7:00 AM (AEDST) Wednesday, December 13 at The John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield
Round 17 of the English Premier League kicks off on Wednesday where the Huddersfield Terriers will take on the might of defending champions Chelsea.
Huddersfield: Lossi; Lowe, Schindler, Zanka, Smith; Billing, Mooy, Ince; Van La Parra, Mounie, Kachunga.
Chelsea: Courtois; Cahill, Luiz, Azpilicueta; Alonso, Bakayoko, Fabregas, Zappacosta; Hazard, Willian; Morata.
There have been 56 League games between these two sides with honours evenly spread. Huddersfield have won 25 games to Chelsea’s 23 wins, while 8 games have been drawn. However, they last met in League games back in 1983/84. Their last clash saw Chelsea win 3-1 in the FA Cup in 2008.
The Huddersfield Terriers made the most of their promotion with a stunning start to the season. They opened with a brilliant 3-0 win over Crystal Palace before toppling fellow promoted side Newcastle 1-0 before being held to a scoreless draw with Southampton in Round 3. They’ve struggled since, losing 2-0 to West Ham, held to a 1 all draw with Leicester and then a scoreless draw with Burnley before copping a heavy 4-0 loss to Spurs and a 2-0 loss to Swansea. The Terriers then bagged an amazing 2-1 victory over Manchester United, then suffered a heavy loss to Liverpool 3-0 before beating West Brom 1-0. Last week they lost heavily again, 4-0 to Bournemouth. This was compounded by 3 more losses, 2-1 against the undefeated Manchester City, 5-0 to Arsenal and 2-0 against Everton. Last week they bounced back with a 2-0 win over Brighton.
Defending champions Chelsea will be hoping to return to their impressive form from last season which saw them win 30 of their 38 games. They opened their Premier League campaign with a shock 3-2 loss to Burnley, but bounced back to topple the second best side last season, Tottenham, 2-1 to get their season underway. They then beat Everton 2-0 and Leicester City 2-1 before a scoreless draw with Arsenal in Round 5. The Blues then belted Stoke 4-0 before dropping consecutive games to League leaders Manchester City 1-0 and the last placed Crystal Palace 2-1. They bounced back with wins against Watford 4-2 and Bournemouth 1-0. Chelsea then overcame fellow heavyweights Manchester United 1-0 and then hammered West Brom 4-0. Chelsea were then held to a draw with Liverpool before beating Swansea 1-0 and Newcastle 3-1. Last week they went down to the Hammers 1-0.
Each end of the field – Huddersfield’s attack has been largely non-existant after their stunning opening three rounds. They are now the third worst attacking side in the League. Chelsea are equal fifth in attack and fourth in defence. Only 5 teams have let in more goals than the Terriers so far this season.
Chelsea have Huddersfield outclassed all over the park. They will be expected to romp home here.