By Daniel Wood
Huddersfield Town host Charlton Athletic in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday 29 February at the John Smith’s Stadium; 3 pm KO.
The Terriers and the Addicks come into this game level on points, both 2 points ahead of the relegation playoffs. In their last five games, Town have picked up 7 points, whereas Charlton have picked up 6 points.
Last time out saw Town pick up a 2-1 victory at home to playoff contenders, Bristol City. On the other hand, Charlton suffered a 1-0 defeat away to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
Huddersfield’s home record isn’t much to be desired. They have a poor home record compared to the rest of the league, as they have the 21st best home record in the Championship this season. They will need to improve on this on the last leg of the season if they are going to survive relegation to League One.
The Addicks will be looking to put some breathing space between themselves and the relegation places. Their form has been very inconsistent in the league this season, as they have only won two of their last five games, losing the other three.
Charlton’s away record isn’t good at all. They have only managed three wins and four draws in 17 games away from home. This is the 20th best away record in the league and they will hope that the results on their travels improve before the season is over.
Their head coach, Lee Bowyer, is undergoing his first managerial job in charge of Charlton Athletic. He made 489 appearances for a variety of English clubs, including Chalton where he started his professional career. His only other managerial experience came for Watford’s under 21 side. In 2018, Bowyer was named caretaker manager of Charlton and was named their permanent manager the following season. During his first full season at the helm, he guided the Addicks to promotion to the Championship following a 2-1 playoff final win over Sunderland.
In the Championship, this season, the club sits 18th and two points ahead of the drop back down to League One.
Ones to Watch
The 29-year old striker has been Charlton’s most prolific player this season. He has scored 11 goals in the Championship and provided 1 assist. He has a shots on target rate of 69%, which is the highest in the top 20 goal scorers. Taylor also has a minute per goal rate of 129, which is among the best in the top 20 goal scorers. It is easy to imagine that if Taylor was fit for more of the season, Charton may not be so low down the table.
The 24-year old forward has provided some key moments for Charlton this season. He scored his first goal for the club in a 1-0 win against Leeds United back in September. He then scored 4 goals in his next 5 games. Boone started for the first time in nearly two months last time out against Sheffield Wednesday.
Pearce was named club captain in 2018 after joining them in August 2016. He was an important part of the squad that gained promotion to the Championship and was one of their best players during the campaign. When the central defender isn’t in the team, it leaves a big hole in the squad.
Team News – Huddersfield Town
Manager Danny Cowley will detail Huddersfield Town’s latest team news at his press conference on Friday 28 February 2020.
Danny was without Tommy Elphick (knee), Colin Quaner (hip) and Kamil Grabara (head) during their clash with Bristol City.
Jonathan Hogg limped off in the first half against Bristol with a knee injury. Danny pointed out that Hogg was quite positive when they spoke, so they will have to wait and see.
Trevor Chalobah appears to be fine after receiving treatment after the final whistle against Bristol.
In terms of Emile Smith Rowe and Chris Willock, Danny said “We have to see how [Emile] recovers now. We certainly hope so, him and Chris Willcock, they put in a good shift”.
Team News – Charlton Athletic
Lee Bowyer was without Sam Field (knee), Naby Sarr (calf), Darren Pratley (back) and Chuks Aneke (unfit) during the game against Sheffield Wednesday.
Chuks Aneke, despite not being up to full fitness, could still be an option for Charlton against the Terriers.
Charlton slightly leads the head to head record against Town. Since their first meeting in 1926, Charlton have won on 37 occasions, Huddersfield have won on 35 occasions and there have been 19 draws. However, the Addicks have not beaten the Terriers since February 2015. Town have won the sides last three meetings.
As mentioned earlier, Town has a slightly better record coming into this game. They have picked up 7 points compared to Charlton’s 6 points, in their last five games. Town won last time out, while Charlton lost.
Both teams are looking to gain some distance between themselves and the relegation zone, as they both sit 2 points ahead of the drop. They are both currently on 39 points. The Terriers could move up to 17th in the table, while the Addicks could move up to 16th due to their more competitive goal difference. They would need other results to go their way. If points are shared, both teams could fall places in the table.
Despite both teams being low in their table, they both have very good attacking options available to them with Karlan Grant and Lyle Taylor being the players in the spotlight. Being at home gives Huddersfield a distinct advantage and they will take confidence in the fact that Charlton haven’t been very good on their travels.
It’ll be a close and tough encounter, but I see Huddersfield coming away with a win.
Therefore, I predict: