Monday, December 17

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Preview: Arsenal vs. Huddersfield Town - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Huddersfield Town.
By , Football League Correspondent | 10d

Arsenal will be looking to respond with all three points when they face Huddersfield Town at the Emirates Stadium, three days on from their action-packed draw with Manchester United.

The Gunners twice took the lead at Old Trafford but were made to settle for a point, seeing them slip out of the Premier League's top four.


Arsenal

Unai Emery declared himself "proud" of Arsenal's display in their 2-2 draw with Man United, but there will no doubt be a sense of disappointment after twice holding the lead and twice letting it slip.

The Gunners' bizarre run of failing to take a lead into the half-time interval of a Premier League match may have extended on Wednesday night, but they have netted 25 second-half goals and have not lost a top-flight game since the opening fortnight.

That is a run stretching 12 league matches, while in all competitions it is now 20 games since Emery's men were on the losing side. Not since November 2007, when going 28 matches without losing, have they experienced a better run.

For all the positives to come out of the trip to Old Trafford, where Arsenal have notoriously struggled down the years, it is now four draws in six league matches - and five in nine in all competitions.

Four points from games against top-four rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Man United is ultimately a good return, though, and momentum is still with Arsenal as they prepare for another busy week. Following Saturday's visit of Huddersfield, the North London outfit take on Qarabag in the Europa League and travel to Southampton in the Premier League.

Thanks to their 3-0 win away at Vorskla Poltava last week, securing top spot in Group E in the process, Arsenal can put their European aspirations to one side until February and focus on domestic competitions, with another clash against Tottenham on the horizon for a place in the EFL Cup semi-finals.

First up is Huddersfield in the league, though, and the Gunners will be confident of victory if their home form is anything to go by, losing just two of their last 19 top-flight matches at the Emirates - both to Manchester City.

Furthermore, the Gunners have won 16 of their last 17 Saturday 3pm kickoffs in the Premier League, including each of the last nine - a record they will need to extend this weekend if they are to remain firmly in the hunt for a top-four finish.

Recent form in Premier League: DDDWWD
Recent form (all competitions): DDWWWD


Huddersfield Town

Since reviving their season with seven points from the nine on offer in November, Huddersfield have come crashing back down to earth with back-to-back losses.

The Terriers dragged themselves out of the relegation zone by seeing off Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers, either side of a draw against West Ham United, but that momentum has since been killed off by Brighton & Hove Albion and Bournemouth.

David Wagner felt that his side were unlucky not to take anything from their midweek trip to the Vitality Stadium, and the popular German boss certainly had a point.

Town were undone by some poor defending in the first half, conceding to goals from Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser, but Terence Kongolo dragged them back into the game before half time and only a lack of cutting edge prevented them from earning a point.

That lack of killer instinct in front of goal is nothing new, however, as the Terriers are the division's lowest scorers with just 10 goals to their name in 15 matches - 24 fewer than this weekend's opponents Arsenal.

The fact that none of their strikers has yet to get off the mark says an awful lot, but Saturday's trip to the English capital provides a chance to change all that. Arsenal, surprisingly, have kept just two clean sheets all season - they are there to be attacked.

The bottom line, however, is that Huddersfield have collected only two points from their last seven away games against big-six opposition, scoring twice in that run, and they are winless in their last four visits to London.

One goal has been scored in that sequence and 10 conceded, half of those coming in their most recent trip to the Emirates Stadium, so anything other than a comprehensive defeat would be a surprise.

Recent form in Premier League: DLDLWL


Team News

Arsenal lost a couple of key men in Aaron Ramsey and Rob Holding to injury at Old Trafford, with the latter suffering a ruptured ligament which will keep him out for the rest of the season.

While Ramsey's ankle injury is not as serious, the Welsh midfielder appears certain to join Holding, Nacho Monreal and Danny Welbeck in sitting out this match.

There could be some better news for Emery, however, as Mesut Ozil - absent for the Gunners' last four matches with a back complaint - is in line for a return.

A return to a 4-2-3-1 formation is also a possibility, which would mean Alexandre Lacazette being brought back into the side and leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to possibly moving out wide.

In terms of the visitors, Wagner has a couple of big selection calls to make for this trip to North London.

Abdelhamid Sabiri left the field within minutes of coming on against Bournemouth after landing awkwardly on his shoulder, while Chris Lowe has been nursing a shoulder injury of his own for the past month.

Kongolo is a slight fitness doubt but is expected to travel with the rest of his teammates, but Philip Billing will definitely miss out after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season last time out.

The absence of ever-present Billing will likely mean a chance for Danny Williams to shine alongside Jonathan Hogg in the engine room, giving him an opportunity to add to his 14 minutes of league action in 2018-19, and Laurent Depoitre will continue filling in for the suspended Steve Mounie up top.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Kolasinac; Xhaka, Torreira; Iwobi, Ozil, Aubameyang; Lacazette

Huddersfield possible starting lineup:
Lossl; Zanka, Schindler, Kongolo; Hadergjonaj, Williams, Hogg, Mooy, Durm; Pritchard, Depoitre


Head To Head



Arsenal were victorious in both Premier League meetings with Huddersfield last season, winning 5-0 at home and 1-0 away in Arsene Wenger's final match in charge, leaving them 10 without defeat in this fixture.

Ozil had a hand in three goals in that home destruction 13 months ago, scoring once and assisting twice.

Town have lost eight of their last nine top-flight matches against the Gunners, meanwhile, failing to score in each of those defeats.


We say: Arsenal 3-0 Huddersfield Town



Arsenal head into this match sitting level on points with the top four, while Huddersfield are one point above the relegation zone. Town may have won just one of their last 10 away matches in the Premier League, but they have not suffered back-to-back losses on their travels since March. Keeping that run going with a point here is surely too big an ask, with the Gunners looking very strong of late.






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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1714303773045
2Manchester CityMan City17142148103844
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs17130431161539
4Chelsea17114235142137
5Arsenal17104337231434
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd177552929026
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves177461919025
8Everton176652422224
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham177372525024
10Watford177372325-224
11Bournemouth177282528-323
12Leicester CityLeicester176472121022
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton176382024-421
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle174491422-816
15Crystal Palace1743101423-915
16Cardiff CityCardiff1742111733-1614
17Southampton172691632-1612
18Burnley1733111533-1812
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1724111028-1810
20Fulham1723121642-269
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Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
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Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1714303773045
2Manchester CityMan City17142148103844
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs17130431161539
4Chelsea17114235142137
5Arsenal17104337231434
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd177552929026
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves177461919025
8Everton176652422224
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham177372525024
10Watford177372325-224
11Bournemouth177282528-323
12Leicester CityLeicester176472121022
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton176382024-421
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle174491422-816
15Crystal Palace1743101423-915
16Cardiff CityCardiff1742111733-1614
17Southampton172691632-1612
18Burnley1733111533-1812
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1724111028-1810
20Fulham1723121642-269
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