Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham United will meet a stern opposition when they travel to face David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium in the Premier League later today, despite them finding themselves at the wrong end of the table after 11 games of the season.
But how will that very Terriers team line up? In Opposition View, we will attempt to answer that question by predicting the starting Xl of the hosts, who have their tales up after their first victory of the season over Fulham on Monday Night Football. Join us.
GK: Jonas Lossl
Between the sticks for the Yorkshire club, as he has been since late-August when he took back his No1 spot from Ben Hamer, will be Danish International goalkeeper Jonas Lossl. The shot-stopper started in goal for only Huddersfield’s second clean sheet of the campaign five days ago, as well as playing the majority of the only other, when Hamer came off injured against Cardiff City.
RCB: Mathias Jorgensen
Playing on the right side of a back three that features three centre-backs will undoubtedly be another Dane, Mathias Jorgensen, better known by his nickname with features on the back of his shirt, “Zanka.” The defender has featured in both his team’s clean sheets this term and will be searching for a third.
CB: Christopher Schindler
Acting as the glue in the middle that holds the back three together, former Germany youth International Christopher Schindler is one of only three players to have featured in every league match of the season so far for the Terriers. West Ham will expect him to be a difficult barrier to break down at the back.
LBC: Terence Kongolo
Rounding off the back line on the left will be one more physical defender, summer signing from Monaco Terence Kongolo. It’s sure to be a tough afternoon for him up against youngster Grady Diangana on his side, but one thing he already has over him is six years more experience at senior level.
RW/RWB: Florent Hadergjonaj
Next, we move into the midfield four, which appears to be conventional, until you discover it contains two wing-backs who will alternate their defensive and attacking duties, the first being Switzerland man Florent Hadergjonaj. The 24-year-old will offer pace on the right flank and is among nine non-English stars in our predicted Xl.
RCDM: Philip Billing
As one of the other Terriers men to have featured in every Premier League game this season and still available for this match despite being on four yellow cards for the season, in contrary to the belief of many who believed he picked up his fifth and a suspension last time out, Philip Billing will start in the right-centre of midfield.
LCDM: Jonathan Hogg (C)
Alongside Billing in the middle of the defensive midfield line of four will be current captain, in the absence of club captain Tommy Smith who has struggled with injuries in recent times, will be Jonathan Hogg. The Englishman will be making just his eighth appearance of 2018/2019, due to a red card back in August.
LW/LWB: Chris Lowe
Completing the midfield in the left wing-left-wing-back role is the fourth German in Wagner’s PL squad, Chris Lowe. The former Borussia Dortmund man has missed just one league game this season, however, as a provider on the left flank, will be disappointed he’s still looking for his first top-flight assist of the term.
CAM: Aaron Mooy
Next, we reach a more attacking trio at the business end of the pitch for the Yorkshire club who will be looking to avoid a third straight Top-Flight defeat against the Irons today, beginning with central attacking midfielder Aaron Mooy. The Australian International is regarded the talisman of this team, but is yet to assist or score in 18/19, suffering a bit of a FIFA World Cup hangover.
RF: Steve Mounie
On the right of the front two that Wagner is expected to field in the final match before the November International break will be summer 2017 signing Steve Mounie. The Frenchman is another who sides fear when they play Huddersfield, but he is yet to net in 10 appearances this campaign, failing to reach the heights of the start of his first Premier League season.
LF: Alex Pritchard
To the left of Mounie in the striker’s role will, without a shadow of a doubt, be January 2018 arrival from Norwich City, Alex Pritchard. The man once linked to Barcelona and Real Madrid will have mixed memories of this fixture having made his Terriers debut in it at the start of the year, in a 1-4 victory for David Moyes’ Hammers.
The formation that will be used by Wagner is the one that has worked well for him in recent times, an interesting and unconventional 3-4-1-2 system. It will make for an intriguing tactical battle against the 4-3-3 of Pellegrini’s East Londoners at the John Smith’s.
So, now that you’ve heard our predicted Huddersfield starting Xl to face West Ham in a matter of hours at the John Smith’s Stadium, why not check out or predicted Hammers team? Simply click the link. And if you want to submit your predicted Xl for either side, Tweet us at @WestHamMatters, where you will be able to find live coverage of the pivotal matchup, throughout the afternoon.