Huddersfield Town host Swansea City at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
How do things currently sit for both sides?
Both teams currently have 30 points – but the Welsh side sit two places ahead (13th) of their West Yorkshire rivals (15th) on goal difference. However, both are only three points ahead of the relegation zone.
Huddersfield currently sit 13th in the form table with two wins and three losses in their last five games, with those wins coming against Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion.
Swansea, on the other hand, are sitting 5th in the form table, with three wins, one draw and one loss in their last five outings.
This is considered a vital and important game for both teams within the fight for survival, with both teams needing the three points to help the move up the table.
A win for the Terriers would see them overtake the Swans, and possibly move up to 13th place, depending on the result between West Ham United and Burnley. Swansea could move up one place with a win.
However, either team could drop dramatically down the table if they are to lose, and if other results don’t go in their favour.
Huddersfield’s strong home form could be the key for success
The Terriers are coming into the game following a 2-nil defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. However, although the result isn’t what they would have hoped for, the performance put out on the pitch shows how far David Wagner’s men have come this season.
The Swans on the other hand are heading into the game on the back of a superb 4 – 1 win over West Ham, which saw goals from Ki Sung-Yeung, Mike Van Der Hoorn, Andy King, and a Jordan Ayew penalty.
Since Carlos Carvalhal’s arrival in January, Swansea have flourished – which has seen them lose only one of their last thirteen matches in all competitions.
There is some hope for the Terriers as they have picked up 19 points from their home games – so this is certainly where they are strongest. This is no doubt down to the incredible atmosphere the fans create each and every home game.
Also, Swansea have only gained 10 points away from home – just two wins – and so, they will be wanting to change this poor away form, whilst Town will be looking to let it continue.
What happened last time out?
The sides last met at the Liberty Stadium back in mid- October when a Tammy Abraham brace resulted in defeat for Wagner’s men.
However, over time, Huddersfield have won 23 meetings between the two teams, with Swansea only being victorious in fifteen games.
Interesting record between the managers
Carlos Carvalhal joined from Sheffield Wednesday in June 2015, and if it was a game between the managers – then the Portugese would certainly be favourite to win.
The truth is, despite Huddersfield knocking Wednesday out of the Play Off Semi- Finals last season with a dramatic penalty shootout, Wagner has never beaten Carvalhal over 90 minutes.
Ever since the 1-1 draw at Hillsborough in the first of the two fixtures in the 2015/16 season, Carvalhal has beaten his German rival in every game – expect the important play off one.
However, Wagner won’t let this affect him, with the Swansea clash being a completely different type of challenge, under different circumstances.
Team and Injury News
Huddersfield have a huge injury boost ahead of Saturday’s game with Australian midfielder Aaron Mooy back in contention after being out since he was stretchered off against Bournemouth with a deep knee cut - which got infected to delay his comeback.
Alex Pritchard, who was substituted off with a dead leg in last week’s defeat to Spurs, is set to be in contention also.
The one blow to the Terriers squad is the news of Terence Kongolo’s absence for the next two weeks, as he picked up an injury at Wembley. This could see Chris Löwe back within the starting XI.
Elias Kachunga has also returned to full training after recovering from an MCL injury that he picked up in mid- December. However, this game comes too soon to him, and will not be in contention.
There are no new injury concerns for Carvalhal’s side with long-term absentees Leroy Fer, Wilfried Bony and Angel Rangel remaining out. Renato Sanches is set to have recovered from his hamstring injury, but this game seems to be too soon for his return.
Leon Britton is also a doubt.