Huddersfield and Burnley clash in a bid to start 2019 right


Huddersfield Town welcome Burnley to the John Smith’s Stadium on Wednesday as two of the Premier League’s current bottom three go in search of a winning start to 2019.

The hosts have no fresh injury concerns but they have made changes to their squad early in the January window. Raji van La Parra has been sent on loan to Middlesbrough while England-U19 defender Jaden Brown has joined from Tottenham on a free transfer.

The Terriers will perhaps be more active in the transfer market with a striker top of the list. Manager David Wagner spoke of the team’s need to find the net more during his pre-game press conference.

“We have a lot of games to play, but the fact is we need to score more goals and get more points than we are.”

The West Yorkshire side have scored a league low 12 goals. In fact the 12 goals Huddersfield have scored is the lowest total in the top seven tiers of English football, a damming indictment of the problems Wagner’s side are having.

A win for Huddersfield would still leave them rock bottom of the league table with 13 points, but it would close the gap between themselves and Southampton who currently occupy 17th with 15 points.

Last time out the Terries lost a close game to Fulham in the most heartbreaking fashion when Aleksandar Mitrovic netted an injury-time winner after Jonas Lossl had saved a penalty earlier in the game.

For the visitors, they are aiming to climb out of the bottom three. A victory would see Sean Dyche’s side get to 18 points – level with Cardiff and Newcastle United in 16th and 15th respectively.

Their gravelled-voiced manager has admitted that things for the Lancashire club have been rough of late.

“In my six years [at Burnley]this is probably the second spell I’ve had where it’s been super tough. I had a spell at the end of my first half-season and this is probably the next one.”

Burnley recovered from a 5-1 humbling at home against Everton to dispatch of an in-form West Ham United side 2-0 as Dwight McNeil scored his first senior goal for the Clarets.

There will be late fitness tests for both Robbie Brady and Steven Defour who are both recovering from knocks and could be part of the matchday squad should they be deemed fit enough. Winger Aaron Lennon is the only long-term absentee for Dyche.

The game on Wednesday will mark the first of five games in the month of January for Burnley with clashes against fellow strugglers Fulham and high-flying Watford on the horizon before a clash with Manchester United.



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