Feature

Battle for safety: Huddersfield

18 Feb 2019
Aaron Mooy, Huddersfield Town

A look at the form, fixtures and key man for the Terriers if they are to defy the odds

The battle to avoid relegation is intensifying as the season enters its final third, so we have taken a look at the prospects of the eight teams with the biggest fight to remain in the Premier League.

How they stand

Pos Team Pl GD Pts
1 MCI 38 +72 98
2 LIV 38 +67 97
3 CHE 38 +24 72
4 TOT 38 +28 71
5 ARS 38 +22 70
6 MUN 38 +11 66
Huddersfield Town

"We will keep fighting. We worked really hard to get into the Premier League, so we aren't going to go down with a whimper. We will give it all the fight we've got."

These were the words of club vice-captain Jonathan Hogg to the Huddersfield Town official website this week.

No team have escaped relegation from so far back this late in a season but having secured promotion despite a negative goal difference and retaining their Premier League last season with only 28 goals scored, Huddersfield are all about defying expectations.

Form

Of the 12 defeats in Huddersfield Town's current 13-match winless run that has sent them to the bottom and 14 points adrift of safety, seven have been by one-goal margins.

New head coach Jan Siewert saw the positives in the 2-1 home defeat by Arsenal last time out which included a first goal scored in five matches.

"The way we created the chances, and at least we scored, we showed that we are on the right wave," he said.

Fixtures

The fixture list offers Siewert further scope for hope, with two of the next three matches against teams also battling relegation: Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion.

The toughest-looking fixture of the next five is the one that will probably stir the happiest memories from this season for Huddersfield fans.

Seventh-placed Wolverhampton Wanderers travel to John Smith's Stadium on Tuesday, 26 February after a 2-0 defeat in the reverse fixture, Huddersfield's best result in 2018/19. 

Of the other two opponents, West Ham United required a late equaliser to earn a point against Huddersfield earlier in the season while AFC Bournemouth were run close when the two teams met at Vitality Stadium.

Key man

Goals are needed desperately. While Huddersfield's 206 chances created are more than four other teams, the quality of those chances have been low.

Only 14 "big chances", where a player is expected to score, have been produced by the Terriers, the lowest in the league and the same tally as their goals scored.

The absence of Aaron Mooy through injury from the beginning of December hit the club hard. 

As well as his energy in the middle of the field, the Australian's creativity and threat from set-pieces were badly missed. 

If a fully-fit Mooy can deliver greater and better opportunities for his team-mates, then the "Huddersfield Town miracle Mk II" might be on.

Also in this series

Part 1: Battle for safety: Crystal Palace
Part 2: Battle for safety: Brighton & Hove Albion
Part 3: Battle for safety: Burnley
Part 4: Battle for safety: Newcastle United
Part 5: Battle for safety: Cardiff City
Part 6: Battle for safety: Southampton
Part 7: Battle for safety: Fulham

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