Huddersfield Town Stats

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."


Benjamin Disraeli


Former British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli was a critic of the use of statistics in politics. In football however, they are the analytical King in a world flooded with endless opinion and debate from journalists, bloggers and so-called experts.


On Saturday Huddersfield travel to St. James Park to take on Newcastle United in the Premier League. Instead of using anecdotal opinion and evidence to preview the match, we're going to plunge into the world of stats to find out the Terriers chance of victory...



Goal Threat


To win on Saturday, Huddersfield must do something they have struggled with all season - score. The Terriers have registered a paltry 25 league goals this term and have scored just twice in their last 5 games.


In comparison Newcastle have managed to score 5 more goals than Huddersfield despite playing 1 less game. The Magpies have created on average 1.3 clear-cut chances per game, which is almost double Town's 0.7 clear-cut chances per game.


David Wagner's side most common form of attack has been down the wings, with the Terriers pumping 642 crosses into the box over 31 games at an average of 20.7 per match. These crosses have been in large, unsuccessful, only reaching a team-mate only 17% of the time.


The average cross-completion rate in the Premier League has been down this season, but at 38% still stands significantly higher than Town's figure.


Newcastle's completion rate stands at 29% from 465 crosses as they have settled for quality over quantity. They have also shown themselves more than capable of defending crosses, having only conceded 17% of their overall goals from wide positions this term.


Huddersfield will need to find another avenue of attack on Saturday if they are going to successfully breach a well-organised Newcastle defence.


Likely scorers


That brings us to the big question of who is going to score for the Terriers? Steve Mounie is the sides top league goal scorer this season having chipped in with 6 goals for the team. Laurent Depoitre is second with 5 and Aaron Mooy is third with 4 goals.


With the latter two likely to miss this fixture, the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the Beninese forward. Firing 37 efforts on goal this season, Mounie has scored an impressive 15% of all the chances falling his way.


That's 10% higher than Rajiv Van La Parra who has scored 2 of Town's last 5 goals, and 13.5% higher than the teams top shot-taker, Tom Ince



Town's confidence shot winger has taken 63 shots this term, 23 more than second-placed Rajiv Van La Parra. Ince looks thoroughly incapable of scoring or assisting and judging by the stats, should be relegated to the substitutes bench for this game.


For the Magpies, Dwight Gayle is top-scorer with 5 goals closely followed by Joselu with 4. Scottish winger Matt Ritchie seems to be the big threat though, as well as chipping in with 3 goals, the Scotsman has also provided 5 assists.




He is also his sides top shot taker, having tried his luck 47 times, normally from outside the box. If any further proof were needed that he is Newcastle's key man then this is it.


Discipline


Huddersfield's high-press this season has brought them to the attention of several referees and seen them rack up 208 fouls at an average of 6.7 per game. They have been issued with 53 cards this season (3 reds) at an average of 1.7 per game.


Newcastle on the other hand have been shown 10 less cards and committed considerably fewer fouls than the Terriers. With the dead-ball threat of Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie, Huddersfield will need to buck up their ideas defensively.


The liabilities


Within every team there is a weak-link, but unfortunately in the Town team there seems to be several. The Terriers have conceded 7 goals this season as a direct result of errors with 'keeperJonas Lossl and full-back Scott Malone being the biggest culprits.


Between them they have accounted for 4 of the 7 goals Town have conceded from errors, with the former being fortunate not to claim the blame for West Ham's opener at the John Smith's Stadium in January.


Newcastle however seem to be firmer than the Terriers, conceding just 3 goals as a direct result of errors. There seems to be no trend to the Magpies errors as they are shared equally amongst 3 players.


With the return of Chris Lowe to the squad, Scott Malone must surely be relegated to the bench for the benefit of the team.


Match probabilities


With all that in mind, who is most likely to win the encounter? According to the statistics, Newcastle. The Magpies have a 61.63% chance of claiming victory whereas Town have a 25.58% chance of success - a draw is a relatively low probability at only 12.79%.


So what does this all tell us? What's the verdict? Unfortunately Town look highly likely to lose out in this encounter. It seems highly unlikely that the Terriers will manage to score and the most likely outcome to the game will be a 2-0 Newcastle win.


Let's hope Benjamin Disraeli was right...

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