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First team

Media View: Expert insight on Huddersfield

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

AFC Bournemouth will be looking to maintain their unbeaten start in the Championship when they host in-form Huddersfield Town on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Scott Parker’s team extended to 13 games their impressive run when Dominic Solanke’s goal earned them a 1-0 win at Stoke City on Tuesday.

Huddersfield climbed into the top six following a 0-0 draw with Birmingham at the John Smith’s Stadium on Wednesday, the Terriers currently unbeaten in four games.

Carlos Corberan’s team have won two, drawn two and lost two of their six away games this season, triumphing at Sheffield United (2-1) and Blackpool (3-0).

Before being held by Birmingham, the Terriers had won their two previous home games, beating Hull City (2-0) and Blackburn Rovers (3-2).

Ahead of the clash, afcb.co.uk caught up with Steven Chicken who follows the fortunes of the Terriers for Yorkshire Live and the Huddersfield Examiner.

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN PROFILE

Ground: John Smith’s Stadium

Nickname: The Terriers

Head coach: Carlos Corberan (appointed July 2020)

Club captain: Jonathan Hogg

Current league position: Sixth

Leading goalscorer 2021/22: Matthew Pearson and Danny Ward (three in the Championship)

Last game: Huddersfield Town 0-0 Birmingham City (Championship)

afcb.co.uk: How have the first couple of months of the season gone for Town?

SC: Much better than expected.

After the second half of last season, we were all perhaps expecting another relegation fight so to be in the top six at this stage of the season is really beyond anyone’s expectations.

It really couldn’t have gone much better.

afcb.co.uk: How would you assess Carlos Corberan’s tenure?

SC: Up and down and then up again.

The first half of last season was very encouraging and they were mid-table at Christmas which, again, I think was beyond what anyone would have expected.

But after the turn of the year, they only won three games during the rest of the season and you were worried at that point.

Since this season started, things have been much better and we have started to see more of his ideas coming through and it is starting to work thanks to a good summer’s recruitment.

afcb.co.uk: What would you say are Town’s realistic ambitions for the season?

SC: Despite the strong start, I think the fans would be quite happy with a decent mid-table finish.

If they were to drop off and end up finishing tenth or something like that, I think the fans would be happy with that on the whole.

They have had three miserable seasons in a row so to be a decent top-half side this season would be very encouraging and, if they could get to the play-offs, that would be dreamland.

afcb.co.uk: Give us your thoughts on Sorba Thomas, the leading assist-maker in the Championship?

SC: He's been an absolute revelation this season.

He only got into the team on the opening day because there was a bout of Covid in the squad and he ended up playing left wing-back as there were no other options.

He was sensational that day and has kept it up since. It’s been an incredible rise.

He’s been hugely important in the massive improvement at set-pieces this season because his delivery has been spot on.

He has also adapted really well to playing a new position. He was signed as a winger and has basically been playing as a wing-back all season.

He has adapted really well to taking on those extra defensive duties.

afcb.co.uk: Who has been the pick of the summer signings?

SC: There was a lot of good recruitment. Centre-back Tom Lees has been excellent.

I think fans were a bit sceptical when he came in, probably because he played for Leeds and Sheffield Wednesday which probably didn’t endear him to them. But he won them over immediately.

He’s been absolutely brilliant at the back and hasn’t really put a foot wrong all season.

He has probably been consistently their best player since he has come into the side. 

afcb.co.uk: Who is Huddersfield’s one to watch?

SC: Duane Holmes has been really good in the past few games.

He normally plays on the left wing but he has been coming in and playing as a number ten.

In the past couple of games, he’s been Town’s best attacking player.

Although they didn’t score, everything good went through him against Birmingham and he scored against Hull last Saturday.

He’s come in for Josh Koroma which was a bit controversial at the time but he’s shown that he’s worth his place. 

afcb.co.uk: Are any key players either suspended or injured against the Cherries?

SC: Centre-back Levi Colwill is suspended after picking up his fifth booking against Birmingham.

He’s an 18-year-old who is on loan from Chelsea and has been a really key player so him being suspended isn’t ideal.

Summer signing Jordan Rhodes has a long-term injury as does right-back Pipa who was one of the best players last season.

afcb.co.uk: What’s your score prediction?

SC: I know I'm going to be unpopular but I’ll say 1-0 to Bournemouth.

You can follow Steven on Twitter – @StevenChicken

Officials: John Brooks (referee), Michael George (assistant), Mark Pottage (assistant), David Rock (fourth official).

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