Preview: Huddersfield Town v Chelsea

Antonio Conte Alvaro Morata

Huddersfield Town will hope to continue their positive form at the John Smith’s Stadium when they face a wounded Chelsea in the Premier League on Tuesday.

Premier League
12 December 2017
Gameweek 17
Kick-off: 20:00 (BST)
Venue: John Smith’s Stadium

Referee: A. Marriner
Assistants: S. Beck, S. Ledger
Fourth official: P. Tierney

Head-to-head summary

Huddersfield: 50 22 8 20
Chelsea: 50 20 8 22

Previous encounter

Chelsea 3-1 Huddersfield Town – 16/02/2008 (FA Cup fifth round)

Chelsea scorers: F. Lampard (18′, 60′), S. Kalou (70′)
Huddersfield scorers: M. Collins (45′)

Players to watch

Steve Mounie could be the man to watch for the Terriers on Tuesday after he was the hero in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Brighton. The striker scored twice in that contest and is starting to show signs he could be a real threat in the Premier League. It was the Benin international’s second brace of the season, suggesting he scores goals in clusters.

Alvaro Morata went a rare game without a goal during Chelsea’s shock 1-0 defeat to West Ham last weekend. Yet, he is showing superb qualities as a top-class finisher for the Blues with nine league goals to his name in 15 appearances. Against a Terriers defence that has conceded 13 times in their last five games, the Spain international could be in business.

Team form and quotes

Huddersfield recently ended a run of four consecutive defeats by beating fellow newcomers Brighton last weekend. Nonetheless, David Wagner’s side are a much better team at home having won three of their last five at the John Smith’s Stadium.

As such, Wagner wants his players to continue believing in their chances, telling reporters: “(We have to) make ourselves independent from the circumstances we can’t influence, independent from the table and we have to be focused on the talent and the quality that this squad has. We have to have trust and belief in our game and our game-plan.”

Meanwhile, for Blues boss Antonio Conte the game is vital in his club’s pursuit of a top-four finish. The Italian believes that Manchester City have wrapped up the title and that the current champions have only UEFA Champions League qualification to play for.

Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Irons sees the west Londoners now trailing City by 14 points in third place.

Conte said: “There is a problem in this league: there are six top teams and only four places for the Champions League.

“You have targets and also, if Manchester City has many points over you, you have an important target to try to go in the first four and to play Champions League (next year).”

Team news

The hosts have no fresh injury concerns, although Michael Hefele is not expected to be fit for the visit of the Blues, with defender still recovering from an Achilles tendon problem.

David Luiz is sidelined with a knee injury but Danny Drinkwater is available after illness. Tiémoué Bakayoko may miss out after he was substituted for tactical reasons in the loss to West Ham, and Drinkwater may come in.