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Match Previews

PREVIEW: ALBION V HUDDERSFIELD TOWN

5 April 2018

Kieran Cleeves
Albion welcome Huddersfield Town to the Amex Stadium this weekend.

Brighton & Hove Albion welcome Huddersfield Town to the Amex Stadium on Saturday afternoon - kick-off 3pm - and both sides will be looking to take a huge step towards Premier League safety.

The Seagulls are six points above the relegation zone with seven matches remaining, while the Terriers find themselves in 16th position, three points behind Albion and with one fewer game to play.

Chris Hughton’s team have lost three consecutive matches in league and cup competitions - but Saturday’s opponents are also desperate for a victory, having not won in their last four matches.

After Saturday’s game, Albion come up against four of the current top six in their remaining matches, while David Wagner’s team also have a difficult run-in, as they take on Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal.


TEAM NEWS:

Dale Stephens is still a doubt for this weekend's game, while Steve Sidwell (ankle and back) remains the only long-term absentee. Anthony Knockaert will serve the final game of a three-match suspension after picking up a red card against Everton.

Huddersfield will be without Jon Stankovic (ACL Knee), Michael Hefele (knee), Danny Williams (ankle) and Elias Kachunga (ankle).



REVERSE FIXTURE:

A first-half brace from Steve Mounie secured victory for the hosts when Albion travelled to the John Smith’s Stadium back in December, as the Terriers ran out 2-0 winners on the day.

The Seagulls never really got going, as Huddersfield’s quick start to the match left Hughton’s men with an uphill battle throughout - and Mathew Ryan made a string of fine saves to keep the score at 2-0.

The result came in the middle of a difficult run for the Seagulls in December, which saw them lose to Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur either side of their visit to Yorkshire.


FORM:

The Seagulls have lost back-to-back Premier League matches to Everton and Leicester City, either side of an Emirates FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Hughton’s team had previously strung together a run of seven matches without defeat, which included an impressive 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Amex Stadium at the beginning of March.

February was an unbeaten month - which earned Hughton a Manager of the Month award - and the Seagulls scored 11 goals in four matches, as they beat Swansea City, Coventry City and West Ham United.

Mathew Ryan was the hero at the bet365 Stadium when Albion came up against Stoke City - the Australian saved a last-minute penalty to secure a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw against the Potters.

The Terriers have lost back-to-back Premier League games to relegation rivals Crystal Palace and Newcastle United - most recently losing 1-0 at St James’ Park.

Swansea took home a point at the John Smith’s Stadium despite being down to ten men for the majority of the game, and Spurs sealed a comfortable 2-0 win at Wembley Stadium.

Consecutive league victories over AFC Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion came beforehand, but Wagner’s men are desperate to get some more points on the board after not scoring in four matches.



LAST TIME OUT: ALBION

ALBION 0

LEICESTER CITY 2
Iborra 83
Vardy 90+6

Albion line-up: Ryan; Schelotto, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Propper, Gross, Kayal (Baldock 84); Locadia (March 75), Murray, Izquierdo.

Subs not used: Krul (GK), Bruno, Suttner, Goldson, Hemed.


LAST TIME OUT: HUDDERSFIELD TOWN



NEWCASTLE UNITED 1
Perez 80

HUDDERSFIELD TOWN 0

Huddersfield Town line-up: Lössl; Kongolo, Schindler, Zanka, Smith (Mounie 83); Hogg, Mooy; van La Parra (Malone 86), Pritchard, Kachunga (Quaner 56); Depoitre.

Subs not used: Coleman (GK), Hadergjonaj, Billing, Ince



PLAYER TO WATCH: Aaron Mooy

After joining the Terriers on a season-long loan from Manchester City at the beginning of last season, Mooy permanently moved to the Yorkshire club last summer for an initial £8 million fee, which could rise to £10 million.

The midfielder, who plays for Australia with Albion goalkeeper Mathew Ryan, made 45 league appearances for the Terriers last season, scoring four goals, and featured in all three of their play-off games.

The energetic 27-year-old has a wide range of passing in his locker but also knows where the back of the net is, as he proved in Huddersfield’s wins over Newcastle United, Manchester United and Watford this season.

Mooy has featured in 30 Premier League games for the Terriers this season, missing just two through injury, and also helped Australia reach the World Cup finals - taking his total of international caps to 32.


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