Huddersfield v Brighton preview: Terriers hunt Seagulls scalp
Last Updated: 09/12/17 2:34pm
Huddersfield go in search of back-to-back wins against their newly-promoted rivals when Brighton travel to the John Smith's Stadium on Saturday.
The Terriers' first home game in the Premier League saw them beat last season's Championship winners Newcastle in August, and they will be hoping to end a four-game losing streak when last season's Championship runners-up make the trip north.
Saturday's clash is the first top-flight encounter between Huddersfield and Brighton, with the previous 50 league meetings split across the second and third tiers of English football.
Brighton suffered a heavy 3-1 defeat on their last trip to the John Smith's Stadium and head to Huddersfield without a win in four, but the Seagulls enter the game two points and four places above their opponents.
Huddersfield head coach David Wagner is expected to choose from an unchanged squad for the visit of Brighton.
Centre-half Martin Cranie is hoping to recover from an ankle knock and Wagner has no new injury or suspension worries following last week's defeat at Everton.
Winger Rajiv van La Parra serves the final game of his three-match ban, while Michael Hefele (Achilles), Philip Billing (ankle) and Jon Gorenc Stankovic (knee) are still out.
Brighton boast a similarly clean bill of health with no fresh injury problems ahead of the trip to Huddersfield.
On-loan Chelsea midfielder Izzy Brown, who last season helped the Terriers win promotion to the Premier League, will be hoping to retain his place having been drafted into the Seagulls' starting line-up for last weekend's 5-1 home defeat to Liverpool.
Midfielder Steve Sidwell remains sidelined by a back problem, but is stepping up his rehabilitation.
All three of Huddersfield's home Premier League wins have been by a one-goal margin - in the top four tiers of English football last season, only Reading won as many as home league games by a one-goal margin as the Terriers (12).
Tom Ince has mustered 32 shots without scoring in the Premier League this season, more than any other player.
Anthony Knockaert has had a hand in eight goals in seven previous appearances against Huddersfield in all competitions (five goals, three assists).
Only one player has scored more own-goals in a single Premier League season than Lewis Dunk, who has three already this season (Martin Skrtel scored four in 2013/14).
Glenn Murray has scored five goals in his last seven Premier League games, one more than he managed in his previous 33 appearances in the competition combined (4).
Huddersfield have scored the fewest second-half goals in the Premier League this season (3) but have conceded the most after the break (19).
A win here would be massive psychologically for either of these sides coming into Christmas. Such a hard one to call. I have seen Huddersfield a few times this season. They have got some amazing results, and all credit to the manager for setting them up to win those games.
At home they are a force, but not so much away from home. They remind me of Fulham a few years ago, when they had a great home record. It takes its toll in the end, though, and the home wins can dry up when you put too much pressure on your home form. I can't separate these two.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-1 (4/1 with Sky Bet)
Huddersfield are Sky Bet's 13/8 favourites with Brighton priced at 2/1 while the draw is a 15/8 chance. However, it is Glenn Murray who heads the first goalscorer betting at 5/1 followed by Laurent Depoitre and Steve Mounie at 6/1, although no goalscorer is the shortest price at 9/2.