As teams who share an odd bond through managerial means, Huddersfield Town against Liverpool has a certain story to it. Bill Shankly managed both sides with distinction, while present managers David Wagner and Jürgen Klopp are close friends. However, there was no friendly gifts last year – Klopp and co. muffled their Yorkshire opponents with two 3-0 wins.
With the Terriers making a decent enough impression in their debut season, they’ve began to flag a bit so far this year. Yet to win in 8, they hold a meagre 3 points so far – scoring a whole 4 goals. Their opponents have conceded just 3 – a major change from a far more open Liverpool defence last term. Huddersfield also have shipped a worrying 17 goals – with three losses on the spin broken by a draw last time out, they could use something positive here.
Coming up against a team that has lost their habit of conceding, though, makes it hard to see. Despite Liverpool hitting a bit of a dry patch in terms of goals and performances, 5/1 for the Reds to bag a brace of goals without conceding any sounds a good starting point.
Can the Terriers stop everyone presuming that a loss is around the corner?
With the bookies seeing a 2-1 win at 33/1, it’s going to need to take something special from the home side. While David Wagner is a coach with a bright future, can he recover from what has been a rough start?
Huddersfield Town News
Poor runs of form can come at any time of the season, but a relegation contender starting without a win in 8 games is a big worry. Given their relatively meagre spend relative to much of the competition, it’s likely that Town fans are fearing for the worst. They sit in 18th spot, and have picked up a precious 3 points from a trio of draws.
Only Christopher Schindler, ‘Zanka’ Jorgenson, Philip Billing and ex-Dortmund player Jon Stankovic have scored in the Premier League so far. The big lack of goals is a major worry, as is their inability to create solid chances. Unfortunately, their main strength so far – attacking set plays with vigour – feels dumbed down by the strength that Liverpool now show in defending set plays.
Alisson Becker has made a big difference for the Reds, and Huddersfield won’t feel quite so likely to trouble them from that kind of position. However, that does not mean they cannot cause Liverpool problems in the air. So long as they can avoid their penchant for getting caught on the break and manage to play a bit more direct, there is no reason why Town cannot make a positive impact here.
Liverpool have looked a touch slow so far, so they’ll need to find accurate crosses behind the Reds defence. If they can manage to hit Liverpool on the break instead of pressurising themselves into suffering from brutal Liverpool counters, then Huddersfield might just show some people their capabilities.
With a lot of their attacking play coming down the right, we should see some more combinations down that side. Liverpool full-back Andrew Roberson has dipped a touch in form, so it could be a chance for Huddersfield to make some inroads in a position that has finally looked so solid for Liverpool.
There’s some big games coming up for Liverpool, and the main worry for Klopp might be making sure he manages his squad. While this game might sound ‘easy’, it’s going to push the Reds to show their new-found sense of durability. They have ground out some impressive results recently, with the late draw at Chelsea and some good results when holding on to their leads.
While the famous front three are yet to fire to the same standard as before, performances are of a high standard. Even the likes of Naby Keita might not yet hit the highest standard: with players of such a high standard, though it can change in an instant.
Even without the same clinical coolness in front of goal, though, Liverpool still look very good. They pierce teams open through the middle, often using quick passing to move through the opposition, using the energy in the centre of the park to help propel the team forward as often as they can.
While they might not be quite as aggressive as some might expect, there is nothing wrong with the Liverpool side. Instead, it looks like a more energy-conserving method has been chosen for now, with the club all too aware of the burnout effect that could arise from too many games for star players.
Although Liverpool might suffer a little aerially still, they’ve been better from such positions this season and, so long as they don’t give up too much ground and instead look to counter, they should be alright here. however, the Reds are pretty poor at wasting good attacking chances so far this season, and that lack of smoothness in front of goal is sure to become a problem sooner or late.
While the off-peak form from their front three might not be an issue immediately, it’s sure to become a problem is the dip in form continues.
Huddersfield Town vs Liverpool Match Verdict
It’s always hard to vouch for a team that has not won in eight games. When you factor in that the opponent is one of the most feared teams in the league that becomes even harder to do again. Liverpool will have plenty to attack with, and the fact that key players Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah are seemingly fit after international break injuries will be a relief.
Huddersfield are by no means a poor team, but they can lack invention when it truly matters and put themselves at risk by being too excessive in attack. We can see the 90-minutes being too much to keep everything right, which should probably see Liverpool claim all three points. Unless fatigue and over-confidence kicks in, it’s hard to see Huddersfield outclassing Liverpool for the needed hour and a half plus.