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Let’s talk about…Huddersfield Town



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Last weekend, Swansea staged a remarkable comeback to earn a draw at Luton Town. The hosts led 3-0 at half time, but goals from three summer signings saw the Swans steal a point in the closing minutes. Jamie Paterson’s deflected effort made it 3-1 shortly after the hour mark, before Olivier Ntcham’s 86th-minute effort gave the travelling Jacks hope. Then, two minutes into the allotted six of added time, Joel Piroe added his fourth league goal of the season to make it 3-3.

Meanwhile, this weekend’s visitors were stunned at home by rock-bottom, manager-less Nottingham Forest. This saw the club drop to seventh in the table after a promising start. They kicked off their season with a 1-1 draw at Derby, before a 5-1 defeat to Fulham. However, they bounced back from the humiliating defeat with three successive league wins, beating Preston, Sheffield United and Reading. They lost to Stoke, before securing a 3-0 win at Blackpool. Last weekend’s loss leaves Huddersfield with 13 points from their opening eight games, while Swansea’s draw puts them in 20th place with seven points.

Their transfer window

First-team signings

Huddersfield’s first senior signing saw 28-year-old goalkeeper Lee Nicholls join from Russell Martin’s former club MK Dons. He made 131 appearances for the club during a five-year spell. So far, he has played six Championship games for his new club.

They also welcomed Matty Pearson and Jordan Rhodes, who joined from Luton Town and Sheffield Wednesday respectively. Despite starting in a back three, Pearson has already scored three goals since arriving. Meanwhile, Jordan Rhodes was involved in the first two league games, but is yet to feature again for the club since.

Josh Ruffells completed his move after leaving Oxford United, although the 27-year-old left back is yet to make his debut for the club. Ollie Turton, who joined from Blackpool, has featured in all eight of their Championship games. The 28-year-old right back started in their first four games but has been limited to substitute appearances since.

Huddersfield’s most experienced signing came in the form of Tom Lees. The 30-year-old centre back made 249 league appearances in a seven-year spell at Sheffield Wednesday, after rising through the ranks at Leeds United. Lees has started in five of their last six league games.

They further bolstered their squad by announcing three season-long loan deals. Levi Colwill arrived from Chelsea and has made seven Championship appearances already. The 18-year-old midfielder’s first senior goal came in dramatic fashion, giving Huddersfield the winner in the 94th minute away to Sheffield United.

Daniel Sinani joined from Norwich. The 24-year-old winger has played five Championship games so far. He has also made 37 appearances for Luxembourg.

They closed the window by signing Mipo Odubeko on loan from West Ham United. The 18-year-old Irish striker has made three substitute appearances since his arrival.

First-team outgoings

After rising through the youth ranks at Tottenham, Jaden Brown joined Huddersfield in 2019. He made 28 league appearances for the club, before joining Sheffield Wednesday this summer.

Demeaco Duhaney left the club to join Stoke City. The 22-year-old made his senior debut for Huddersfield in the Premier League in 2019, before going on to play 19 Championship games.

At the age of 33, Tommy Elphick announced his retirement in June. The former centre-back played in over 400 games in his career, starting out at Brighton before joining Bournemouth, Aston Villa and finally Huddersfield in 2019. Elphick also enjoyed loan spells at Bognor Regis Town, Reading and Hull City.

From one experienced centre-back to another, Richard Keogh also left this summer. The 35-year-old joined Blackpool after a short stint at Huddersfield. Keogh has played the bulk of his games for Derby County, featuring in 316 league outings between 2012-2019.

Despite costing an estimated £11 million in January 2018, Alex Pritchard departed the club on a free transfer after failing to deliver in his three-and-a-half seasons with The Terriers. Pritchard was highly rated when he arrived from Norwich City. He now lines up for Sunderland in League One.

Former Cardiff City striker Oumar Niasse was also released. The Senegalese international picked up a season-ending injury shortly after his arrival in March 2021, meaning he never made an appearance for Huddersfield before departing in June. The striker remains without a club.

Meanwhile, fellow striker Yaya Sanogo also remains a free agent after his contract expired in the summer. The 28-year-old former Arsenal youth product made nine Championship appearances for the club last year.

While some of their outgoings were not integral to the team, the same cannot be said for their former captain Christopher Schindler. The experienced German defender joined FC Nurnberg after making 184 appearances for Huddersfield. He missed just two games during their two-year spell in the Premier League, before playing in 45 of their 46 games upon their return to the Championship.

Fellow defender Richard Stearman joined Derby County after 18 months at Huddersfield. Most known for his spell at Wolves, Stearman played 38 Championship games after arriving from Sheffield United in January 2020.

Juninho Bacuna completed his move to Rangers in August. The 24-year-old midfielder joined Huddersfield in the summer of 2018 from FC Groningen for an estimated £2.25 million. After a lacklustre debut campaign, Bacuna became a regular in his final two seasons at the club.

Lastly, Huddersfield waved goodbye to Isaac Mbenza. The 25-year-old arrived first joined the club on loan in 2018, before completing a permanent move from Montpellier in July 2019 for an estimated £11.25 million. The winger/striker scored just one goal in his debut season, before joining Amiens on loan. He returned last season where he made 36 Championship appearances, scoring five and registering eight assists. He joined Qatar SC on a free transfer in September.

Their captain

Despite joining the club in 2013, Jonathan Hogg was not named captain until June 2021. The 32-year-old midfielder began his career at Aston Villa, before being sold to Watford in 2011.

He joined Huddersfield after a two-year stint with Watford, where he made 78 league appearances. In his first season at the club, he made 34 Championship appearances. Three years later, he was a key member of the Huddersfield side that achieved promotion to the Premier League, starting in the play-off final alongside Aaron Mooy in midfield.

During their two seasons in the Premier League, Hogg featured in 59 league games. He was also named deputy captain by then-manager David Wagner during this time.

Since their relegation, he has remained integral to the side. Following the summer departure of Christopher Schindler, Hogg was named club captain. He is yet to miss a single minute of action in the Championship this season, having started in all eight league games so far. He also scored a rare goal for the club in their 3-0 win at Blackpool earlier this month.

Their manager

Unlike many of Swansea’s opponents so far this season, Huddersfield’s manager does not boast a lengthy playing career. Carlos Corberan represented Valencia at youth level, but his only appearances came for the reserves. At 23-years-old, Corberan retired, turning his attention to coaching.

Following his retirement, he worked as a fitness coach for Villarreal’s C and B teams. Several years later, he was named fitness coach for the senior squad. In February 2012, he joined Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabia, once again working as a fitness coach.

He received his first taste of management in July 2013 when he was appointed manager of Alcorcon’s youth team. This tenure was short-lived, as he was replaced less than six months later.

He reunited with former Al-Ittihad manager Raul Caneda soon after, joining Al-Nassr as his assistant manager. He remained at Al-Nassr for two years, before earning his first senior managerial role. He took over at Doxa Katokopias in the Cypriot First Division but was sacked less than two months later.

However, he became the manager of a fellow Cypriot top-flight club within a week, joining Ermis Aradippou. This was yet another short-lived experience, as he was replaced at the end of the season.

On 21st June 2017, he was given his first role in English football, becoming the Under-23s manager at Leeds United. A year later, new head coach Marcelo Bielsa promoted Corberan to first-team coach, as well as allowing him to continue his role with the Under-23s.

They won the PDL Northern League in 2018-19, while also winning the Professional Development League by beating Birmingham City in the final. Corberan was part of the Leeds coaching staff that achieved promotion to the Premier League in 2020, in what would be his final involvement with the club.

On 23rd July 2020, he was appointed as manager of Huddersfield. The club had finished 18th in their previous season, sacking Danny Cowley before the final game of the 2019-20 season.

However, his first season in English management was disappointing. The club finished 20th, albeit six points clear of the relegation zone. They ended the season with just one win in 10 games, drawing five and losing four. Their only win in that run came away from home when they beat Nottingham Forest 2-0. They also lost 7-0 to eventually promoted Norwich City in that time.

Nevertheless, they have enjoyed a positive start in Corberan’s second season at the club. They currently sit in seventh place, behind Blackburn Rovers on goal difference. They are also just three points off second-place Fulham.

Previous meetings with Huddersfield Town

Although Huddersfield struggled under their new manager last season, they picked up all six points in their two meetings with Swansea.

17th October 2020 (H)

The first meeting between the two sides came in the fifth round of fixtures. Swansea came into the match still unbeaten, having picked up 10 of a possible 12 points at that stage. Huddersfield, meanwhile, had won one, drawn one and lost two.

The visitors took the lead in the 23rd minute when Harry Toffolo struck from a well-worked corner-kick routine. They only held onto their lead for 10 minutes, as Andre Ayew equalised from the penalty spot.

However, it was Huddersfield who scored the crucial third goal. Josh Koroma struck into the bottom corner from the edge of the area with 23 minutes to go.

Huddersfield held on, condemning Swansea to their first defeat of the season, despite the Swans having more opportunities.

Final score – Swansea City 1-2 Huddersfield Town

20th February 2021 (A)

After a dreadful run of form which saw Huddersfield pick up just two points from their previous eight games, they welcomed promotion-chasing Swansea to the John Smith’s Stadium. It proved to be a rare off-day for the Swansea defence, who had only conceded 19 goals in 29 league outings.

Huddersfield opened the scoring in the 22nd minute through ex-Cardiff City striker Fraizer Campbell. Their lead lasted until moments before half-time, when on-loan Conor Hourihane’s free-kick curled in at the near post.

The hosts took the lead within five minutes of the restart through Lewis O’Brien, when the midfielder’s driven shot beat Woodman from outside the area.

A double in quick succession from Duane Holmes gave Huddersfield a commanding 4-1 lead. Just nine minutes after the restart, Swansea found themselves three goals down. The day was made worse for Swansea in the 66th minute, when second-half substitute Jordan Morris suffered a season-ending injury.

HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 20: André Ayew of Swansea City in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Huddersfield Town and Swansea City at The John Smith’s Stadium on February 20, 2021 in Huddersfield, England. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Final score – Huddersfield Town 4-1 Swansea City

Match Preview

While the first half of last weekend’s trip to Luton was extremely worrisome, Swansea will be spurred on by their incredible second-half comeback.

Olivier Ntcham opened his account, while Joel Piroe continued his impressive start to the season. Jamie Paterson added his second for the club.

Russell Martin will have a bit of a selection headache this weekend. Ntcham and Piroe should both return to the starting eleven, while Korey Smith’s return last weekend could earn him a place in the team.

Huddersfield will be keen to bounce back after the disappointment of last weekend; a home loss to rock-bottom, manager-less Nottingham Forest. A win could see them move into the play-off places. Meanwhile, Swansea sit just two points above the relegation zone as it stands. However, a win could see them move as high as 13th.

After struggling to find goals this season, Swansea scored three in the final 30 minutes last weekend. This was the first time the Swans have scored more than two in a league game since their 3-0 win over Millwall on 10th April. They only achieved that feat twice in the whole of last season, after doing it nine times in 2019-20.

If Swansea play as they did in the second half last week, they should find their first home league win of the season this Saturday. After three successive draws, Swansea simply must win this weekend.


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Matt Williamshttps://mjwwrites.wordpress.com/
My name is Matt Williams. I am a 24-year-old journalism graduate and aspiring sports journalist from South Wales. I am a fan of Swansea City, and regularly write about the team on my own personal blog. I also support the Carolina Panthers, and I am an avid follower of the Welsh national teams in football and rugby.

Swansea City v Hull City, EFL Championship



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