Huddersfield Town v Arsenal: how Town can get a point – or maybe three.

This ought to be a simple walkover, what with Huddersfield being at the bottom of the league and looking certain to go back down to the Championship…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD
Pts
16 Southampton 25 5 9 11 27 42 -15 24
17 Burnley 25 6 6 13 26 46 -20 24
18 Cardiff City 25 6 4 15 22 46 -24 22
19 Fulham 25 4 5 16 25 55 -30 17
20 Huddersfield Town 25 2 5 18 13 46 -33 11

So what makes us pause even for a second?

The answer of course is Arsenal’s away form…

Away games only

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
4 Manchester United 13 7 2 4 24 19 5 23
5 Chelsea 12 7 1 4 19 14 5 22
6 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 5 3 4 14 14 0 18
7 Leicester City 13 5 3 5 17 18 -1 18
8 Watford 13 4 5 4 17 16 1 17
9 Arsenal 12 4 3 5 23 25 -2 15

Arsenal needed to up their away form this season if they were going to improve on their sixth placed finish last season, but have so far only won 4 away games, and having a goal difference of -2.  So when we come to the psychology, this is where worries might start to occur.

But even with Arsenal’s poor form, they have managed 23 goals away from home, almost double Huddersfield’s entire home and away total.

However the psychology twists back the other way as the Town players contemplate their current run of form…

01 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Brighton and Hove L 1-2
04 Dec 2018 AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town L 2-1
08 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town L 1-0
15 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United L 0-1
22 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Southampton L 1-3
26 Dec 2018 Manchester United v Huddersfield Town L 3-1
29 Dec 2018 Fulham v Huddersfield Town L 1-0
02 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Burnley L 1-2
05 Jan 2019 Bristol City v Huddersfield Town FAC L 1-0
12 Jan 2019 Cardiff City v Huddersfield Town D 0-0
20 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Manchester City L 0-3
29 Jan 2019 Huddersfield Town v Everton L 0-1
02 Feb 2019 Chelsea v Huddersfield Town L 5-0

That is 13 games and all they have to show for it is a single point with an away goalless draw against Cardiff.

Of course a draw would be a great result for the club at the moment and if Arsenal fail to score early on they certainly could begin to get the nerves in the second half.   But Arsenal are the fifth highest scoring away team in the league.  Indeed if we look at the away form table on goals scored we find…

Away games only, by goals scored

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 13 11 0 2 30 13 17 33
3 Manchester City 13 8 2 3 25 9 16 26
2 Liverpool 13 9 3 1 24 8 16 30
4 Manchester United 13 7 2 4 24 19 5 23
9 Arsenal 12 4 3 5 23 25 -2 15

Arsenal have scored only one goal fewer than Liverpool and Manchester Utd away, and only two fewer than Manchester City.  A single goal from them on Saturday will mean Huddersfield will have to open up in order to attack.  And here is Arsenal’s hope.  Only three teams in the league have a worse away form in defence than Arsenal: Huddersfield, Bournemouth and Fulham.

If they can hold their nerve, Huddersfield ought to attack Arsenal, aim to get an early goal, and then try and hold on.  It is going to be tough, but it might just unnerve Arsenal and get Huddersfield an unlikely point.  Or three.

Fulham v Huddersfield Town: the predictions

Fulham have not only moved off the bottom of the League but also bottom of the League when we just look at home games

Home games only

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
14 Cardiff City 10 4 1 5 13 20 -7 13
15 Crystal Palace 9 2 3 4 5 8 -3 9
16 Fulham 9 2 3 4 11 19 -8 9
17 Southampton 9 1 5 3 10 14 -4 8
18 Newcastle United 10 2 1 7 7 15 -8 7
19 Burnley 9 2 1 6 10 20 -10 7
20 Huddersfield Town 10 1 2 7 4 14 -10 5

Two wins, three draws and four defeats is not terrific, but it is an improvement.  And just 11 goals at home in nine games is not great but it is better than five teams around them.

Huddersfield Town have only won one game all season, and are already three points away from safety.  But away from home they are not in the bottom three, just as Fulham are not in the home games table.

Away games only

14 AFC Bournemouth 9 3 0 6 11 19 -8 9
15 Brighton and Hove Albion 10 2 1 7 7 16 -9 7
16 Southampton 10 2 1 7 10 21 -11 7
17 Huddersfield Town 9 1 2 6 8 20 -12 5
18 Burnley 10 1 2 7 7 21 -14 5
19 Cardiff City 9 0 2 7 5 18 -13 2
20 Fulham 10 0 2 8 6 24 -18 2

So a team that has won two out of nine at home against a team that has won one out of nine away.   A team that has conceded 19 goals at home against a team that has scored 20 goals away.

The only factor where there is any light between the two is goals – 11 for Fulham at home and 8 for Huddersfield away.  Is that enough to give a home win?  In such a battle at the bottom it could be.

However there is one other factor where the teams can be separated:  The head to head.

If we travel back to 1994, there is only one Huddersfield win…

Date Game Res Score Competition
19 Mar 1994 Fulham v Huddersfield Town D 1-1 Division 2
23 Oct 1999 Huddersfield Town v Fulham D 1-1 Division 1
07 May 2000 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 3-0 Division 1
04 Nov 2000 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 3-0 Division 1
14 Apr 2001 Huddersfield Town v Fulham W 1-2 Division 1
08 Nov 2014 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 3-1 Championship
21 Mar 2015 Huddersfield Town v Fulham W 0-2 Championship
22 Aug 2015 Fulham v Huddersfield Town D 1-1 Championship
16 Jan 2016 Huddersfield Town v Fulham D 1-1 Championship
29 Oct 2016 Fulham v Huddersfield Town W 5-0 Championship
22 Apr 2017 Huddersfield Town v Fulham W 1-4 Championship
05 Nov 2018 Huddersfield Town v Fulham L 1-0 Premier League

And it is not just that Fulham almost always win but also a look at the scores.  In the last three meetings there has been 10 goals for Fulham against two for Huddersfield.

This really does make it look like a Fulham win.

However there is just one more issue…

If we look at the league table

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
17 Cardiff City 19 4 3 12 18 38 -20 15
18 Burnley 19 3 3 13 17 41 -24 12
19 Fulham 19 2 5 12 17 43 -26 11
20 Huddersfield Town 19 2 4 13 12 34 -22 10

three teams are slipping behind.  Can any of them make up the difference a push Cardiff down rather than themselves?  My view is that Burnley have committed suicide (see the last Burnley review) but I suspect one of the other two will make a recovery – and if either win in this round of games that could be the starting point.

I’m going for Fulham, although not by much.

See also

Huddersfield v Southampton: the predictions

Huddersfield v Southampton – a battle to get away from the relegation area.

Huddersfield’s home record is the worst in the league

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
15 Southampton 8 1 5 2 9 12 -3 8
16 Crystal Palace 8 2 2 4 5 8 -3 8
17 Fulham 8 2 2 4 10 18 -8 8
18 Burnley 8 2 1 5 9 15 -6 7
19 Newcastle United 9 2 0 7 7 15 -8 6
20 Huddersfield Town 9 1 2 6 3 11 -8 5

Worse even than Southampton who prior to last weekend had not won a game at home, but then went on to end Arsenal’s 22 game unbeaten run.

Southampton’s away form is just as problematic

16 Huddersfield Town 8 1 2 5 7 17 -10 5
17 Burnley 9 1 2 6 6 18 -12 5
18 Southampton 9 1 1 7 7 20 -13 4
19 Cardiff City 8 0 1 7 5 18 -13 1
20 Fulham 9 0 1 8 6 24 -18 1

So what do we make of this.  A home team that has picked up one win and two draws on its own patch, and an away team that has got one win and one draw.

A home team with a goal record of three for and 11 against against an away team with a record of seven for and 20 against.

Huddersfield really ought to start scoring a few more goals at home.

Huddersfield have been having a difficult season but they then had a little relief with three unbeaten matches – a long run for them.   But as they started to get carried away the bad times returned with four successive defeats.

Date Game Res Score Comp
05 Nov 2018 Huddersfield Town v Fulham W 1-0 Premier League
10 Nov 2018 Huddersfield Town v West Ham United D 1-1 Premier League
25 Nov 2018 Wolverhampton Wanderers v Huddersfield Town W 0-2 Premier League
01 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Brighton and Hove Albion L 1-2 Premier League
04 Dec 2018 AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town L 2-1 Premier League
08 Dec 2018 Arsenal v Huddersfield Town L 1-0 Premier League
15 Dec 2018 Huddersfield Town v Newcastle United L 0-1 Premier League
That victory over Arsenal brought to an end a very poor run for Southampton in the league
24 Nov 2018 Fulham v Southampton L 3-2 Premier League
01 Dec 2018 Southampton v Manchester United D 2-2 Premier League
05 Dec 2018 Tottenham Hotspur v Southampton L 3-1 Premier League
08 Dec 2018 Cardiff City v Southampton L 1-0 Premier League
16 Dec 2018 Southampton v Arsenal W 3-2 Premier League

But what is interesting is that leaving aside the Cardiff game, goals have been abounding.

I suspect the victory over Arsenal and the three goals scored will give Southampton a more gung ho attitude and they will go full on the attack.  If Huddersfield can find a way around Southampton’s defence which has already let in 20 goals in nine games they could well find they might get a point out of this.

But I would not go further than that.   A 2-2 draw perhaps simply because neither side know how to defend.

 

Huddersfield v Newcastle: predicting the outcome

 

Huddersfield’s home form this season is one of the worst in the league – in fact only Southampton and Fulham have picked up fewer points.

Pos Club P W D L F A GD Pts
16 Crystal Palace 16 3 3 10 13 23 -10 12
17 Burnley 16 3 3 10 15 32 -17 12
18 Huddersfield Town 16 2 4 10 10 27 -17 10
19 Southampton 16 1 6 9 13 30 -17 9
20 Fulham 16 2 3 11 16 40 -24 9

And they are scoring well under one goal a game but letting in almost three per game.  Fairly poor for a home team.

Newcastle United have hardly been setting the world on fire but away from home there is a curious point about their results.   First here is the away games table…

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 10 8 0 2 19 10 9 24
2 Liverpool 9 7 2 0 19 5 14 23
3 Manchester City 8 5 2 1 15 4 11 17
4 Arsenal 7 4 2 1 18 12 6 14
5 Chelsea 7 4 1 2 14 6 8 13
6 Manchester United 8 3 2 3 14 15 -1 11
7 Leicester City 8 3 2 3 11 12 -1 11
8 Wolverhampton W 8 3 2 3 7 8 -1 11
9 AFC Bournemouth 7 3 0 4 11 12 -1 9
10 Watford 8 2 3 3 9 10 -1 9
11 West Ham United 7 2 2 3 9 11 -2 8
12 Newcastle United 7 1 4 2 6 7 -1 7

They have indeed only won one game but they have drawn four and lost two.   Goals are scarce but much more balanced than Huddersfield, at six for, seven against, thus suggesting a 1-1 result for them is not impossibe.

Huddersfield’s record shows that the last five games have all been low scoring at home – one wonders how the home support put up with this.  Five games with a total of eight goals.

And also to be noted is that they have lost their last three games: twice by 1-2 and the third time by 1-0.

29 Sep Huddersfield Town v Tottenham Hotspur L 0-2
20 Oct Huddersfield Town v Liverpool L 0-1
05 Nov Huddersfield Town v Fulham W 1-0
10 Nov Huddersfield Town v West Ham United D 1-1
01 Dec Huddersfield Town v Brighton and Hove Albion L 1-2

There is however only one win in the last five home games, and that against Fulham, who are finding any sort of result other than a defeat hard to get anywhere.

Newcastle on the other had have been doing ok away from home with just one defeat in the last five.

22 Sep Crystal Palace v Newcastle Utd D 0-0
6 Oct Manchester Utd v Newcastle Utd L 3–2
27 Oct Southampton v Newcastle United D 0-0
26 Nov Burnley v Newcastle United W 1-2
05 Dec Everton v Newcastle United D 1-1

One win in five away games is not that good, but only one defeat too, and that by just 3-2.

This looks to me like a Newcastle win by 2-1 or 2-0.  Maybe even 3-1.

Other predictions for this weekend