Huddersfield v Preston: Dodgy defences could be exposed

Huddersfield hopeless in Fulham thrashing

Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan delivered a frank appraisal of his side’s dreadful performance after the Terriers were beaten 5-1 at home to promotion favourites Fulham on Saturday. After having an early Matty Pearson goal disallowed, Town found themselves 3-1 down at the break and never really looked like threatening the Fulham goal thereafter.

Pearson’s header from Sorba Thomas’ corner when Huddersfield were already two goals down was about as good as it got for home supporters. A laundry list of mistakes led to the five goals for the visitors, with Town losing the shots on-target count 11-2, leaving the Terriers boss no hiding place from the boos of the returning John Smith’s Stadium crowd.

Speaking post-match, Corberan said: “I’m very disappointed because for me we didn’t show what we want to be on the pitch. When we concede five goals it means we need to improve in defence but when I analyse the goals there are more things we need to improve. It was also clear that the attack of the team was not good enough. We didn’t find the possibilities.”

Preston pointless after two games

Preston manager Frankie McAvoy highlighted poor defending as the reason behind North End’s 2-1 defeat to Reading on Saturday. The Lilywhites conceded two soft strikes, Femi Azeez giving the home side the lead in the first half. Daniel Johnson brought PNE level from the penalty spot an hour in, only to ship a second goal eight minutes later.

It was a second successive league loss for the visitors with McAvoy saying: “I’m disappointed we lost the game but I didn’t think we did well enough first half. The second half was better from us. But I just thought both goals, from our point of view, were poor defensively. When you are conceding goals like that, it is always going to be difficult.”

McAvoy had made four changes to his starting XI; Liam Lindsay, Alan Browne, Ryan Ledson and Emil Riis came into the team, whilst Ched Evans was missing from the squad with injury, so too Tom Barkhuizen who is having to self-isolate. Goalkeeper Declan Rudd was back on the bench following concussion and Preston are again expected to shuffle the pack here.

Huddersfield haven’t relished recent skirmishes with Preston, suffering defeat in five of the most recent seven head-to-head showdowns in the Championship (W1-D1-L5). However, although the Terriers were turned over in their last match-up with PNE here, Town have tabled W4-D2-L1 when welcoming the Lilywhites in league football since 1992.

Huddersfield 2.486/4 come into Tuesday night’s contest with just three Championship victories to their name in 2021 (W3-D10-L12). No second-tier side has collected fewer league points this calendar year and calls for Carlos Corberan’s dismissal have grown stronger since Saturday’s thrashing. This is a hugely important game for the Town boss.

Preston 2.942/1 finished 2020/21 with a flourish under Frankie McAvoy’s caretaker charge but North End have found things much tougher this term. The Lilywhites have returned back-to-back defeats under the now permanent boss to prop up the division, although the visitors arguably did deserve a share of the spoils at Reading on Saturday.

When two poor defences are on show, I’m always quite keen to get involved with a goals-based wager and Both Teams To Score is chalked up at 1.9210/11 for Tuesday night’s tussle. It’s a selection that’s paid out profit in all four of Huddersfield and Preston’s collective contents this season with the two teams shipping a combined 12 goals in those four fixtures.

Of course, it’s too early to dig too deep into performance data trends, although both clubs have seen Expected Goals (xG) per-game averages in their matches exceed the 3.00 mark thus far. Both Teams To Score has been the right play in 71% of the Championship’s first two rounds and I’m happy to get onboard again at a very reasonable price this midweek.