Why Chelsea loanees will give Huddersfield edge in promotion push
They may have been 12/1 shots for promotion ahead of the season, but Huddersfield Town currently occupy third place in the Championship – and now have a loanee pairing set to make the difference in the push for Premier League football.
The duo in question are Chelsea loanees Kasey Palmer and Izzy Brown. While the former has been on the Terriers’ books since the season began, winger Brown has been a January addition having impressed at struggling Rotherham United in the first half of the campaign.
Despite the Millers’ dismal form, the 20-year-old has shown himself to be a hugely effective force on the flanks, creating a large chunk of the South Yorkshire club’s chances in the first part of 2016-17, as well as netting three goals.
And he’s hit the ground running since his arrival at the John Smith’s Stadium. Not only has the former Vitesse loanee linked up well with Palmer, he’s also proved his ability to grab a game by the scruff of the neck for Huddersfield – as evidenced by his spectacular solo goal against Ipswich last time out.
Meanwhile, Palmer has proven a vital cog in attacking midfield, providing the ideal link between the no-nonsense Dean Whitehead and Jonathan Hogg further back in midfield, and the clinical but single-minded Nahki Wells and Elias Kachunga up front.
Possessing a real knack for long-range passing, the Chelsea loanee is equally effective when he goes it alone. Half of his efforts this season have tested the keeper – while he’s found the net five times, including crucial strikes in a trio of 2-1 wins, against Brentford, Queens Park Rangers and Nottingham Forest respectively.
Add that youthful quality, energy and intuitive link-up play to an increasingly solid defence who have recorded three clean sheets in their last four games, and there’s plenty of reason to think we’ll see the Terriers end their 44-year wait for top-flight football.
Next up for Huddersfield is a trip to Rochdale in the Emirates FA Cup, with 23/20 for the visitors to win at Spotland.
After that, the focus switches back to the promotion battle – with 9/2 on offer for Wagner’s men to win promotion, while 20/1 says they pip either of Newcastle United or Brighton, and finish in the Championship’s top two.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing