Huddersfield Town Predicted XI vs Birmingham City: Rotation and returns expected

The Terriers feature in the FA Cup fourth round against more Championship oppostion, but who will David Wagner choose to as starters ahead of a tricky league run?

Huddersfield Town Predicted XI vs Birmingham City: Rotation and returns expected
Philip Billing is expected to return to the starting line up. Credit: Gareth Copley (Getty Images)

Huddersfield Town host Championship side Birmingham City at the John Smith’s Stadium in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

In the third round, The Terriers knocked out Bolton Wanderers after quickfire goals from Rajiv van La Parra and Danny Williams earning a 2-1 victory.

Meanwhile, Birmingham knocked out fellow Championship strugglers Burton Albion.

David Wagner has a strong rotation policy so this game could see many of the first team players rested, whilst also providing minutes to those who have featured less this season.

A new defensive partnership?

Goalkeeper: Joel Coleman – Wagner has already confirmed, providing everything goes to plan, that Coleman will be the one wearing the gloves in goal on Saturday.

With Jonas Lössl proving himself to be Town’s no. 1 stopper, Coleman’s chances have been limited to the substitute’s bench and some Under 23 matches and Cup matches so far this season.

Left-back: Chris LöweScott Malone has replaced the German for the last three fixtures as he has spent time recovering from a foot injury which he initially picked up at Watford back in December.

However, now he is back fit it would be a good game for him to get back into the squad, and try to regain his first team place. His defensive qualities have been greatly missed during his absence.

Centre-back: Terence Kongolo – The AS Monaco loanee could make only his second start for the club, after making his debut at the Macron Stadium in the third round - just days after joining the club.

The Dutchman needs to integrate himself with other members of the team and learn the Terrier’s style of play, but once he does, he could be a key member to the West Yorkshire side for the remainder of the season.

Centre- back: Michael Hefele – Match fitness is the one thing that ‘Heff’ is lacking after only recently returning from an Achilles injury.

Town have a very strong central-defensive duo in Christopher Schindler and Mathias Jørgensen, but these two will more than likely be rested, giving the 27-year-old a chance to show both Wagner and the fans the character they saw throughout the 2016-17 campaign.

Right-back: Florent Hadergjonaj – The Inglostadt loanee has yet to establish himself as the first choice right-back, having constant competition from skipper Tommy Smith.

He is still adapting to the physicality of the Premier League, but does provide an attacking threat. It would be good to see him have an influential game if given the opportunity to play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Injured Billing set to return

Centre-midfielder: Danny Williams – Williams’ last appearance for Town was in the third round where he scored the second goal, so I’m sure that if he is given the opportunity to play this weekend then he is going to want to try and impact the game once again.

The US international hasn’t had as many appearances as he would’ve probably liked this season, due to the strong partnership of Aaron Mooy and Jonathan Hogg, but this weekend we will see him out on the pitch.

Centre-midfielder: Philip Billing – The young Dane has been out of the team since being stretched off during the Premier League clash with Swansea City where he broke his ankle.

He had surgery to fix this in November, and is now ready to join back in with the match day squad. He did appear as a second half substitute, however, in the last round, but he should start this game.

After a tired-looking few games, Mooy needs a rest this weekend, which will hopefully ensure that he will be at his best on Tuesday against Liverpool, where his creative game playing will be much needed.

Mounié to retain his place?

Left-winger: Collin Quaner – ‘Super Col’ had to leave the field injured in the last round, but it only kept him absent for one game.

His trickery down the wings and crosses into the box could be pivotal for creating some chances for Town as they look for the opportunity to advance into the next round. He is Huddersfield’s biggest creator of goals this season, with three assists in the League.

Attacking- midfielder: Abdelhamid Sabiri – With new signing Alex Pritchard cup-tied after featuring for Norwich against Chelsea, this is another chance for the Moroccan youngster to show to Wagner why he deserves his chance in the team.

His appearances have been limited this season, but he did return to the Premier League match day squad last week, where he came on as a substitute after Joe Allen’s goal.

Right-winger: Joe Lolley – Lolley has been in great form over the last month or so, as he has returned to become a regular on the match day team sheet. He scored his first Premier League goal against West Ham United, but didn’t travel south last week due to a slight hamstring injury.

However, there has been no further comment from Wagner on this, so I think he could start here. If he is still injured, Rajiv van La Parra could start instead.

Striker: Steve Mounié – The Benin international and Belgian Laurent Depoitre have been rotated frequently throughout the season.

Despite Mounié starting the last game against Stoke City, this match will be better for him to play so that Depoitre can be rested for the Liverpool game, as his physical presence is much greater.

If Mounié does play, it could give him a much-needed confidence boost if he does score, as the record signing has only scored two braces in two games so far this season – which I imagine is much less than he would’ve liked, and less than many fans would have expected at the beginning of the season.