Huddersfield vs Arsenal preview: Visitors could hand Denis Suarez full debut
The Gunners are without an away win in the Premier League since November 25
Last Updated: 09/02/19 7:56am
Arsenal could hand Denis Suarez his full debut when they travel to the John Smith's Stadium to face Huddersfield on Saturday.
Suarez, a Deadline Day loan signing from Barcelona, came on in the 66th minute to make his debut against Manchester City, but he struggled to make an impact from the bench as the Gunners suffered a 3-1 defeat to Pep Guardiola's side.
Arsenal head coach Unai Emery conceded the Barcelona midfielder did not get off to the best of starts but revealed Suarez had put in extra effort to get fit after joining until the end of the season.
"The first day last week was adaptation to us, and also with 25 minutes against Manchester City," he added. "This week he worked Monday with our coaches, and also yesterday. Today he is working with different adaptation and better than last week.
"I hope he will continue, he is improving every day with us. Then I hope he can show in the next matches how he can help us better than in the first match against Manchester City."
Emery insists his side must end their poor away form at rock-bottom Huddersfield after suffering a third straight away loss in the Premier League at City on Sunday.
A 2-1 win at Bournemouth on November 25 was the last time Emery's side took three points on the road - and the Spaniard wants that to be addressed at struggling Huddersfield, who are 13 points adrift at the foot of the table with 13 games remaining.
However, Jan Siewert, who replaced David Wagner at Huddersfield last month, insists he has not given up beating the drop and intends to pick the brains of his fellow German, Wagner.
"Yep, he's been on holiday and I will talk to him," Siewert said. "He has been on holiday, so we agreed to phone in the next week. He did a great job here. That's why I want to chat with him and we will do this next week and that's good for me."
Huddersfield will be without Isaac Mbenza for their home game against Arsenal after the winger was ruled out for up to six weeks. Mbenza tore a calf muscle during last week's 5-0 defeat at Chelsea, while defender Chris Lowe is struggling with illness.
Midfielder Jonathan Hogg (back) and defender Erik Durm (foot) both returned to training this week and could be in contention.
Striker Karlan Grant is hoping to make his full debut after stepping off the bench at Stamford Bridge. Danny Williams (knee) and Abelhamid Sabiri (collarbone) remain sidelined.
Meanwhile, Emery revealed captain Laurent Koscielny and top goalscorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both missed a day's training this week though illness - but believes both will be fit to travel to West Yorkshire.
Shkodran Mustafi is also expected to be fit for the trip to Huddersfield. The German defender limped out of Sunday's defeat at City but returned to full training without any issues.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan could return to the squad following a metatarsal fracture after playing 45 minutes for the U23s on Monday night but Granit Xhaka is still a doubt due to a groin problem.
Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck remain long-term absentees.
- Huddersfield are winless in 11 competitive matches against Arsenal (D2 L9), since a 2-1 victory in January 1971. They have won just one of their last 16 home games in all competitions against Arsenal (D8 L7). Huddersfield have also lost their last six Premier League home games. The last team to lose more in a row at home in the competition were Wolves in April 2012 (nine in a row).
- Arsenal have won their opening three games against Huddersfield in the Premier League - only against Watford (7), Reading (6), Wolves (6), Wigan (5), Cardiff (4) and Fulham (4) have they won their first four or more vs an opponent in the competition.
- Huddersfield have scored just five goals in their 13 home Premier League games this season. In top-flight history, only Arsenal in 1912-13 have ever scored as few at this stage of a campaign (also 5), while no team has ever gone the whole season without reaching double figures for goals at home.
- Arsenal are the only team yet to keep an away clean sheet in the Premier League this season, with their last shutout on the road coming at Huddersfield on the final day of the 2017-18 campaign (1-0).
- The Gunners are winless in their last six Premier League away games (D2 L4), losing the last three in a row. Having scored at least twice in their first eight games on the road this season, the Gunners haven't netted more than once in their last four.
- Huddersfield are winless in their last 12 league games (D1 L11), the longest current run in the top four tiers of English football.
I'm going to go for Arsenal, but I would not be shocked if they did not win because defensively, Arsenal are just not good enough. And sooner or later, something has got to happen at Huddersfield, they have to have an all out go now, it is pointless coming away from this game with a draw. Before the game, a draw would be a good result…. But actually, it would not be. They now need to win football matches, so they may as well go out and have a go. You may as well go out and if they get beat five…
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-2 (7/1 with Sky Bet)