Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Prediction: Huddersfield vs Derby

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

Looking to put their play-off final heartache behind them, Derby will make the trip to Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium on Monday night for their Championship opener.

Huddersfield

Starting with Monday’s hosts, enduring a woeful second campaign in England’s top-tier last season and breaking a string of unwanted records, Huddersfield are a side desperately looking to rebuild. With the likes of Jonas Lössl and Philip Billing securing summer moves to Everton and Bournemouth respectively, the Terriers have decided to stick with Head Coach Jan Siewert and they have begun to show some signs of an improvement over the summer. Picking up a 1-1 draw against French outfit Montpellier in their final pre-season appearance, the former Borussia Dortmund coach has seen his side enjoy a six-match unbeaten run during their pre-season preparations, winning four of those contests. If Huddersfield are to secure a surprise immediate return to the Premier League, then Siewert will be looking for last year’s leading goalscorer Karlan Grant to spearhead their charge. While the former Charlton striker only managed four top-flight goals last season, he has continued to be shine during pre-season and also once again found the net against Montpellier last week.

Team News

Huddersfield Town are likely to be without striker Steve Mounie who has only just returned to training after international duty with Benin. Demeaco Duhaney (hamstring) is out but new signings Tommy Elphick, Reece Brown, Josh Koroma, Herbert Bockhorn, Isaac Mbenza and Kamil Grabara are available.

Derby

As for the visitors, after suffering a 2-1 loss against Aston Villa at Wembley back in May, Derby are also a side in the midst of a rebuilding process. With Frank Lampard making the move to Chelsea over the summer, the Rams have turned to Phillip Cocu in an attempt to go one step further this season. However, suffering a 1-0 loss against Scottish outfit Rangers in their final pre-season appearance, they have now lost back-to-back matches and are in desperate need of a response. Although their morale-boosting victories over Burton Albion and Bristol City last month may have impressed many around Pride Park, the former PSV boss will know that his side must improve on their recent showings in the final third. Failing to make much of an impact at Ibrox last week, Derby must find a way to fill the void created by Harry Wilson’s return to Liverpool over the summer. Bagging 18 Championship goals last season, the starlet was one of just three players to secure double digits in the last campaign.

Team News

Derby begin life under new boss Phillip Cocu with a number of injury worries. Jack Marriott and Duane Holmes (both thigh) are set to miss out. Scott Carson (groin), George Thorne (calf), Andre Wisdom (knee) and Craig Forsyth (knee) are all missing, but summer recruits Graeme Shinnie and Kieran Dowell are expected to be involved.

Key Factors to Consider

  • The last three meetings between the two sides have produced under 2.5 goals at full-time.
  • Derby managed to win just two of their previous 12 Championship matches on the road.
  • Huddersfield have won just one of their last 14 matches on home soil across all competitions.
  • 10 of the last 13 combined matches have seen under 2.5 goals at full-time.

Conclusion

While both sides will be looking to make an early statement when they open their Championship campaign on Monday night, it could prove to be a cagey encounter. With 10 of the last 13 matches between the two sides producing under 2.5 goals at full-time and both sides playing out a 1-1 draw when they met back in April 2017, we’re backing a low scoring encounter at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Verdict: Under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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