By Daniel Wood
Huddersfield Town travel to Swansea City in the Sky Bet Championship on Saturday 22nd February at the Liberty Stadium; 3 pm KO.
The Terriers come into this game with the better form of the two sides, as they have taken seven points from a possible 15 in their last five games. Whereas Swansea are winless in five games, only managing three draws and two losses during that time. Last time out for both clubs saw them draw away from home. Town drew 1-1 with Derby County at Pride Park and the Swans drew 4-4 with Hull City at the KCOM Stadium.
On their travels this season, Town have won four, drawn four and lost eight games. This is the 17th best away record in the league, which isn’t very good for a side that was battling in the Premier League last season.
The Swans will be looking to come out of their very poor run of form that has only seen them pick up three points from a possible 15 in the SkyBet Championship in their last five games. This run has seen them go winless for five games. They previously went winless earlier in the season for six games from 9 November 2019 to 11 December 2019. This has made them a very inconsistent team as they bounce back and forth from playoff contenders to mid table side.
Their home record this season is decent compared to the rest of the league. They have the 12th best home record in the league, which puts them right in the middle of the pack. They have won seven, drew four and lost six at the Liberty Stadium this season. This is far superior to Huddersfield’s away record.
Their head coach, Steve Cooper, doesn’t have much of a senior playing career. From 1998 to 2003 he made only 65 senior career appearances, with 57 of those coming for Bangor City in the Welsh League.
As far as managerial experience, Cooper has managed both the England U16s (2014-2015) and the England U17s (2015-2019). His team came second in the 2017 European U17 Championship final, however, he guided the under 17s team to World Cup glory as they beat Spain U17s 5-2 in the final, in 2017.
He was appointed head coach of the Swans on 13 June 2019 and got off to a fantastic start. Cooper was named Championship Manager of the Month for August, his very first month in charge of a club side. He guided the Swans to an unbeaten start to the season that saw them gather 16 points from 18, which put them to the top of the league. It was Swansea’s best start to a season for 41 years.
However, since then the club has fallen to 11th in the table due to some poor veins of form since that time.
Ones to Watch
The 30-year-old winger has had a decent season in the Championship so far. He has scored ten goals and assisted five. This is the most goal contributions for the Swans in the league this season. Although he hasn’t scored since Swansea’s last victory (six games ago), he is still a very dangerous player for Swansea and will certainly cause Town’s defence a lot of problems.
The 19-year-old Liverpool Loanee has made a positive start to life as a Swansea player. He currently has three goals in seven appearances since his loan move. His three goals have all been massively important for the Swans. He grabbed a winner against Wigan Athletic, an equaliser against Preston North End and a late goal to take the lead against Hull City that almost seen the Swans get the win. Brewster was part of Cooper’s U17 England side than won the U17 World Cup and he won the golden boot for the competition.
The Swans skipper has been an ever-present for Swansea City this season in the league. He has started all 33 games for the Swans and has played every minute of football for them. The 24-year-old central midfielder has been vastly important to their season and has put on some excellent displays. He has had three ‘man of the match’ awards (second-most for Swansea this season). He has also pitched in with three assists.
Team News – Huddersfield Town
Manager Danny Cowley will detail Huddersfield Town’s latest team news at his press conference on Friday 21 February 2020.
Danny was without Karlan Grant (side), Tommy Elphick (knee), Alex Pritchard (knee) and Colin Quaner (hip) for Town’s game against Derby County.
Team News – Swansea City
The Swans will be without George Byers for the rest of the season after the midfielder suffered a high ankle sprain in their defeat to Derby. Meanwhile, Mike van der Hoorn is set to return to training.
Joe Rondon is likely to be back in contention against Town. He missed the drew against Hull City after returning from a long term injury, but he is expected to get some gain time against the Terriers.
The Terriers lead the head to head record against Swansea. Since their first meeting in 1952, Town has won 24 games, Swansea have won 15 and there have been 16 draws. However, Town hasn’t beat Swansea since 2007 in a meeting in League One. There have only been 4 meetings since 2007, with two draws and two wins for Swansea.
As mentioned earlier, Huddersfield has the better form coming into this game as they have picked up seven points from 15 in their last five games (two wins, one draw, two losses). Swansea have only gathered three points during that time (three draws, two losses). Both teams drew last time out.
Town are looking to put some breathing room between them and the relegation zone, as they currently sit five points above the drop. If results go their way they could go up to 18th. However, Swansea are looking to recapture their form and move closer to the playoff places. They are five points below the top six and if results go their way they could move up to 8th and two points below the top six.
Despite Swansea’s poor results as of late, I can see them bouncing back into positive results following this game and the result can be the catalyst of that. Also, the home advantage is in Swansea’s favour for this game and with their decent home record against Huddersfield’s weak away record, we could see Swansea come into this game with fair confidence. I can also see quite a number of goals being scored.
Therefore, I predict: