Category Archives: Huddersfield Town

Wigan 8-0 Hull- What are the repercussions for both sides and the other teams involved in the battle to avoid the drop?

Wigan recorded their biggest ever league victory on Tuesday night as they dismantled a sorry Hull side to move 11 points clear of the relegation zone.

Paul Cook’s side were 7-0 up at half time, thanks to strikes from Naismith, Lowe and Williams, as well as doubles from Moore and Dowell, as Hull capitulated.

Dowell completed his hat-trick in the second half as the Latics recorded their eighth victory in their last eleven games, a run which has included 10 clean sheets.

This is a mightily impressive run of form when you factor in that they have a 12 point deduction looming, after the club were placed into administration last month.

It is the impending deduction, which leaves Wigan in danger of dropping down to League One. At the minute they sit 13th on 57 points but when the deduction is applied their points total falls to 45, which would take them to 21st, level on points with both Luton and Hull, ahead by only goal difference.

The EFL, according to the Evening Standard, have stated that the points deduction will only come into play this season if Wigan finish outside the relegation zone. It is therefore key that the club win their final two games to have any chance of staying up.

Buoyed by their recent performances, Paul Cook’s men will be full of confidence for their next game against fellow strugglers Charlton and their last fixture against promotion chasing Fulham. Win those two games, and it is likely that Wigan could remain in the Championship, even with the deduction coming in to play.

Wigan are just one of eight clubs that could face demotion to the third tier, as the bottom of the Championship table is incredibly tight with just two games left to play.

Hull City, who were pummelled by the Latics on Tuesday, Luton Town and yo-yo club Barnsley currently occupy the three relegation places. Barnsley are rock bottom, two points adrift of Luton and Hull who are level on 45 points, but with a game in hand on their relegation rivals.

Lingering above the drop zone by a single point are Charlton, who also boast a game in hand. Huddersfield, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, are nervously looking over their shoulder as they are two points ahead of Charlton, having played a game more.

Birmingham and Stoke City are next, level on 49 points they sit 18th and 19th, again having played a game less than the likes of Huddersfield, Luton and Hull.

Barnsley, who won promotion to the Championship last season, are likely to go straight back down to League One, as they have the hardest run in of any of those fighting relegation.

Gerhard Struber’s men face table toppers Leeds tomorrow night before entertaining in form Nottingham Forest in their penultimate game. They end the season with a trip to Griffin Park to play Brentford, and it is hard to see the Tykes getting anything from those games given their mixed form since the restart.

They have won two, drawn three and lost one of their six games since they returned from the break, but given how well the teams they are coming up against have fared they are in real trouble of going down.

Luton had looked nailed on for a swift return to League One before the break as they sat bottom of the table having endured a tough season, their first at Championship level in 12 years.

The reappointment of Nathan Jones, after he was sacked by Stoke has no doubt aided their fortunes, as the Hatters have defeated Swansea and Huddersfield since the restart, as well as picking up points against Leeds, Preston, Barnsley and QPR.

A heavy 5-0 defeat to Reading hasn’t helped their goal difference, which stands at -30, the highest in the league, which could be a determining factor in the race against the drop.

They face two cup finals to preserve their Championship status, the first a monumental clash with Hull at the weekend and the second against mid table Blackburn.

It will be a big ask, as Luton will also need others to slip up, but Nathan Jones’ men shouldn’t be written of just yet, especially given their recent revival.

Their opponents this weekend Hull have endured a tumultuous few months, and are in serious danger of dropping down to the third division for the first time since 2005.

Grant McCann will demand a response from his side in this weekend’s encounter with Luton and again against Cardiff after their dismal display on Tuesday night. They lacked any real fight and merely rolled over against the Latics.

They have won just one game since New Year’s Day, as their abysmal form in 2020 has seen them slide alarmingly down the table.

It is no surprise that their disastrous form has coincided with them selling their best two players, Jarrod Bowen and Kamil Grosicki in the January transfer window, and failing to bring in suitable replacements for them.

Wigan’s impending point deduction has given them an olive branch but if they don’t collect any points from their final two games, which given their current state of affairs will be a tough ask, they could still go down.

Last season’s League One Playoff winners Charlton are also involved in the relegation scrap. They won back to back games straight after the restart, but are since winless in four to leave them hovering over the dreaded drop zone with three games left to play.

They face off against Birmingham tonight in a must win clash, before hosting Wigan and travelling to Leeds on the last day of the season.

A return of four points from those games should be enough to keep Lee Bowyer’s side in the division, but it is going to be a struggle given their lack of goals recently amidst the departure of their star striker Lyle Taylor.

Although very much still in trouble, a win this evening should ease fears of relegation for the Addicks.

A team in dire need of a victory are Huddersfield, who are in serious danger of suffering back to back relegations, given their poor form since the restart. They have won just one game since the break and have failed to hit the target in their last four games.

A 0-0 draw last night against Sheffield Wednesday, coupled with a Charlton victory tonight would leave the Terriers just three points above the drop zone. They have West Brom and Millwall in their last two games, a difficult run in compared to others around them.

With goals hard to come by, they really have to dig deep to grind out some results, as they will need to avoid defeat in both those fixtures to stay up.

Birmingham are another team who have been pulled into the relegation battle, as results since the restart haven’t come their way. They have lost four of six games, drawing the other two, the form of a club in real trouble which cost manager Pep Clotet his job.

They have three games left, against Charlton, Preston and Derby, and with four points separating them and Hull, and Wigan’s impending deduction, their early season form has probably saved them from falling out of the division.

A major rebuild will have to commence at St Andrews next season however, with Clotet gone and talented youngster Bellingham set to join Borussia Dortmund for £22.5 million.

Stoke City are also fighting for survival, after an inconsistent season. Their form since the restart has encapsulated this notion. Michael O’Neill’s men drew with Reading before losing to Middlesbrough and Wigan. They then thumped Barnsley 4-0, lost to Leeds 5-0 and beat Birmingham 2-0, to distance themselves from the drop zone.

They had an awful start to the season under Nathan Jones, winning just 2 of their 14 games to sit in the relegation zone. Michael O’Neill’s arrival at the bet365 Stadium mid season helped to steady the ship, and the win over Birmingham helped them take huge strides towards securing safety, something which looked impossible in November.

They face Bristol City tonight, knowing a win will all but guarantee safety, helping them break into the 50 points bracket with two tough games left against Brentford and Nottingham Forest.

Given the erratic nature of the Championship predicting who will go down is arguably one of the most difficult tasks in football. Yet, it is hard to look past Barnsley and Hull to be relegated, given their remaining fixtures and poor form.

Who will join them is where it gets interesting as Luton, Charlton, Huddersfield and Birmingham are all scrapping to avoid falling into the final relegation place.

Throw in Wigan’s impending points deduction and the Championship relegation battle becomes even more complicated and simultaneously intriguing for a neutral watching on.

For more reaction to Wigan Athletic entering administration see video below:

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.