Huddersfield look for their first win of the season on Saturday when they play host to Crystal Palace in the Premier League in a game that could be a six-pointer come season's end.
The John Smiths Stadium, Huddersfield, England
Key Stat: In five of the last six matches between them, one of the two sides have failed to score a goal.
Expert Verdict: While neither of these two teams have made a classic start to their season this term, the short end of the straw has been drawn by Huddersfield. The Terriers have yet to win a game, and with their rivals coming into the league and more money being spent, they just don't have that same bite about them. They did get their first ever PL points off of Palace, but it is Palace who should have enough to eke out a tough win to divert their own worries.
David Wagner will be unable to call upon center midfielder Jonathan Hogg due to a suspension for this match. Meanwhile, injuries to goalkeeper Ben Hamer and winger Ramadan Sobhi are going to leave both pushing their fitness right up to game time.
Aaron Mooy helped Huddersfield stay alive last season with a brilliant assist toward the end of the season against Chelsea. And that is the sort of magic that will be required if they are to survive yet again in the top flight for another season to come. The Australian has to work extra hard to get goals and assists, but his quality is hardly touched with the rest of the side. Goalkeeper Jonas Lossl, who was also huge last season, will have to be on his toes to stop his side from losing what could be a very crucial one.
Huddersfield have two draws and three losses in their last five matches:
1-1 draw at Everton
2-0 loss at Stoke (EFL Cup)
0-0 home draw vs Cardiff
6-1 loss at Manchester City
0-3 home loss vs Chelsea
Defenders:Hadergjonaj, Jorgensen, Schindler, Kongolo, Lowe
Midfielders:Diakhaby, Mooy, Billing, van La Parra
Roy Hodgson will be without center back Scott Dann and forward Connor Wickham, both due to knee injuries that have kept them out for a very long time now. But there is some big news, and that is Wilfried Zaha is set to return from his groin injury that kept him out of the loss to Southampton.
Palace have had an awful record with Zaha over the last two years, so it will be a risk worth taking to play him here. There is no player more dynamic than him in this team, with his runs up and down the flanks as well as phenomenal finishing. He's right at home at Palace, and he's the one to get them their first non own goal of the season. Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey is also in fine form, despite their lack of points so far. He had a fantastic save from Charlie Austin's penalty last time out.
Palace have three losses and two wins in their last five matches:
0-2 home loss vs Southampton
0-1 win at Swansea (EFL Cup)
2-1 loss at Watford
0-2 home loss vs Liverpool
0-2 win at Fulham
Defenders:Wan-Bissaka, Kelly, Sakho, van Aanholt
Midfielders:Townsend, McArthur, Milivojevic, Schlupp
Huddersfield and Palace will clash for the 20th time in this encounter. So far, Huddersfield have the slimmest of leads with six victories to five for Palace. Eight draws have been contested. Here's a look at the last five results:
Mar 17, 2018: Huddersfield 0-2 Palace
Sep 19, 2017: Palace 1-0 Huddersfield (EFL Cup)
Aug 12, 2017: Palace 0-3 Huddersfield
Jan 30, 2013: Huddersfield 1-0 Palace (Championship)
Dec 22, 2012: Palace 1-1 Huddersfield (Championship)
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Huddersfield are at 21/10 to win, a draw is at 21/10, and a Crystal Palace win is at 7/5.
Huddersfield will come into this fifth match day of the season knowing that it is an important one. So far, they have just two points via two draws. That has them in 17th place and looking at a relegation scrap for the second year running. In truth, this was always coming. The Terriers just don't have the funds of even some of the newly-promoted teams, and it is going to take a gargantuan effort from Wagner and co. to pull them out of the fire once more. They know that this match is big, not only for picking up points, but also for keeping another potential rival down in the muck along with them.
Crystal Palace haven't fared much better than Huddersfield, but they have won a match and have one more point as a result. The bad news, though, is that they have lost three straight PL matches heading into this one. Roy Hodgson got them out of the frying pan last season in a Houdini-esque way, but if things continue on as they are at present, he may not be sticking around too much longer and someone else may have to come in and do the rescue job.
The away side won both matches in Premier League play last term and held clean sheets while doing so. Also, five of the last six matches have ended with at least one side failing to score a goal.
No for both teams scoring is at 4/5 via Ladbrokes.
Zaha to score anytime is at 3.2 via Betfair.
With the exception of a goal in the landslide loss against City and one in their draw last time out, Huddersfield are struggling in front of the net. That's not a good problem to have at this level, and Palace can take advantage of it by scoring just one of their own.