Huddersfield Town v Bournemouth preview: Eddie Howe calls for focus from in-form Cherries
Last Updated: 11/02/18 11:00am
Huddersfield host Bournemouth at the John Smith's Stadium on Sunday with both sides seemingly heading in opposite directions.
The Terriers have fallen into the Premier League's bottom three after a run of five straight defeats and they now face the league's in-form side.
Bournemouth are up to ninth in the table after taking 10 points from their last five outings, and Cherries boss Eddie Howe has called on his players to capitalise on a Huddersfield team short on confidence.
He said: "I think it's dangerous to look at who you're playing. It can be very unpredictable, so we can't lose our focus.
"I think David Wagner is an outstanding manager. They've performed well, they've been in games and they've not changed their philosophy.
"When you look at the home game against Huddersfield this season, I thought the scoreline flattered us. We know how good they can be."
Wagner has called on the town of Huddersfield to adopt a siege mentality to help the club win their Premier League survival fight.
"We are totally aware this is a massive game for us, but now it's not only to believe that you have the chance to stay up, now's the time where together we all have to fight to stay up," the Huddersfield boss said.
"This not only means the squad, the dressing room, but everybody at Canalside and at the stadium - supporters, the whole town has to stand up and fight for Premier League survival. This is the environment we have to create."
Huddersfield are without defender Tommy Smith, who is sidelined with concussion.
Christopher Schindler and Laurent Depoitre returned to training on Friday having missed the FA Cup fourth-round replay win over Birmingham with foot injuries but both remain doubtful.
Danny Williams is back after dead leg while Jonathan Hogg is set to be recalled after he was rested in midweek.
Bournemouth have Adam Smith and Steve Cook back in contention for the trip to the John Smith's Stadium.
Cook hobbled off after just 13 minutes with a hamstring problem during the 2-1 win over Stoke City.
Smith has not featured since sustained a knock in the draw at West Ham last month. Tyrone Mings is continuing to recover from a back injury while Jermain Defoe (ankle) has returned to training but he is yet to be reintroduced to the first-team squad.
- Huddersfield and Bournemouth haven't met at the John Smith's Stadium since the opening day of the 2014-15 season in the Championship, a 4-0 win for the Cherries.
- Huddersfield have failed to score in 14 of their 26 Premier League games this season, more than any other side in the division.
- The Cherries are unbeaten in seven Premier League games (W4 D3), winning their last two in a row. They've not won three consecutively since March 2016.
- Only Tottenham and Manchester United (12 each) have won more Premier League points since the turn of the year than Eddie Howe's side (11), while Huddersfield are the only team without a single point in 2018.
- Callum Wilson scored a hat-trick against Huddersfield in the reverse fixture this season, finding the net with all three shots on target.
Six or seven weeks ago Huddersfield would be highlighting this game as one to win, but Bournemouth are seven games undefeated. If you gave Huddersfield this position at the start of the season, with 12 games to go, they'd have gone: 'right, we'll start from here'.
If Bournemouth are anywhere near the level they had at Chelsea, they'll win comfortably. They thought they could just turn up against Stoke but they turned it back around there too.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-3 (20/1 with SkyBet)
Bournemouth are Sky Bet's 13/10 favourites for the victory with Huddersfield priced at 11/5 to halt their slump with a win, the same price as the draw.
The Cherries' upturn in form has seen them pushed out to 50/1 for relegation while their hosts are 8/15 favourites for the drop. Callum Wilson heads the first goalscorer betting at 9/2 followed by 5/1 shots Laurent Depoitre and Steve Mounie.
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