Two of the newly-promoted teams will meet at the John Smith’s Stadium this weekend, as Huddersfield Town play their first home match as a Premier League team. Newcastle United are the visitors and these two clubs will know each other well after competing against each other at the top of the Championship last season. This fixture was won by the Magpies during the last campaign, as they delivered a good tactical display to negate the Terriers’ strengths.
It was an excellent opening weekend for Huddersfield as they ran rampant against Crystal Palace. The 3-0 scoreline didn’t flatter them at all and on another day, they could have scored more. Steve Mounie looks to be an inspired signing and he will be the danger man for Newcastle this weekend. It will be a great occasion on Sunday as the supporters get to see the team at home for the first time in the Premier League.
Newcastle had a poor start to the campaign as they lost at home to Tottenham. The problem isn’t the loss, but the nature of it. They more than held their own until Jonjo Shelvey got himself sent-off. It was a crazy decision from the midfielder and he cost his team massively. Rafa Benitez will be one of the few managers that won’t underestimate Huddersfield this season and that should stand his team in good stead. They won at the John Smith’s Stadium earlier this year and they need to use that match to boost their confidence ahead of Sunday.
Huddersfield have a 100% record in the Premier League and will see this weekend as a good opportunity to earn another three points. It will be a long season and there will be times when the Terriers struggle. Their performance at Selhurst Park was a confident one and a similar display against Newcastle should be good enough to make it two wins in a row.
The Magpies may have lost on the opening day of the season, but their away record from last season should increase positivity heading into this match. They won 14 times on the road last season, which was a club record. Although it was in the Championship, they picked up some good habits away from home and they need to maintain them if they are to avoid relegation comfortably.
The Terriers are not likely to make any changes for this weekend after a strong showing against Crystal Palace. They will want to build momentum and a settled team is crucial to achieving that.
Benitez will have to shuffle his pack, with three players unavailable for this weekend. Mikel Merino will be the one to come in for Jonjo Shelvey in midfield. Chancel Mbemba and Jamaal Lascelles will be given an opportunity at centre-back.
Huddersfield have four players out injured, as Nahki Wells, Jonathan Hogg, Martin Cranie and Gorenc Stankovic are all going to be unavailable for Sunday’s game. Tommy Smith went off early last weekend, but the captain should be fit to start against Newcastle.
Jonjo Shelvey will serve the first game of his three-match ban after being sent off last weekend. Florian Lejeune and Paul Dummett are both sidelined, while the match will come too soon for DeAndre Yedlin. Joselu could feature at some stage after joining the club earlier this week.
Score prediction: Huddersfield Town 1-1 Newcastle United
This one is a difficult game to call, as each side picked up a win in this fixture last season. Huddersfield had the element of surprise against Crystal Palace, but they won’t have that against Newcastle. Although it looks to be a good first home game for the Terriers, David Wagner will be wary of the Magpies, as Benitez seemed to have their number in the previous match between the two clubs. This will be a tight game and a draw is the most likely result.