The Newcastle Preview

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Town host Newcastle United in the Premier League in the midst of an injury crisis that was sparked by the news that The Terriers will be without Aaron Mooy for at least a month. That was followed up by a hamstring injury to club captain Tommy Smith and another long term injury for Danny Williams.


There isn’t much optimism in the West Yorkshire air ahead of this clash against Newcastle United, but what can we expect to see from the encounter?



A tactical change


Jonathan Hogg, Phillip Billing, Juninho Bacuna and potentially Jon Gorenc-Stankovic are David Wagner’s only midfield options for the time being. Considering that Wagner has opted for a three-man midfield so far this season, his options are limited.


With the midfield shortage and the lack of numbers in central defence, perhaps we could see Wagner revert to his tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation. We think Wagner’s side just look something like this tomorrow…



Gritty Visitors


Newcastle currently sit 15th in the Premier League, 3 positions and 3 points above Town. The Terriers would have to hope for an 8 goal swing however to finish Saturday evening ahead of Newcastle in the table due to an inferior goal difference.


Games involving Newcastle United have seen the fewest goals of any other team in the Premier League this season (35), with the Magpies scoring just 13 and conceding 22. And since the start of last season, Newcastle have lost the second-most Premier League games (27). Can you guess who has lost the most (29)?


Despite losing in the dying minutes to Wolves last week, Newcastle have been in decent form of late. Rafa Benitez’s side have made a habit of eeking out results, and it would be no surprise to see them leave the John Smith’s Stadium with 3 points after a battling performance.



What the pundits are saying


Paul Merson: “Wow. What a game this is. Last week was a kick in the teeth for Newcastle, having a player sent off and then losing with the last kick of the game against Wolves, after going to Everton and riding your luck for a point.


“This is a massive game. It'll be nervy, so I'm going for a low-scoring draw. It's so tight at the bottom and you can't rule anyone in or out at the moment. I’m going for 1-1.”


Mark Lawrenson: “Newcastle were unlucky to lose to a last-gasp Wolves goal last weekend, and Huddersfield also went down to a late winner at Arsenal.


Aaron Mooy's injury is a blow for Huddersfield, because they are short of goals anyway.


“Newcastle are hardly free-scoring but with Salomon Rondon up front they always pose a threat. Magpies boss Rafael Benitez has got him playing, and he is a handful. 2-0 Newcastle.”


Michael Owen: “The last five games between these two clubs in the top-flight of English football have seen just four goals.


“I expect to see another tight, close game at the John Smith’s Stadium.


“Both sides conceded late winners last weekend and both will feel they did enough to get a draw.


“Town haven’t scored more than once in their last 13 home PL games and I feel both sides will pick up a valuable point in West Yorkshire in a 1-1 draw.”

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