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Off To The Terrier's Kennel

So the battle for the final promotion place to the Premier League starts today with Fulham and Reading playing each other, whilst we wait for the challenge ahead of Wednesday at Huddersfield Town tomorrow.

Last season we played Brighton of course, we played at home first but this time we make the relatively short hop over to the John Smith’s Stadium in West Yorkshire before then coming home on Wednesday. The winner of course will then have a couple of weeks to prepare for the showcase final at Wembley on Bank Holiday Monday at the end of the month.

Going into the playoffs, both teams lost their respective final games with the Terriers being thumped by Cardiff City at home 3-0, with Fulham taking the spoils over a changed Wednesday side. Arguably the Huddersfield result was the bigger talking point as they continued a run of poor form going into the playoffs, which had seen them win just one of their final five game and stumble over the line in the end to their season in fifth place finish in the table.

Owls News….

Wednesday’s team look to be relatively ok ahead of the games against Hudderfield, although it’ll be very surprising to see Gary Hooper over the course of the next few weeks as the striker has a hamstring injury which he picked up in training a week or so ago.

Aside from that things are relatively good in the Wednesday camp, so there’s not much to worry about. Sam Hutchinson made his return in the final day defeat to Fulham, Fernando Forestieri is ok to play against the Terriers and they won’t be happy about that. Forestieri has scored in the last three games between the sides and in two of the games (which were both in Hudderfield), he was the match winner.

Owls Comment….

There has been more comment from the players than the manager this week, but in an interview with ITV, the Wednesday head coach made no mistake…. They have learned from the experience of last season and it may also help when it comes to handling things this time, but he’s not allowing anyone to get ahead of themselves.
'Does our playoff experience last season mean that we're better equipped to play in the other games? It's something that we consider a little advantage but it doesn't make us favourites.

“Last season we were underdogs, this season it was different.
'We are in the same position as the others. We start a new competition, with each team having a 25% chance to go up, and the teams that go through to the final will have a 50% chance to go to the Premier League.'

Terriers News….
The Terriers have a little worry ahead of the game tomorrow as their first choice ‘keeper, Danny Ward, can’t face the Owls after being sent off in their final game of the season. However, he can return for the second leg, so his replacement will be Joel Coleman who has played just nine games this season.

They do have a boost though as Elias Kachunga has overcome an injury to put himself in contention for a spot against the Wednesday, the German striker missed the final four games of the season with a calf problem.

Terriers Comment….

The Huddersfield gaffer has been speaking this week of the meeting with the Owls and he has taken in extra help from his friend and Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp to prepare his side ahead of the game.

“There will be no surprises on both sides.

We are totally aware about Sheffield Wednesday, about Carlos (Carvalhal)’s side and his ideas. The details will be what makes the difference, concentration being very, very important along with our focus on ourselves.

“No one expected us to be involved at the start of the season. That is why we are really able to enjoy it. We are humble but we are still ambitious.

“I have spoken with him (Klopp) about the experience he has in two legged games from the Champions League and the Europa League. The details will be what makes the difference in this tie.”


Some Stats V Huddersfield Town….

Sunday’s playoff semi final first leg is the 57th meeting between the Owls and the Terriers with Wednesday looking to edge closer to their hosts in the head to head wins record. As things stand it’s Huddersfield who have a four win advantage over Wednesday, but as mentioned above the Owls are on a bit of a roll against the other side who play in blue and white.

Huddersfield haven’t beaten the Wednesday since November 2013, and there has been seven games since then which the record reads… Five Wednesday wins, (four in the last four meetings) and two draws… Three of those five victories against the Terriers have come in West Yorkshire.

It’s been four games since Huddersfield even scored against the Owls, and in the last five games there have been eight goals scored for Wednesday and just two for Town.

Last Time Out V Huddersfield at HD1 6PG….

As mentioned above, it was a Wednesday win, although it was a tight affair won by the man who the Huddersfield fans love to hate… But there’s no doubt they’d have him on their side!!!!





Final Thoughts….

I’m relatively calm for now ahead of the game, last season I was a wreck at this point. Now, before that translates as over confidence it’s not. I’m actually looking forward to the game and getting things going. For a bit the talking will stop and we can just look at football for 90 minutes, a HUGE 90 minutes which could shape who goes into the playoff final.

Obviously nothing can truly be decided in Huddersfield as there’s another game on Wednesday night to deal with, but if we were to go into the second game with a lead… I’d be confident. Although the home side of course will be thinking along the same lines and there’s no doubt they’ll be looking for that.

It will be a tight game I reckon. In both games between the sides this season, despite Wednesday winning both, they were relatively tight affairs. Genius can unlock the door and we’ve got talent in spaces. Jordan Rhodes could be the one to haunt his old side, but Forestieri could also cheese off the home fans again. There are plenty of exciting battles to be had out on the pitch…. Here’s to a positive result for the Wednesday.

Prediction….

Huddersfield 1 Wednesday 1

Come discuss the game, the season, who you want to sign in the summer, the kit, oh ok anything… On our forum which you can find… HERE…..  

Unread article 13/05/2017 at 07:06

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