Huddersfield (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

 After three long weeks away, tomorrow sees the welcome return of Premier League football and yet another relegation six-pointer, with Huddersfield standing in our way as we look to move tantalisingly close to safety.
 
Win and we’ll move 4 points clear of the Terriers and potentially extend our lead over other relegation rivals (with several facing tough fixtures this weekend), but lose and they’d leapfrog us, leaving us well and truly in the mix to go down with 7 games to go (and some tough fixtures still to come).
 
It’s a huge game and both players and fans must not lose sight of its importance. That may sound an odd thing to say at this stage of the season, but I get the feeling that back to back home wins have left some fans feeling as though we’re just about there.
 
It may be looking much better, but we’re not. Lose tomorrow and everyone’s outlook will soon change, emphasising the importance for us all to get behind the players from first minute to last, hoping that they deliver the big win win needed to push us one step closer to safety.
 
The 3-0 Southampton win was a walk in the park in the end, but I am quite certain Huddersfield will at least show the fight the Saints lacked.
 
Wagner and his side will have fond memories of St James’ Park having beaten us here in the Championship (and earlier in the season at their place), so I expect them to play without fear and have a good go.
 

Preferred XI

I just can’t see why Rafa would change things from the sides that beat Man Utd 1-0 and Southampton 3-0 in our last two outings at St James’. This team picks itself at the moment:

Benitez may have confirmed that Slimani will be in the squad tomorrow, but he’ll have to settle for a place on the bench. There’s no way he’ll be kicking Gayle out the starting 11 just yet given his lack of match fitness and Dwight’s recent return to form (2 goals and 2 assists in 4 games and looking much more lively).

Ritchie and Kenedy have been highly influential in recent weeks so Atsu and Murphy will have to wait for their chance once again, as will Clark and Merino, with the central partnerships of Lascelles and Lejeune and Diame and Shelvey being formidable recently.

The one player we’ll need a little more from is Ayoze Perez. I can rarely knock the shift he puts in between midfield and attack, but his output must improve. Too often does he lose it or fail to capitalise on promising positions he finds himself in.



Predicted NUFC XI – (4-2-3-1) – Dubravka– Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett – Diame, Shelvey – Ritchie, Perez, Kenedy –  Gayle

 

The Opposition

Here’s a few players to watch out for tomorrow’s visitors:

Steve Mounie – With 6 Premier League goals to his name this season, he’ll be the highest scoring player on the pitch tomorrow. He’s a powerful striker and a real danger in the air, with several of his six goals so far this season coming from his head.

Aaron Mooy – Some say he’s not been at his best recently, but he’s so often been the best player for them whenever I’ve watched them this season. He’ll look to set the tempo for them and get on the ball as often as possible. He got the winner at the John Smith’s earlier in the season and was their best player when they beat us at St James’ last season, so he’s one to watch (providing he is passed fit).

Rajiv van La Parra – I’ve seen a few Huddersfield fans say he needs to up his game (so he may not even start), but he loves to run at his man and has shown he’s capable of pulling something out of the bag from nothing.

Christopher Schindler – Their best defender and one to watch from set pieces, with him often trying to pull defenders out to create room in the six-yard box (we’ll see evidence of this on Saturday no doubt).

 

Predicted Huddersfield XI – (4-2-3-1) – Lossl – Hadergjonaj, Jorgensen, Schindler, Kongolo – Hogg, Mooy – Quaner – Pritchard, Val La Parra – Mounie.

For an inside look into this weekend’s opponents, take a look at the latest edition of the ‘Opposition Opinion’ . A great insight into this weekend’s opponents.

 

Form

Newcastle – 13th (32 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 2 / Drawn: 2 / Lost: 1

Huddersfield – 15th ( 31 pts) – Last 5 in the league – Won: 2 / Drawn: 1 / Lost: 2

 

Team news

Benitez has confirmed that Islam Slimani will be in the squad, meaning the Algerian could well make his NUFC debut from the bench.

Matt Ritchie has been passed fit despite pulling out of the Scotland squad with a groin complaint, however Joselu will miss out with an ankle problem.

For Huddersfield, it sounds like midfield duo Aaron Mooy and Philip Billing could actually start despite returning from international duty this week.

Impressive Monaco loanee Terence Kongolo also looks like he’ll be back from a hip injury despite fears that he’d also miss out, so they look set to be handed a few fitness boosts before tomorrow’s game.

 

Match Prediction

As stated earlier, I’m expecting this to be a much more fiercely contested tie than our 3-0 win over Southampton turned out to be three weeks ago.

They’ll press us high and look to unsettle Shelvey, Diame and our back four, but with that they’ll also leave space in behind if we can bypass their midfield/high press.

I don’t see us keeping a clean sheet this time around as I fully expect them to set up to win, but they’re a team who can ship goals, so we may have some joy if Kenedy, Shelvey, Ritchie and Gayle can combine well again.

A part of me doubts whether we’ll be able to make it three home wins on the spin, but then again, Benitez teams tend to come good at the end of the season. His record in the last 10 games of seasons is quite incredible.

 

PredictionNewcastle 2-1 Huddersfield 

Howay the lads!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Born in Gateshead, Olly was a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

52 thoughts on “Huddersfield (H): Pre-match thoughts, team news & predicted line-ups

  1. So jabba says he wants to sell the club he’s getting in early,so if Rafa stays which I doubt I guess it’s loans again then ffs

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  2. Icedog:
    OLLY but who going to score those two goals? that’s my worry as it is every game this season

    Gayle and Ritchie.

    We got 3 against Southampton and 2 at Bournemouth remember!

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  3. I hope your right OLLY but I won’t hold my breath,this will be a harder game than M/U game imo,they will really get stuck in

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  4. Mooy being past fit is a real bummer, had hoped he’d be out. They are tough opposition and tend to get the better of us. Time for us to step up and show SJP is a fortress once more. We can relieve so much pressure with a win as can they, gonna be tough I suspect.

    As for Ashley saying he wants to sell, yeah right, more action less words would be nice. The summer window looms and he starts talking of selling again, good reason not to buy anyone again I suppose.

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  5. OLLY: thanks for passing on my message to Andy but I have fixed it. It was outside parties leeching off your site and my adblocker stopped working.

    PREM: thanks for your reply on the previous site. Adblocker stopped working and would not reinstall properly. I checked the reviews on their site and it has happened to quite a few people. Installed something called Adguard and now this, and all other sites, are clean again.

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  6. Fulham and Cardiff keep winning. If this keeps up we are going to get a front seat to watch Mitro at Wembley. That and the WC will really put him in the shop window. I watched Serbia against Nigeria and he was the best player on the pitch by a mile and Nigeria are ranked the best team in Africa.

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  7. The Mitro situation is a win win for us Eric. If he returns a better finisher and Rafa plays him or his value soars and we cash in.

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  8. kimtoon:
    The Mitro situation is a win win for us Eric. If he returns a better finisher and Rafa plays him or his value soars and we cash in.

    I know that. There will only be recriminations if we get relegated. 1 good game at the WC and the price tag will be 30 mil.

    They sometimes show Friday Championship matches over here but I can’t find it. Pity. I was looking forward to watching the Mackems.

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  9. IT’s ALIVE! Mackem Zombie has arisen to 3-1 up on 50 minutes. May still go t!ts up but just shows the danger of assuming a result. Some of us might take heed of that for tomorrow including the bookies who have Hudderfield at 4 1/2 – 1 to win.

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  10. C’mon Man 4-1. Where did that come from? The amazing thing is that they have been sh!t all year and are only 3 points off 4th bottom. I am telling you we better not be counting chickens tomorrow. We are NUFC so anything can happen.

    That’s not a prediction as I think we will win, probably by 2 goals. Just saying there are always surprises in the relegation battle.

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  11. Eric Sykes:
    Vatican scrambles as Pope apparently says there is no Hell. I wonder if he said it in a tweet?

    He’s been having a pop at the Mafia too Eric.

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  12. Here’s one for you Kimtoon. Just read in The Guardian that the increased security at West Ham tomorrow will cost 60,000 (Sixty Thousand Pounds) AND WILL BE PAID BY THE TAXPAYER.

    These Porno Cowboys create this mess and the taxpayer has to fund it.

    They insist on going so they have had to kick some season ticket holders out of their seats (relocate I assume) so there is a security zone in front of the Directors Box. Where are they, Iraq?

    God I hope West Ham go a goal down. Why are these idiots attending when they know it will only stoke the fire of an angry crowd. Even the Fatman at his worst didn’t evoke this sort of reaction (and knew when to stay away).

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  13. Quotes from SuperMac in The Chronic:

    “Dummett has gone from Zero to Hero”. He must have been talking to some really ignorant NUFC fans then.

    “Florian Lejeune has won me over… I thought Lejeune was a no-hoper at one time but I have changed my mind”. How in the hell did he come to that conclusion when he didn’t play because of injury and then he had a few games in a new country/club.

    McDonald was one of my heros but he does spout some nonsense sometimes. I think he is controversial on purpose. A bit like Merson or Collymore.

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  14. Eric Sykes:
    Here’s one for you Kimtoon. Just read in The Guardian that the increased security at West Ham tomorrow will cost 60,000 (Sixty Thousand Pounds) AND WILL BE PAID BY THE TAXPAYER.

    These Porno Cowboys create this mess and the taxpayer has to fund it.

    They insist on going so they have had to kick some season ticket holders out of their seats (relocate I assume) so there is a security zone in front of the Directors Box. Where are they, Iraq?

    God I hope West Ham go a goal down. Why are these idiots attending when they know it will only stoke the fire of an angry crowd. Even the Fatman at his worst didn’t evoke this sort of reaction (and knew when to stay away).

    you couldn’t make it up Eric, hopefully they naff off to the fizzy.

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  15. Liverpool still have plenty of time but are a strange team. They beat City and lose to Swans. I want as many teams in the relegation mix as possible so I am pulling for Liverpool. I also do not want the full on press redemption of Mr. Roy when he keeps Palace up. They rightly tore him apart after the Euros and now he will be their favourite uncle.

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  16. Looks like Palace have a plan but are under more pressure. I expect Mr. Roy DIDN”T take Ray Lewington on a Thames cruise before this game!

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  17. Kimtoon: Luca Milosovic (sp) has 7 goals from penalties. I can only think of 1 for us all season, the Joselu miss.

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  18. That’s Mooy booked early, excellent stuff, hopefully that will stifle him a bit or better still he gets a second.

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  19. one for Eric
    Antony Curtis‏ @a1bionant · 5m5 minutes ago

     More

    John Carver has just told someone in the Halfords to “shut your gob” He won’t be here much longer

    😆

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  20. KIMTOON:
    3 week break , match day and i’m the only one on here, wow.

    ime here mate dont comment much while game is on,oh how i hate Keys and Grey toon sould not have won should have been down 10 men Kenady should have been sent off so wouldnt hav been on to make the goal,why they hate Rafa and toon i dont know,arseholes

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  21. icedog: ime here mate dont comment much while game is on,oh how i hate Keys and Grey toon sould not have won should have been down 10 men Kenady should have been sent off so wouldnt hav been on to make the goal,why they hate Rafa and toon i dont know,arseholes

    pair of twats mate, they forget we could of been 4 up first half with better finishing /luck. All pundits agree we were deserved winners but them 🙄

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