Without a win in their last six league contests, Premier League newcomers Huddersfield will find that things do not ease up any further for promoted sides with the visit of Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten Manchester United.
The Red Devils, who in comparison have picked up 13 points from six games, travel to the John Smith’s stadium in confident form off the back of a 1-0 away win at Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday.
With things going well for Mourinho’s side and David Wagner’s Terriers finding points difficult to come by, it could prove to be a tough task for the home side as they host one of the favourites for the Premier League crown this year.
With seven clean sheets from eight games and 21 goals scored in the league, Huddersfield will have to put in a tremendous performance to chase off United.
You have to travel back all the way to 1971 for when Huddersfield last hosted the Red Devils in what was one of their last meetings for many years.
United triumphed on the day, coming out 3-0 winners at the then Leeds Road stadium. The goals on that day came from the legendary trio of Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law and George Best as they swept aside their opposition both times in the 1971/72 Division One season.
Huddersfield’s form has seen them draw three of their last six games, picking up just the three points after opening up their maiden Premier League campaign with back-to-back victories.
Wagner’s side’s form has eluding them in recent weeks, but, currently sat in 12th, it wouldn’t take much for the Yorkshire side to boost their momentum and placement in the league standings.
Manchester United put in an unimpressive but tactical display at Anfield last week – still having equalled the side’s best ever start to a Premier League season – and the Red Devils will be searching to balance the scales with three points on the road this week.
Having only conceded to Stoke thus far this campaign, Jose Mourinho’s team looks in fine form, with a solidity and attacking might to match any side.
With things quite unfairly tipping the scales in the away side’s favour, it may be up to the footballing gods, and a fully committed performance from all in the home side to show these league giants what they are made of.
While Phil Jones looks set to return to the heart of defence, Marcos Rojo is still out with a long-term injury. Eric Bailly is still missing after sustaining a knock while out on international duty for the Ivory Coast.
Marouane Fellaini is a similar doubt for Mourinho, having picked up a knock while on Belgium duty and looks unlikely to feature at the John Smith’s Stadium. Fellow midfielders Paul Pogba (thigh) and Michael Carrick (calf) are still sidelined.
Marcus Rashford’s injury is still relatively unclear, and his role in Saturday’s game is still in question, but the 19-year-old should make return for the Red Devils after scoring in their midweek European tie.
David Wagner is still notably missing forward Steve Mounie (heel), with Laurent Depoitre still his stand in.
Collin Quaner (calf) is another forward option Wagner is lacking, with defender Michael Hefele (Achilles) also still lacking fitness.
Kasey Palmer looks closer to his Terriers return but remains a doubt for this clash on Saturday.
Predicted Huddersfield XI: Lossl, Smith, Schindler, Zanka, lowe, Hogg, Mooy, Kachunga, Ince, Van La Parra, Depoitre.
Predicted Manchester United XI: De Gea, Young, Smalling, Jones, Darmian, Matic, Herrera, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial, Lukaku
With the balance of power very much in United’s favour for the first ever Premier League clash between the two sides, the effort and will of Huddersfield to pick up an important three points and claim the scalp of a league giant will prove a tough task.
But with Mourinho at the helm of a side that can frighten every defence in the league, the Terriers could find themselves in awe of their opponents, struggling to contain the flair and pace that the United frontline possesses.
Another footballing statistic points things away from the hosts, as Jose Mourinho has only lost two of 39 matches against newly promoted opposition in his career.
Footballing miracles can happen, and with the home crowd behind Huddersfield on Saturday anything could happen. However, it is unlikely.
Prediction: Huddersfield 0 – 3 Manchester United