Huddersfield Town v Stoke City preview: Terriers aiming for top half
Last Updated: 26/12/17 1:57pm
Huddersfield could leapfrog Watford into the top half of the Premier League table with a positive result against Stoke on Boxing Day.
Huddersfield currently sit 11th after coming from behind to draw 1-1 with Southampton on Saturday at St Mary's and head coach David Wagner is not expected to make any changes to the lineup he put out against the Saints.
Stoke relieved the pressure on their boss Mark Hughes by beating West Brom 3-1 at the Britannia Stadium to move up from 17th up to 14th.
The visitors will be looking to make it back-to-back wins for the first time in the Premier League this season.
Jonas Lossl is expected to be fit for Huddersfield after suffering a suspected broken nose in Saturday's 1-1 draw against Southampton, when he was kicked in the face by Saints striker Charlie Austin.
Meanwhile, Stoke are likely to have an unchanged squad when they travel to the John Smith's Stadium.
Erik Pieters remains a major doubt with the injury that forced him off against West Ham and subsequently saw the full-back miss the home win over West Brom on Saturday.
Glen Johnson (knee) has been training and could be back involved, but Bruno Martins Indi is still recovering from his groin injury, while Jese Rodriguez is working on getting back up to speed having returned after spending time in Gran Canaria with his ill son.
Huddersfield are unbeaten in their last five league games against Stoke (W3 D2), though this is the first time they've met since a third-tier clash in December 2001 (0-0).
In the top-flight, Stoke are unbeaten in their last six against Huddersfield (W4 D2), conceding just one goal in that run between October 1951 and January 1972.
The Terriers are unbeaten in six league games played on Boxing Day (W3 D3), winning the last two in a row.
Meanwhile, Stoke have won four of their last six Premier League Boxing Day games (D1 L1), most recently beating Manchester United 2-0 in 2015.
West Brom were a bit unlucky against Stoke on Saturday, but it was a big result for them. I am pleased for Mark Hughes, he is a good manager. And when you are a chairman or an owner of a club, then you should not worry about your manager as when the chips were down and they needed a win, they turned up for their manager and that is a big statement for me. That is what all chairmen and owners should look at - if you go five or six games without a win and then the pressure is on and they turn in a performance and win… you can only get the sack if you lose the players and he has not done that, no way and what a result that was. But this is a tough game for Stoke as Huddersfield are alright at home, they are a handful and are hard to beat, they suffocate you and I just do not think Stoke have got much pace on the counter-attack. So I think they will squeeze Stoke and win 2-0.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (9/1 with Sky Bet)