The Villa Appetiser: Huddersfield v Aston Villa 2017
Since we faced Huddersfield earlier in the season, we’ve changed a manager, tried to steal Huddersfield’s manager, and shipped out the player who scored in the reverse fixture on loan to Nottingham Forest.
One thing that has stayed the same however, is Huddersfield’s play-off chances. They were 3rd in the league after scoring a late equaliser at Villa Park back in August, and that’s exactly where they remain.
They’ve had a great season, but face a Villa side on the back of a hat-trick of victories. It’s a difficult one to call – can Villa continue their winning ways at the John Smith’s Stadium?
David Wagner on the pitch
“The pitch is poor no question about it.
“For our game we need a better pitch and now the rugby season has started it does not help.
“But this is something we have to accept – the club and the chairman is trying everything to improve it.
“They have invested in these lights but in the end the pitch is not what it was six or seven months ago.”
Jedinak on the recent revival
“I think it’s definitely heading in the right direction. It definitely looks that way.
“You can see there’s a discipline about us.
“People are aware of what they’re up to and what they have to do.
“Even in unusual circumstances, where you have to make two subs, you’ve got guys that are capable of coming in and doing a job for you.
“I think that’s what I get a lot of heart out of – guys who haven’t had a lot of minutes coming in and doing a job for you.
“It’s a great satisfaction for me playing and seeing guys do well.
“Everyone in the dressing room is so happy.
“It may be just another win against a team that people think we should earn a win against but it’s three in a row and we haven’t had a run like that in a very long time.”
19th September 1987 Huddersfield 0 Villa 1
A goal from David Hunt secured the three points the last time we travelled to Huddersfield.
Huddersfield Town – Last five matches at home: W 4, L 1
Villa – Last five matches away: W 1, L 4
One to Watch
Jonathan Hogg – The ex-Villa midfielder could feature for his side due to injuries to first-team regulars.
VILLA HAVE NOT WON four LEAGUE GAMES IN A ROW SINCE 2009
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Villa have worked hard to stop the rot and with three wins in a row, there’s bound to be a lot of confidence ahead of the Tuesday evening game.
One of the biggest concerns for Villa is the mini injury crisis we seem to be going through. Bruce said recently that he’s never experienced such bad luck with injuries and while he might have been exaggerating, losing both Bjarnason and Grealish in one game was particularly unlucky!
Stopping a poor run of form was always going to be tough, and Villa deserve a lot of credit for picking up the wins. But let’s not forget our last two wins came against teams scrapping at the bottom of the table.
The bigger picture is that we’ve only won three away games this season; Reading, QPR and of course, Rotherham. As one of the trickiest away games of the season, it would be very impressive if we could take home all three points from the John Smith’s Stadium.
Despite losing 3-1 to Newcastle on Saturday (only their second in 16 league games), Huddersfield have a great home record, and have recorded wins against play-off rivals Brighton and Leeds in recent home clashes.
Huddersfield will want to bounce back after their weekend defeat, and while they are six points away from second-placed Brighton, a game in hand gives them a chance to close the gap and still a chance of automatic promotion.
With four wins in five at home for David Wagner’s team, it could be a difficult evening for Villa.
“For our game we need a better pitch and now the rugby season has started it does not help” – WAgner ON huddersfield’s pitch
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag
We’ve got problems on the injury front, but Huddersfield have similar woes. They too lost two players during the weekend’s game, with goalkeeper Danny Ward and midfield man Philip Billing both substituted.
Huddersfield Town are flying high in the league but have taken just one point from their last two games against Newcastle at home, and Barnsley away.
In the midst of that came a 5-1 thrashing away at Man City in the FA Cup. Tough fixtures, sure. But could that mean Wagner’s men have lost momentum?
Villa meanwhile have shown a pleasing resilience with three wins and three clean sheets. Huddersfield will be a tougher test, yes, but the momentum is with Bruce’s men.
In addition to that, the conditions of the pitch thanks to rugby’s Huddersfield Giants could prevent the home side from playing their natural passing game, even if David Wagner refused to use it as an excuse for Saturday’s loss.
A quick look at the history books also tell us that Huddersfield Town have not beaten Villa in six league matches since August 1969.
We’ve all heard the record about 2010 (the year Jonathan Hogg made his debut for Villa, incidentally), but we can match stats from a year before that if we get four wins in a row – 2009 was the last time we did that. That should be plenty of motivation for Bruce’s squad!
With Villa players starting to show their quality again, we’re climbing up the table, and even if promotion is out of the question, we might as well end the season strongly.
Hopefully we can continue our run on Tuesday and match those better days of 2009…
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