Preview: Huddersfield v Arsenal

Arsene Wenger

There could be a carnival atmosphere at The John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday when a Huddersfield Town outfit that are safe in the Premier League face an Arsenal team with boss Arsene Wenger in charge for the very last time.

Premier League
13 May 2018
Gameweek 38
Kick-off: 15:00 local time/21:00 HKT
Venue: The John Smith’s Stadium

Referee: M. Oliver
Assistants: L. Betts, I. Hussin
Fourth official: C. Kavanagh

Head-to-head summary

Huddersfield 62 13 23 26
Arsenal 62 26 23 13

Previous encounter

Arsenal 5-0 Huddersfield (29/11/17) Premier League

Arsenal goalscorers: A. Lacazette ( 3′), O. Giroud (68′), A. Sánchez (69′), M. Özil (72′), O. Giroud (87′)

Players to watch

Jonas Lossl could prove to be the key man once again for the West Yorkshire outfit as he was in inspired form against Manchester City and Chelsea in the two crucial draws for the Terriers. The Denmark international made a number of stunning saves and his shot-stopping ability could come to the fore against a talented Gunners attack.

With nine goals in 12 league appearances for visitors, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is displaying the world class qualities he showed at former club Borussia Dortmund. While blessed with blinding pace, Aubameyang is also a fox in the box and possesses excellent movement in tight spaces in the area. The 28-year-old will no doubt be looking to get into double figures on Sunday.

Team form and manager quotes

Huddersfield come into the contest having recorded two incredible away draws at both Manchester City and Chelsea which ensured their survival in the English top flight.

However, a win over Arsenal could see them move to 40 points which would no doubt be the cherry on top of a great season for David Wagner’s underdogs.

The German coach told reporters: “(We will) play with total freedom in our final game and give Arsene Wenger all the focus he deserves.

“The achievement for our football club is just incredible and we did it all on our own. We didn’t rely on anyone else to help us out.

“This an even bigger achievement than promotion last season. Last year we were predicted to be relegated and we got promoted and this season we were predicted to be relegated by miles.”

Meanwhile, Arsenal are rooted to sixth position but the players will want to give Wenger the best possible send-off as he departs the Gunners at the end of the campaign following 22 years in charge.

Reflecting on the sun setting on his days at the Emirates, Wenger told reporters: “What I tried to do: to give people an experience in life that is not every day. Every day is not a pleasure.

“I think football has a responsibility to try to give some people a special moment in their life. You do not always manage to do it unfortunately, but at least you have to give them the hope they can see something special and can be transported somewhere that they do not always experience on a daily basis.”

Team news

The home team are without Jon Gorenc Stankovic, Elias Kachunga and Danny Williams who are injured, while Michael Hefele and Tom Ince are doubtful. It is expected that Wagner may name the same side that drew with Chelsea the last time out.

Jack Wilshere missed Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Leicester City in the last outing due to the birth of his daughter, and he could be set for a return.

The Gunners will be without defender Konstantinos Mavropanos who is suspended after a red card against the Foxes, while Mohamed Elneny, Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil will all be missing through injury.