David Wagner’s newly-promoted side have yet to lose in the Premier League this season and could reach the quarter point of that magical 40 point target for survival in the top flight if the see off the Hammers tonight.
We spoke to Rory Benson, a Huddersfield Town expert and colleague of football.london at the Huddersfield Examiner and he gave us the lowdown on the Terriers.
What has Huddersfield’s start to the season been like?
Electric. Three matches unbeaten with no goals conceded and the Town fans are in dreamland. A win against West Ham tonight would see them get to third in the premier league table – and a quarter of the way to 40 points.
Of course there’s a long way to go, but early points on the board are so crucial to newly-promoted sides. Not only have the points kept coming, but the performances have too. The Terriers have picked up from where they ended last season and have added quality to an already well-oiled team machine, giving themselves the best chance of Premier League survival.
How have they performed?
The performances have been first rate. Town dominated a rudderless Crystal Palace in the first game of the season, before earning a victory over a defensive-minded Newcastle United in their first home outing of the season. Even the draw against Southampton could have been better, with David Wagner’s side having the best efforts on goal.
Have any individuals stood out?
Aaron Mooy is the heart and soul of the side, with everything starting from him in the transition. Steve Mounié has also proved he can score goals at the top level, while goalkeeper Jonas Lössl’s three clean sheets is very much worth a mention. The team as a whole however has been fantastic.
What happened in the transfer window?
Owner Dean Hoyle splashed some of the £170m the club made by securing promotion to the top flight. 13 signings came through the door, with the Terriers smashing their transfer record three times.
Last season, Christopher Schindler was brought in for £1.8m – a then-record signing. But this summer Town have spent £11.5m on Steve Mounié, £8m on Aaron Mooy and £7.5m on Tom Ince. Town are really going for it and it seems to be paying off.
What is the atmosphere like amongst fans?
Unbelievable. The John Smith’s Stadium was rocking for both home matches of the season and the away end will be loud again tonight. After 45 years in the wilderness Dean Hoyle and David Wagner have brought top-flight football back to Huddersfield – something many supporters thought they would never see. The fans are ready to make the most their time in the Premier League – however long it may be.
What are your expectations of the Terriers this season?
Well, it’s a very tough one to call. Before a ball was kicked I predicted a 15th-place finish for Town, but I find myself reevaluating that prediction almost daily.
Although the Terriers have faced three beatable sides so far, is hard not to get carried away after their exceptional start. I would predict mid-table for Town now, but I would bite your hand off for a 17th-place finish.
What is the injury/suspension situation like?
Midfielder Jonathan Hogg and defenders Martin Cranie and Jon Gorenc Stankovic are sidelined with injury, but have been since the start of the season. Town’s transfer window has given them more depth in the squad, meaning an injury – to the influential Hogg especially – shouldn’t derail their progress.
I’d expect largely the same side that faced Southampton to take to the turf tonight, with no players suspended for Town.
Prediction for the game?
I think Town will keep their unbeaten run going. West Ham away is a tough prospect for any side, but not all is well at the Hammers and I fancy Town to take advantage. I’ll go for a 3-1 win for the Terriers.