By Daniel Wood
Huddersfield Town will host Norwich City on the first day of the new SkyBet Championship season on Saturday 12 September at the John Smiths Stadium; 3 pm KO.
Carlos Corberan will take charge of his first league game as the new Town manager, as they look to start their season off in bright fashion with a victory over the side that finished bottom of the Premier League last season.
In Corberan’s first competitive game at the helm, the Terriers were knocked out of the EFL Cup in the first round by Rochdale after losing 1-0 at home last Saturday.
Last season Town finished 18th in the Championship, three points above the relegation zone. It was their first season back in the Championship after being relegated from the Premier League during the 2018/19 campaign.
Following their confirmation of safety from relegation, Huddersfield Town parted ways with Danny Cowley and brought Carlos Corberan into the fold at the end of the season.
The Canaries are back in the SkyBet Championship after being relegated from the Premier League last season, where they finished bottom of the league.
In their first competitive game of the season they lost 3-1 to Luton Town in the first round of the EFL Cup last Saturday.
The last time Norwich were in the Championship they were crowned champions of the division in the 2018/19 campaign. They finished five points ahead of 2nd place Sheffield United that year.
They lost the least times during that season (6) and scored the most goals (93).
However, in the Premier League last season they lost the most games in the division (27) and scored the least amount of goals (26).
Their manager Daniel Farke will be undergoing his fourth year as Norwich City boss this season, as he has already gone through a promotion and relegation with the club. It is very rare for a side to keep the same coach that they were relegated with after a full season.
Farke only has a 37.4% win rate at Norwich City. The win rate took a big dip due to the Premier League season they have just endured.
The only other side that Farke has managed in Borussia Dortmund II from 2015 to 2017. He has a 51.8% win rate with the Bundesliga sides second team.
The 22-year-old made his senior debut for the Canaries in an FA Cup match against Chelsea in January 2018. He spent the second half of that season on loan at Dutch side Fortuna Sittard.
He returned to the Norfolk side during the 2018-19 and helped his club gain promotion to the Premier League. Last season, the attacking midfielder made a name for himself with goals against big teams such as Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United. He also represented England’s Under-21s side for the first time last season.
The right-back played a huge part during Norwich’s promotion to the Premier League two seasons ago and was named the EFL Young Player of the Year and in the EFL Team of the Season for 2018/19.
He also played in 36 games out of 38 for the Canaries last season in the Premier League. He also represented England’s Under-21s against Turkey in September 2019.
The Finish striker finished as the top goal scorer in the division last time he played in the Championship during Norwich’s promotion season of 2018/19, in which he scored 29 goals.
He had a good start to the season last year, as he scored a hat trick against Newcastle United and scored the winning goal against Manchester City in the upset of the season. He made such an impact that the term ‘Pukki Party’ was created due to his hot form. However, he couldn’t keep the hot streak going as he finished with 11 goals in the league.
Karlan Grant will not be in Carlos Corberan’s plans until the striker’s future in certain, as he is being linked heavily with a move to West Bromwich Albion.
Lewis O’Brien is a few weeks off returning having suffered a minor injury.
New signing Pipa could be in line to make his Town debut against the Canaries having joined from Spanish side Espanyol on Monday.
Xavi Quintill and Onel Hernandez both missed the Luton Town game last Saturday and it is unsure if they will return.
Sam Byram and Grant Hanley are both out with long-term injuries.
Huddersfield Town’s record against the Canaries is perfectly split.
Since the sides first meeting in 1960, they have both won 13 times each and they have drawn 17 times.
The Terriers are unbeaten against Norwich City in their last three encounters. They won 3-0, won 2-1 and drew 2-2 in those games.
The Norfolk side have not beaten Town since December 13th 2014, where they stormed away 5-0 winners at Carrow Road.
On paper it looks like Norwich City have a much better side than Huddersfield Town and are the clear favourites to win Saturdays game.
However, confidence could be low for Norwich having just been relegated from the Premier League whereas Town managed to secure another season in the Championship.
I believe it will be a cagey encounter, but the Canaries might just have too much fire power for Huddersfield Town to handle.
Therefore, I predict:
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