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.
Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes could be handed the chance to stake his claim for a regular place in Aitor Karanka's starting line-up in Wednesday night's EFL Cup tie at Fulham.
Rhodes, a £9 million signing from Blackburn Rovers in January, has had to watch on from the sidelines as newly promoted Boro have made an unbeaten start in the Premier League, and reports emerged last week that he could be on his way out of the club.
He was an unused substitute in the opening-day 1-1 draw against...