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…
So what makes us pause even for a second?
The answer of course is Arsenal’s away form…
Away games only
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
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.