Mean defence will keep Huddersfield in automatic promotion race
One Huddersfield home streak was kept intact after the recent outing against Sheffield Wednesday, but it wasn’t their 100 per cent record.
In sliding to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Carlos Carvalhal’s visitors, the Terriers maintained a run in which each result at John Smith’s Stadium has been decided by one goal. However, they dropped points for the first time at the ground this season.
All told, it was David Wagner’s side’s third defeat in the last six games. But despite their drop in form recently, the surprise package of the season remain in contention for automatic promotion. Thanks to their mean defence, they can remain there too.
Huddersfield have conceded just nine goals in their opening 12 games of the campaign and sit in third place, just one point off top-club Norwich.
Much is made about how tough the Championship is to get out of, but in recent years a strong formula for success has been discovered.
In the last eight years, the club with the best defensive record has been automatically promoted six times. The other two sides finished no lower than fourth.
Wherever they end up it can be considered a mighty achievement for a club that have never finished higher than 16th since winning promotion to the Championship in 2012/13.
That last season ended with a joint-lowest finish of 19th only expands on their improvement further.
Having taken over in early November in that campaign, Wagner helped guide the Yorkshire side away from relegation trouble, then set about building a team in his image for his first full campaign in charge.
In order to both integrate the 13 new faces that were signed and familiarise the rest of the squad with his methods, the club played a whopping 11 pre-season friendlies.
The positive effect of that workload became evident early on, as Huddersfield took four points from relegated Premier League pair Newcastle and Aston Villa in consecutive August outings.
No side has scored more than one goal against the Terriers thus far, and if that stinginess continues into May the Huddersfield faithful could well have Premier League football in their sights.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing