a trophy: 95
Hull won away on the opening day: 4,390
Arsenal won a trophy: 3,011
Liverpool won the league: 8,506
In 2004 Jose Mourinho's first Chelsea side clicked when he switched the formation from a 4-diamond-2 to an 'open diamond' or 4-3-3. In pre-season this summer it already appeared he has decided to harness the present talented and mostly young team in a more flexible system based on a 4-2-3-1 line-up, with the '2' occasionally becoming one in pursuit of goals.
The team sets up differently depending on whether or not it has possession too. Like all Mourinho sides it will fight tenaciously from the front to win the ball back from opponents; this has not always been demanded in recent seasons.
The addition of galloping midfielders Kevin De Bruyne and Marco van Ginkel provides flexibility and should allow Chelsea to be even swifter in counter-attack than last season's model.
The Portuguese likes his full-backs to do their defensive duties first, so new man Andre Schurrle will join the likes of Victor Moses and Juan Mata in the important role adding width. A right-footer, the pacy German likes to cut inside from the left and has a fierce shot; there is some suggestion Jose sees similar prospects for Mata down the right.
Chelsea have been reinforced upfront too. Returning after his on-loan accolades at West Brom, powerhouse striker Romelu Lukaku has been very impressive in the pre-season matches.
The new blood augments an already exciting attacking side, though Mourinho has admitted he lacks a clever, touch striker, hence the interest in Wayne Rooney. It will also be interesting to see which of the many candidates ends up as Jose's preferred maestro behind the strikers. That no.10 role is pivotal - the mirror image of the deep-lying central midfielder - and Mata, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard as well as Oscar could lay claim to it.
Any selections must also be put into the context of international matches played this week and the proximity of the opening two Premier League games. No manager is more diligent than Chelsea's prodigal son.
Much of Mourinho's method revolves around developing pairings all over the pitch and home fans should see the first fruits on Sunday and against Villa on Wednesday.
Steve Bruce has used 3-5-2 and 4-4-2 systems at Hull but also appears to have settled on a flexible 4-3-3 system that provides the defence to smother without the ball and the personnel to flood forward when in possession.
New recruit Tom Huddlestone makes sense as a midfield anchor. He can bring power, passing and positional discipline to the crucial central role on his own. However Chelsea's quicksilver advanced midfielders might exploit his lack of mobility.
Prior to last weekend Hull had found goals in pre-season hard to come by. Then they easily defeated a lack-lustre Real Betis 3-0 with a starting 11 most likely to resemble the line-up this weekend, with the addition of Huddleston.
Bruce fielded a mobile and hard-working front three of Danny Graham, Sone Aluko (whose sister Eni is a Chelsea Ladies and England star) and Yannick Sagbo.
There is creativity behind them in Robert Koren and Robbie Brady, who is a threat at set plays.
Striker Graham still has something to prove after being let go by Sunderland. His last goal came for Swansea against Chelsea in the League Cup in January, and a big money move to the Stadium of Light did not work out.
Bruce felt he needed more experience at the back and signed Birmingham's central defender Curtis Davies, also returning to former club Wigan to snap up old flame Maynor Figueroa.