Welcome one and all to Newcastle United’s fist home game of the Championship season – and hopefully a first win of many. Things did not quite go to plan at Fulham last week and no doubt Rafa Benitez will be determined to get this side back on track.
There have been 60 games played between these two sides in all competitions throughout the history of the game. Newcastle United have the edge in the head-to-head stakes, having won 25 compared to Huddersfield’s 20.
The Terriers have not met the Magpies in a league game for over 30 years, mainly because whilst the Yorkshire side have been treading water in the lower leagues, Newcastle have been knocking on the door of the top tier and at times challenging the very best the Country has to offer for top tier titles. That’s no slight on Huddersfield, I’m just trying to highlight what a big scalp Newcastle is for a Terrier’s side that already has 3 points on the board and will be extra motivated to pull off a shock win today. The Toon will have to be on ‘it’ from the very first kick of the ball.
The last time Huddersfield claimed a victory against United was over 50-years-go on 28th December 1963, a 3 Nil victory on that occasion. Back then the likes of Ice Dog were just coming up to retirement. Since then there have been 9 games in all competitions during which Newcastle have gone unbeaten. 10 has a better ring to it, no?
The last match between the two sides was a cracking game in the League Cup, during which The Magpies claimed a 4-3 victory in the 2nd round. During that game Huddersfield took the lead twice but Newcastle fought back and found a winner though Kevin Nolan in the 84th minute. The other goal scorers were Danny Guthrie, Geremi and Shola Ameobi for the Toon, whilst Robinson netted twice for the Terriers and Jordan Rhodes got in on the action too. On the day, the Yorkshire side had a great following inside the stadium in full voice. Their fans are just as passionate as Newcastle’s and despite St. James’ Park being a sell out today, I’m sure Huddersfield’s dedicate fan base will keen to make an impression in order to support their side.
28 Sels, 22 Janmaat, 18 Mbemba, 6 Lascelles, 3 Dummett, 8 Anita, 14 Hayden, 12 Shelvey, 16 Aarons, 15 Diamé, 9 Gayle.
Substitutes: 2 Clark, 4 Colback, 11 Ritchie, 17 Pérez, 26 Darlow, 27 Gámez,32 Armstrong.
1 Ward, 2 Smith, 5 Hudson, 26 Schindler, 15 Löwe, 6 Hogg, 10 Mooy, 18 Lolley, 9 Kachunga, 17 van La Parra, 21 Wells.
Substitutes: 7 Scannell, 13 Coleman, 14 Cranie, 16 Payne, 27 Stankovic, 44 Hefele, 45 Palmer.
So after a lot of speculation, Moussa Sissoko is left out of the match day squad. I don’t think Benitez had a choice. There is a full house today and most fans are very displeased with the Frenchman’s ungrateful comments made about the club, most recently this week. If the fans had turned on him mid game, it could have affected the outcome of the game. A suprise is no Matt Ritchie in the side, who only makes the bench today. He was arguably our best player last week. Mo Diame makes his Toon debut and will hopefully add that thrust from the middle of the park that we lacked last week. Both Perez and Colback are dropped following poor performances last week, whilst Ciaran Clarke may make his debut from the bench. It also appears Mats Selz has nailed down the #1 shirt at the expense of Karl Darlow.