By Daniel Wood
Huddersfield Town travel to Fulham in the SkyBet Championship on Saturday 1st February at Craven Cottage; 3pm KO.
The Terriors will be aiming to continue their winning ways after last time out saw them defeat Hull City at the KCOM Stadium by a scoreline of 2-1. Huddersfield were on a run of 3 games without a win before they won at Hull City. On their travels this season, Huddersfield have gathered 4 wins, 3 draws and 7 losses, which is the 15th best in the league.
Fulham will be looking to continue their decent vein of form, which has seen them pick up 10 points out of a possible 15 in their last 5 games, as they sit 4th in the SkyBet Championship. This run has seen them go unbeaten in their last 3 games without conceding a single goal during that streak.
Their home record this season is the 2nd best in the entire division. They have gathered 29 points at home this season having won 9, drew 2 and lost 4. This is much better than Huddersfield’s away record, so they will feel confident coming into this game.
Their head coach, Scott Parker, doesn’t have much managerial experience. His first managerial role came at Tottenam Hotspur where he coached their under-18 squad. In July 2018, Parker returned to Fulham as Caretaker Manager following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri. Despite getting relegated from the Premier League (19th with 26 points), he was offered a 2-year contract on May 10, 2019.
Ones to Watch
There is some question marks whether Mitrovic (25) will be in contention for this game, but if so it can only mean bad news for Huddersfield Town. Mitrovic was firing on all cylinders this season before his injury that has made him miss the last 3 games for Fulham. Scott Parker gave Mitrovic a period of 2 to 3 weeks to return when he was hurt against Hull City and it has now been 2 weeks since that was said. He is the joint top goal scorer in the divison with 18 goals. He has 41 goals in 80 appearances for Fulham since he joined, initially on loan, in 2018, which equals out to just over a goal every other game.
Cavaleiro (26) has been a key player for Fulham this season. He impressed so much during his loan spell from Wolverhampton Wanderers that Fulham made the deal permanent this January, offering Ivan a 4 and a half year contract. He has 6 goals and 6 assists this season in the SkyBet Championship in 25 games. He is a pacey player who has a rather good dribbling and shooting ability and will cause Huddersfield a lot of problems.
The 31-year old isn’t an obvious pick for player to watch, but the stats don’t lie. The defender has the best goals conceded record at the club, conceding 0.78 goals every 90 minutes which equates to a goal conceded every 116 minutes. He has featured in all of Fulham’s last 3 games in the SkyBet Championship, which have all been clean sheets. This is 270 minutes without conceding a goal.
Team News – Huddersfield
Alex Pritchard (knee), Tommy Elphick (knee) and Collin Quaner (hip) are all out with long-term injuries.
Kamil Grabara (21) is currently in hospital following a head injury and suspected concussion that happened against Hull City and will miss the game against Fulham.
Team News – Fulham
There is a “slim chance” that the likes of Aleksander Mitrovic (ankle), Anthony Knockaert (hamstring) and Aboubakar Kamara (unknown) will return for the match, according to Scott Parker.
Tim Ream is suspended for the game against The Terriers after receiving a red card against Manchester City, in the FA Cup.
Maxime Le Marchand (back) and Harrison Reed (unknown) are both not expected back.
Fulham slightly lead the head to head record against Huddersfield Town. Since their first meeting in 1910, Fulham have won 27, Huddersfield have won 26 and there have been 16 draws. Fulham have only lost once to Huddersfield since 1993 and that was a 1-0 defeat in the Premier League last season. Last time they faced, earlier in the season, Fulham won 2-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Fulham have the better form of the two sides, as they are unbeaten in 3 games with 10 points taken out of a possible 15 in their last 5 games. Meanwhile, Huddersfield have gathered 7 points out a possible 15 in that time. Huddersfield went 3 games without a win before their 2-1 win at the KCOM Stadium against Hull City.
Huddersfield are hoping to put even more breathing room between them and the relegation zone, as they currently sit 6 points above the drop. Whereas, Fulham are hoping to get closer to the automatic promotion spaces and solidify a spot in the play-offs. They sit 4 points off the top two and 3 points ahead of the teams outside the play-offs spots.
The home advantage is in Fulham’s favour for this game and with their very good record at home, it might be difficult for Huddersfield to gain anything from the game.
Unfortunately for the Terriers, I can’t see them coming away with any points against a strong Fulham side. Therefore, I predict: