Huddersfield v Arsenal
John Smith’s Stadium | February 9th, 2019
Gunners Back To Basics in Top Four Battle
Arsenal will be looking to go back level with Chelsea in the race for the top four on Saturday afternoon when they travel to face bottom side Huddersfield. Huddersfield, who have new manager Jan Siewart in charge, are looking for their first home win since November 5th and first goal since the German took charge.
Arsenal will be buoyed by the fact that Huddersfield have won just once at home this season – and that was to the side with the worst defence in Fulham and with the Terriers having scored just 13 league goals all season. It is a ground which holds a good omen for the Gunners, having faced the Yorkshire club in Arséne Wenger’s final ever match at the Arsenal helm which resulted in a 1-0 win, the last of Arsenal’s four away wins in the whole of last season.
Arsenal will welcome back Shkodran Mustafi, who limped off in the defeat at Manchester City, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who hasn’t played since the EFL Cup defeat to T*ttenham, as well as Granit Xhaka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles currently being assessed ahead of the trip up north.
Arsenal have won four away matches this season, matching their tally for the whole of last season, which is the ninth best in the Premier League behind the rest of the top six, as well as Wolves, Leicester and Watford, a huge area that Arsenal need to improve on if they are to break into the top four. But, despite last winning away in November at Bournemouth, Arsenal are heavy favourites against one of the worst Premier League teams in recent years and Premier League odds suggest you shouldn’t back against them getting their 5th win on their travels this season.
Huddersfield have been appalling this season, scoring just 13 goals, winning just twice and shifting 46 times in 25 games, and as well as being 13 points from safety, they haven’t beaten the Gunners in any competition in 48 years. It really does look bleak for the Terriers, it would be the greatest escape in Premier League history if they were to the recover the 13 point gap with the 13 games they have left; it really does look like they will have to start planning for life in the Championship, but in Jan Siewart, they have a manager who may look to follow in the footsteps of Daniel Farke at Norwich and predecessor David Wagner in getting a Championship side firing.
Overall, this should be a comfortable afternoon for Arsenal, and with Chelsea playing away at Manchester City on Sunday, this is a huge chance to put the pressure back on.
Prediction: Huddersfield 0-3 Arsenal.
Occasional writer who follows the Arsenal home and away. Dennis is our greatest ever.