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

Despite three wins on the bounce in November and a great point at Everton, two defeats in our last two at St James’ Park have left us desperate for points ahead of what looks set to be a very tough run from Christmas onwards.

Our next two games are massive, and the trip to Huddersfield is one where anything other than 3 points would have to be seen as a real disappointment. 

They’ve lost their last three and are without their star man Aaron Mooy, with several other injuries meaning they’re facing a bit of an injury crisis in the middle of the park ahead of this one.

It’s a big game and a relegation six-pointer for some, however it’s reassuring to remember that Rafa often helped deliver big wins at this time of the season last year (remember those crucial away wins over West Ham and Stoke around this time last year).

I’m confident but cautious given our unpredictable form of late. Let’s hope the manager of the month award doesn’t prove to be a curse for Benitez. 

Preferred XI

As ever, here’s the team I’d like to see, followed by the side I expect Rafa to go with:

With Fernandez and Shelvey out, parts of our team will pick itself for this one – although Dummett could be used as a left-sided centre-back if Rafa does stick with three at the back. 

Lascelles must up his game but could be helped by the return of the all-action Fabian Schar, whose ability to play as a right-sided centre back may allow the skipper to come back into a more familiar central role. 

Yedlin’s absence could be an issue. He has a tendency to switch, but his likely replacement in Javier Manquillo fills me with very little confident – even on his favoured side. 

I can see Kenedy coming back into this one. It would be harsh on Atsu – who’s done surprisingly well in our last two – however Kenedy’s fresh legs could be the deciding factor given he’s not started for a few weeks now. 

Up top, you’d have to fancy us to unsettle Huddersfield’s back line IF Rondon and Perez can combine as they did against Wolves last weekend. 

Predicted NUFC team – (3-4-2-1) – Dubravka – Schar, Lascelles, Clark – Manquillo, Ki, Diame, Ritchie –  Kenedy, Perez – Rondon.  

The Opposition

Here’s a few ‘ones to watch’ in this injury-hit Huddersfield side:

Philip Billing: The tall but talented midfielder is someone I’ve always been impressed with whenever I watch Huddersfield. Looks slick on the ball for his size and will be under pressure to perform with Mooy out.

Alex Pritchard: He’s their diminutive number 10 and the player they’ll look to get on the ball in the gaps between midfield and defence to unlock the door. Looks a handy player. 

Laurent Depoitre: Built like a rugby player and an absolute powerhouse as you’d expect. He’s yet to score this season but could be the man Huddersfield turn to with Mounie suspended. The likes of Clark or Schar could struggle with him physically if they are direct. 

Predicted Huddersfield XI  (3-5-1-1) – Lossl – Jorgensen, Schindler, Kongolo – Hadergjonaj, Bacuna, Billing, Hogg – Durm – Pritchard – Depoitre.

Team news

Fabian Schar is back from a ban and Paul Dummett could start after a week’s training, however Fernandez and Shelvey are out with injuries – with Yedlin set to miss out via suspension. 

Aaron Mooy, Tommy Smith and Danny Williams are all out with long-term knee injuries, with striker Steve Mounie suspended. 

Jonathan Hogg and Terence Kongolo have been passed fit – with talented midfielder Philip Billing back after a one-match ban.

Match Prediction

I don’t expect this one to be a classic, but I fancy us to get the better of them in a low scoring game. 

I believe we have more quality in attacking areas, a defence capable of keeping them out and although we may miss Fernandez, the absence of their star midfielder Aaron Mooy could be an even bigger miss, with him being the man who makes them tick. 

Prediction: Huddersfield 0-1 Newcastle

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

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

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

  1. Tough game. I like Pritchard and Billing is decent in midfield too.

    I see Olly reckons Rafa will stick 3-5-2-1. I’m not so sure. I think he may switch back to 4-2-3-1, but we shall see. Ollys way might be better coz they have big players for set pieces and that could be the difference for either team.


  2. Yep tough, but expecting us to bounce back after that bitterly disappointing end to last weeks game.
    narrow win, Rondon to score again.


  3. Not sure about Olly’s lineup. Atsu is in good form now. Dummett is recovered and Muto needs a game. Perez played probably his best game against Wolves and Lascelles probably his worst. Does Rafa stick with Lascelles to build his confidence? Probably 5 – 2- 3


    Kenedy Lascellles Schar Dummett Ritchie

    Ki Diame

    Atsu Rondon Ayoze


  4. Eric Sykes:
    I am going with 3 nil to NUFC today.

    Hope so Eric, but I’m not as confident as you are… I think it may be a cagey 1-0 to us… but hope you’re right .. 👍


  5. Hmm, according to Sky sports app, Ritchie was on the bench, but Bein have him starting in midfield with no Ki..?


  6. What a pile of Sh.ite that was… we are making Huddersfield actually look decent and they are shi.t too. We cannot pass, cannot shoot, cannot stay on our feet… omfg… just total crap crap crap. It cannot get worse… it must get better 😡😡😡


  7. They have Spurs on here.

    A crowd of 40,000.

    Pretty pathetic really when you can watch Harry Kane, Dele Ally and Christian Erikson every week. Not to mention the NEW and IMPROVED Moussa Sissoko.

    8,400,000 people in the London area and Spurs get 40k FFS.


  8. Nice weather.

    Makes Joe Hart’s hair look especially thin just in time for his next Head and Shoulder’s commercial.


  9. Well, exactly what I predicted, a cagey, dire 1-0 to us. One spark, a great goal from Rondon, but that was a really game. Our disallowed goal was clearly onside and once again we are denied by very bad decision by the officials. Very clearly onside. Shocking decision, just shocking. … but we won, somehow… I’ll take the points anyway we can right now.


  10. DT: our match wasn’t on here and I didn’t feel like going to the pub to watch it.

    I didn’t even listen to the radio because John Anderton is just depressing.

    “Fer me- that was a goal kick there it was. It was. To be sure, and I am certain of it. Yes, it was a gool kick.”


  11. Eric Sykes:
    DT: our match wasn’t on here and I didn’t feel like going to the pub to watch it.

    I didn’t even listen to the radio because John Anderton is just depressing.

    “Fer me- that was a goal kick there it was. It was. To be sure, and I am certain of it.Yes, it was a gool kick.”

    You didn’t miss much mate. Dire. But we were clearly robbed again by the officials… hey ho..


  12. Rondon to score check
    narrow win check

    🙂 nice to be right
    Perez was onside, crooked officials or plain incompetent


  13. Well, the weather was gash so not conducive to attractive football, chuck in the fact both sides struggle to score then it was never gonna be a thriller to watch.
    All the same, I will take an ugly win all day long given the circumstances.

    Also, can someone explain where the 4 mins added time came from ?


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