Cardiff vs Huddersfield preview: Strugglers face off in relegation scrap
Last Updated: 12/01/19 11:27pm
Huddersfield travel to Cardiff City on Saturday for what could turn out to be a crucial Premier League fixture in the battle to avoid the drop.
The Terriers play relegation rivals Cardiff, who sit one place above the bottom three, eight points ahead of David Wagner's side.
A 10th successive Huddersfield defeat could see the points gap between them and safety extended to double figures and Wagner said he takes full responsibility for their plight at the foot of the Premier League.
Huddersfield have lost a club-record nine straight matches in all competitions and have won only two league games this season.
Wagner said injuries and suspensions have not helped his cause and that seven of those nine defeats have been by a solitary goal, but the Terriers boss insists the buck stops with him.
"I know this is part of the job and I know that it is my responsibility," said the German.
"This is the truth. Since I arrived I have had responsibility for this football club and this means not only the three years, but the last six weeks as well.
"They were not what we wanted or matched the ambitions I had and I'm responsible for it.
"As I said I'm responsible for everything that happened before these six weeks and also for what has happened during them.
"This is what I take on the chin. All together, individually, every player has to take it on the chin, step up and take responsibility for what is in front of us."
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock will give late fitness tests to key midfielders Victor Camarasa and Harry Arter, who picked up slight knocks over the festive period.
Kenneth Zohore (thigh), Jazz Richards (hamstring), Kadeem Harris (knee) and Danny Ward (facial injury) have all been ruled out.
Huddersfield forward Jason Puncheon is expected to make his Premier League debut for the club.
Puncheon, on loan from Crystal Palace, started in last week's FA Cup defeat at Bristol City after joining until the end of the season.
Defender Christopher Schindler returns to contention after serving a one-game ban and Wagner is expected to recall Jonas Lossl in place of Ben Hamer in goal. Aaron Mooy, Danny Williams (both knee), Abdelhamid Sabiri (collarbone) and Tommy Smith are all still out.
- Cardiff City are unbeaten in their last 10 matches against Huddersfield Town in all competitions (W7 D3).
- Huddersfield have lost each of their last six visits to Cardiff in all competitions since winning 2-1 in the third tier in September 2001.
- Since moving to the Cardiff City Stadium in 2009-10, Cardiff have only won more home matches against Bristol City (7) than they have against Huddersfield (5) in all competitions.
- Huddersfield have had a player sent off in each of their last two league matches against Cardiff - goalkeeper Danny Ward in May 2017 and Jonathan Hogg in August 2018.
- Huddersfield are winless in their last 13 matches against Welsh opposition in all competitions (W0 D4 L9), failing to score in each of their last four matches.
- After a run of three consecutive home league wins, Cardiff have lost their last two at the Cardiff City Stadium by an aggregate score of 1-8.
- Huddersfield have lost their last eight Premier League games, their worst ever run in league football. The last team to lose more consecutively in the top-flight were Aston Villa (11 in a row between February and April 2016).
- Huddersfield have just 10 points from their 21 Premier League games this season. When converting to three points for a win, none of the 11 teams with 10 or fewer points from 21 top-flight games has avoided relegation.
Cardiff and Huddersfield will both be looking at this game as one they have to win. Huddersfield are in real danger because they are losing too many games against the teams around them. The Terriers' results have been worse than their performances, though; I've seen games where they shouldn't have lost and ones they dominated but didn't score. With that in mind I'm going to go for a shock here, with a timely change in Huddersfield's luck.