Category Archives: Huddersfield Town

FOREST SOLidify PLAY OFF PLACE

A brace from Lewis Grabban and a late strike from Ryan Yates secured Nottingham Forest a vital 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town at The City Ground.

A goal either side of half-time from Grabban, which took his tally for the season to 19, put daylight between Forest and their struggling visitors and Yates put the icing on the cake with a near-post finish five minutes from time.Juninho Bacuna was shown a straight red card late on for a dangerous lunge on Nuno Da Costa before Karlan Grant scored a penalty in the final minute of six minutes of stoppage time after Joe Worrall shoved Fraizer Campbell to the floor inside the box. The win moves Forest seven points clear of the pack chasing the play off places and seven points behind the automatic promotion places.

The Reds should have been in front inside four minutes. Joe Lolley went on a strong run down the right-hand channel and pulled the ball back into the penalty area for Sammy Ameobi but having picked his spot, the winger crashed his effort against the base of the post.

Brice Samba was called into action on 15 minutes as he was forced to push behind a curling free-kick from Alex Pritchard from the edge of the penalty area before two resulting corners from Huddersfield caused problems with Forest at full-stretch to clear the danger.

The visitors were enjoying the better of the exchanges midway through the first half. A clever free-kick routine saw Karlan Grant drill an effort towards goal from inside the box but Ameobi did well to turn it the ball over the crossbar from inside his own six-yard box. They had a strong shout for a penalty when Ben Watson tripped Pritchard but the referee saw nothing doing.

Two minutes before the interval and Forest had the breakthrough. A deep corner from the right drifted all the way out to Centre Back Joe Worrall in the left-hand channel, he delivered an excellent ball back into the penalty area and an unmarked Grabban produced an excellent thunderous first-time volley to beat Jonas Lossl at his near post.

Just 50 seconds into the second half, Forest doubled their advantage. Ameobi slipped a ball through behind the Huddersfield back four and Grabban let it run in front of him before he slid a low strike under the body of Lossl into the back of The Terriers’ net. As Huddersfield were pushing for a goal at one end, Forest were looking to extend their lead at the other and they sealed the points with five minutes to play. Yates got across his man at the near post and was in an excellent position to stick a foot out and send Lolley’s corner into the net from close range.

Huddersfield saw their afternoon brought to a disappointing end courtesy of Bacuna’s late red card. Referee David Webb had already awarded Huddersfield a free-kick before Bacuna hacked Nuno Da Costa down with a poor challenge on the halfway line and it was enough for Webb to show the former FC Groningen man a straight red.

The visitors did grab a consolation goal in the final minute of stoppage time after Worrall shoved Campbell to the ground inside the penalty area. Grant stepped up to thump the ball beyond Samba into the corner of the net to give them a late goal to take back to West Yorkshire.

Nottingham Forest head coach Sabri Lamouchi was pleased with the victory over Huddersfield but felt there was room for improvement in the performance.

“It was a good result but I am not so happy with the performance because we can play much better. I know that but I am probably impatient with the players because after three months, the most important was to win today and congratulations to the boys.

“To play at The City Ground when usually the fans are always behind us, to play in an empty stadium in this atmosphere is so strange. So congratulations to the boys, the great performance was to win. I am not happy for the goal we conceded or the way we played sometimes, but I am happy because it is a fantastic gift for me from the players after exactly one year here. “It was important to win for the confidence and for the next game in three days. On Wednesday we play again and then against Derby. Now we start the final rush and we are in the race.It is a tough schedule, tough for us but for all the teams. Now we start the money time.”

Read a full review of championship matches this weekend here: https://247-football.com/2020/06/29/championship-review-warnock-starts-with-win-leeds-go-marching-on/

Borussia Dortmund vs Schalke 04 Preview

All eyes will be on the restart of the German Bundesliga this weekend as it is set to become the first major European league to return to action following the global pandemic.

Among those fixtures set to take place feature the Revier Derby, which is held between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04.

Before the postponement of the league, Lucien Favre’s Dortmund team were sitting four points behind reigning champions Bayern Munich and will be looking to close the gap to just a single point before their title rivals play Union Berlin on Sunday.

Since David Wagner took over at Schalke, the former Huddersfield Town and Dortmund coach has turned them from potential relegation candidates to Champions League hopefuls.

The team known as the Royal Blues, however, come into this one on a poor run of form having not won a Bundesliga match since the middle of January and suffered 5-0 losses against the likes of Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig.

The last match Dortmund played was their Champions League match against Paris Saint Germain, where the ultimately suffered a 4-2 aggregate loss. They did win their last league match at Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1 on the 7 March.

Previous successes and meetings

Dortmund have had the most recent success out of the two clubs having won five Bundesliga titles, the latest coming during Jurgen Klopp’s reign in 2011/12.  Schalke, meanwhile have not won the German Bundesliga since it was reformed in 1962 with their last of seven national titles coming in 1958.

In total there has been 19 Bundesliga previous matches between these rivals, seven have been won by Dortmund compared to Schalke’s five and there have also been seven draws including a 0-0 draw in the last match between the sides back in October.

Schalke do however boast an impressive recent record against this season’s title challengers having just lost once in their last five matches against them.

Indeed, the Royal Blues won the last encounter between the sides at The Westfalenstadion 4-2 in a dramatic match that subsequently saw Dortmund reduced to nine men.

Key Players

In their 2019/20 campaign so far, Schalke have certainly struggled for goals but two of their young midfielders, Moroccan international, Amine Harit, 22 and German Suat Serdar, 23 have enjoyed impressive seasons to date.

Serdar is the Royal Blues top scorer currently with seven league goals, while Harit has managed six goals and four assists in 24 appearances this season.

The Royal Blues also boast England under-21 international, Jonjoe Kenny in their ranks.  Kenny is currently on loan from Everton and the right back will certainly be in for a tough afternoon.

Kenny and his team will be tasked with keeping two of the most prolific and highly regarded attackers in Europe quiet.  England winger, Jadon Sancho is Dortmund’s top scorer with 14 goals so far, while January signing Erling Haaland has already managed nine goals in just eight appearances for the club.

Dortmund Club Captain, Marco Reus meanwhile has also reached double figures this season with 11 goals.

Where to watch?

BT Sport will be showing every game live on TV and online this weekend.

Dortmund versus Schalke will be shown on BT Sport 1 HD from 2pm BST.

Prediction

Dortmund 4-1 win

We are anticipating goals in this one but ultimately we believe that Dortmund will have too much firepower for Wagner’s Royal Blues with both Sancho and Haaland proving to be the difference between the teams.

TOWN’S TRANSER MARKET

Reflection of Huddersfield’s activity, or inactivity, in the transfer market proves them not to be big spenders of any sort, a pretence their supporters have come to terms with therefore dampening any real January excitement.

However manager Danny Cowley has shown no hesitation in expressing the necessity to bring in new bodies during the transfer period, and most recently promised the club were working hard to bring players in during a post match interview following their FA cup exit courtesy of two Southampton goals made in their academy.

In terms of the West Yorkshire team’s own academy, the past week has seen many development players recalled. With the likes of attacking minded player Rekeil Pike returning to his parent club from Rochdale, it is possible additions to Cowley’s youthful squad are coming from recalls. Since their arrival from Lincoln City, the Cowley brothers have not been shy of taking risks with the youth players, with the risk best executed late on against Charlton; academy graduate Matty Daly scored a late winner to secure all three points for the Terriers in the capital.

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First team appearance on the cards for Pike? The striker is the latest youngster to be recalled back to Huddersfield.

Largely, Huddersfield fans will argue the Aaron-Mooy-shaped void in midfield is the priority for debut season owner Phil Hodgkinson to get sorted. Not to ignore the effectiveness of current central players Jonathon Hogg – nicknamed ‘ the general’ for his control, maturity and clear passion for the team- and youngster Lewis O’Brien who has flourished in an attacking midfield position under the Cowley’s, but the evident Premier League quality of the Australian is not yet to be replicated. Consistently giving class performances in the countries top league, Town fans are well aware his rising price tag could be windfall for a quality signing to commit to the northern club.

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Aaron Mooy’s departure to the Premier League left a difficult hole to fill for the struggling Championship side.

Owner Phil Hodgkinson’s takeover was made a subtle affair as former owner, and Town fan Dean Hoyle gave protection and appealed to the fans to be patient with the clubs handling. Facing relegation in 2019, after an emphatic past two years, the humbled status of the club led to almost a state of acceptance that Huddersfield had had its time and was almost a return to reality. It was made well aware the bank was not in danger of overflowing to put it one way. Knowledge of this becomes contributor to Huddersfield’s limited hopes of a busy transfer market but Cowley insists he is adamant for new faces at the John Smiths.

Similar to recent seasons, rumours are surrounding young Premier League loanees. With Rhian Brewster been linked with a loan move to the championship after recently recovering from an ankle injury, he would offer a different striking option. Close links to the Merseyside club from the David Wagner years, who was close friend Jurgen Klopp, has seen Liverpool-Huddersfield connections before as with Dominik Solanke who was linked with the club last season. Solanke, who went to play for Premier League side Bournemouth, is an example of maybe the lack of attraction Huddersfield hold and maybe why chasing Premier League club players is not the most realistic of options.

To look at lower league possibilities, Marcus Maddison of Peterborough would be a great addition for the Terriers, with 10 goals and nearly as many assists to his name. The attacking winger could be a goal scoring source for Huddersfield who struggle more often than not to take their chances. A natural winger could be vital for the team, who are rumoured to release two wingers in Adama Diakhby and Isaac Ebenza who have not been favourited by the new manager. The outlet of a new winger could see Karlan Grant return to be a more central striker which is the position he played so well in the early days at Town.

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Maddison at Peterborough shapes the ideal addition for Terriers’side.

In speaking to Huddersfield supporters, due to the lack of current concrete rumours, a few lower league names also cropped up, one being Jerome Opuku of Fulham. Currently out on loan on Accrington Stanley, he would create competition for a centre back role and is also adaptable to play at left back. His addition would raise competition for Schindler and Stankovic who have played well but Opuku could offer pace in the centre half’s position.

It seem likely that Huddersfield’s supporters can expect the arrival of loanees from lower league clubs to improve the depth and quality for some areas of the squad. As much as they would enjoy the return of past strikers Jordan Rhodes and Nahki Wells who have begun to hit the back of the net in the Championship again, as they once did so well at Town. However there is hope to be had with Danny Cowley’s obvious strive for achievement, January may just have to be a patient one for the Huddersfield fans.

TOWN TAKE ALL THREE POINTS FROM ROVERS

A fixture which has seen more draws in the last few years than an other score-line, fans on both sides would have been hopeful for more than just a point a piece.

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A second goal of the Christmas period for Huddersfield’s front man

Following this weeks news of star striker Bradley Dack being ruled out for the season due to injury, a heavy weight laid upon a Blackburn side who were looking to continue their unbeaten run dating back to 9th November. For Huddersfield, Danny Cowley made two changes to the Boxing Day starting line up which included the return of left back Jaden Brown who came in to replace Flo Hadergjonajat.

As expected, the beginning stages saw both teams very open in defence with both sides having chances in the primary stages. Danny Graham was the first to capitalise one of these chances for the visitors as he headed past Grabara, leaving the Huddersfield players to simply watch as he nodded down to the near post. Up at the other end shortly after referee Andy Woolmer waved away penalty claims as Karlan Grant was brought to ground in the penalty area. Woolmer was keeping the game flowing choosing not to be disciplinary with cards where other officials might have been during the first half.

Shortly before half time a whipped in free kick from Juninho Bacuna reached six yard box to be met by Town’s centre half Jon Gorenc Stankovic who recorded his home turf debut goal with a bullet header to make it 1-1. Stankovic arguably Huddersfield’s best player of the day was up against Blackburn’s Sam Gallagher who caused problems for the home side on multiple occasions, a great contest to watch throughout the 90 minutes.

It was Huddersfield who fought back in the second half to take the lead through a skilled strike from Steve Mounie who, from middle distance, struck the ball into the top right hand corner of the Blackburn net in the latter quarter of the game. A good strike which turned out to be the winner for the Terriers, however this wasn’t before Huddersfield’s keeper Grabara was needed to pull off a close range save to deny Rovers an equaliser.

Nine minutes added on for injury time led to a majority nervous atmosphere at the John Smiths but the home side managed to cling on to their one goal advantage. A good game of football from both sides with some real glimpses of talent in youth players from John Buckley for Rovers who showed intent to get the ball forward and supply his strikers. Similarly, Lewis O’Brien who balanced maturity and desire to attack well, stepping up to replace the injured Jonathon Hogg.

Huddersfield town vs Nottingham forest match review

Two goals from two unlikely goal scorers secure 3 points for Danny Cowley’s men against an out of form Nottingham Forest.

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Danny Cowley will aim to secure Championship security during the Christmas period

The opening of the game indicated notion of the close contested game the match turned out to be, with both sides having goal scoring chances. Long range shots from Sammy Ameobi looked to test keeper Grabara who was playing on the back of a pivotal mistake from last weekend which had seen the Terriers concede to Wigan. However, Grabara was to make no mistake this week as he exampled some brilliant saves in both the first and second halves.

Despite Forest chances, it was Town who made the break through from a corner which was fanatically finished by captain Christopher Schindler. The goal had followed a period of Town pressure in the final third, with good chances for in form Karlan Grant and Juhinio Bacuna who is looking to increase his goal tally for the season.

The game proceeded to be tense, with what some may say ‘tasty’ tackles been shown. The referee was not shy in showing yellow cards as the game started to become a battle of physicality. This element of the game transferred to the side-lines and at half time it was the back room staff who were asserting their physicality. Altercations with coaching staff and both managers in Cowley and Lamouchi, led them both to comment on the lack of respect of the other side in their post match interviews.

However, there was only one battle which was important and that was the football. The second half saw Huddersfield score a second goal from striker Steve Mounie, a rare goal scorer of late. The Belgian forward headed the ball over the Forest line to double the Terrier’s lead. A two goal lead which was required as Forest found a goal with quarter of an hour to go through a leaping header from Joe Wirall.

In these last 15 minutes the game was wide open, Nottingham looked most threatening down the right hand side with winger Joe Lolley, former Huddersfield player, looking very dangerous when cutting in. A magnificent save was required from Grabara to keep the youngster off the score sheet. Lolley’s style of play was replicated by Grant at the opposite end of the pitch, as he cut in down the left hand side to try finish as he has done so well recently, with a curling top right shot which he marginally missed out on.

Minor fouls slowed the game down in its dying embers as the tension of the game decreased with the officials calling for free kicks, another factor possibly to cause the reaction of the Managers’ comments upon respect for the football.

Inevitably tactics of the game will be debated, but it was Huddersfield who enter the Christmas period with three points already in the bag.