Match Preview – Brighton v Huddersfield Town

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Huddersfield Town – the team
Huddersfield surprised everybody last season when winning promotion to the Premier League despite having one of the lowest wage bills in the Championship. They’ve made a good stab at being in the top flight as well, sitting three points clear of the drop zone meaning that, for anyone who wasn’t aware of just how important this game is, they are also only three points behind the Albion. Their pressing style of football under David Wagner is one that the Albion don’t deal particularly well with, as defeats in our last two encounters with the Terriers and the thrashing at the hands of Liverpool attest to. Sky Sports won’t want you to know this seeing as football only began when they invented it in 1992, but historically Huddersfield are one of the most successful teams in the country, being one of only three clubs to win three consecutive English championships and an FA Cup all in the 1920s, making them the team of the decade.

Huddersfield – the place
Huddersfield was at the centre of the Industrial Revolution to the point where the actual army was sent into the town to stop the Luddites smashing up machinery – a suggestion there perhaps for how Theresa May could stop the modern day Luddites constantly striking on Southern Rail. The government campaign that eventually crushed the Luddites was sparked by the murder of local mill owner William Horsfall who was unfortunately not killed by having a horse fall on top of him.

Huddersfield – the people
The town is extremely proud of the fact that it has provided the country with two Prime Ministers, Harold Wilson of the Labour Party and Herbert Asquith of the Liberals. Sir Patrick Stewart is both from the town and a Huddersfield fan which makes you wonder if he used some of the mind control techniques exploited by Professor X on Chris Hughton before our visit to the John Smith’s Stadium in December to convince him to play Ezequiel Schelotto and Izzy Brown as wingers. Sir Patrick isn’t the only famous thespian from Huddersfield with Zoe Lucker also hailing from the town. She of course played Vanessa in one of EastEnders’ most famous scenes when she completely destroyed the home of Max Branning while suffering a fantastic meltdown, the likes of which will probably be seen all over the stadium tomorrow should the Terriers win.

A good WeAreBrighton.com memory of Huddersfield at home
The result may not have been a good one given that we lost 3-2, but Huddersfield were the last ever visitors to Withdean in April 2011. The League One winners trophy was presented to the Albion after the game and one member of the WeAreBrighton.com team even managed to sneak a corner flag out of the Theatre of Trees and into the Duke of Wellington pub where it was the centrepiece of celebrations. Had you of suggested back then that we’d be facing off in the Premier League seven years later, we’d have wanted to know what you were smoking and where to get some from.

A bad WeAreBrighton.com memory of Huddersfield at home
It was after a 1-0 defeat against Huddersfield in November 2008 that we officially discovered that Micky Adams had lost the plot. There’d already been Adam Virgo deployed on the right wing and “we were playing The Leeds United” as he made a League One promotion chasing side sound like they were Brazil from the 1970s as a way of explaining why we’d lost. This time, we got “the players just need a hug.” No they didn’t Micky, they needed a bloody boot up the arse and Russell Slade to come and rescue them from League Two.

Played for both
One of the more interesting characters from Brighton and Hove Albion history represented both sides. Leon Knight scored 17 goals on loan at whatever Huddersfield’s ground was called in 2001-02 before arriving at Withdean in 2003. He fired the Albion to promotion in his first season with 27 goals including the winner from the penalty spot in the play off final against Bristol City but could manage only nine more in a further season and a half as he and Mark McGhee fell out more times than Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. A move to Swansea followed and he has a nomadic career since. Last we heard of him was on Tuesday, when he tweeted something about black men cheating with white women while their wives season the chicken for Sunday lunch. Incredible.

Dangermen
Huddersfield’s rise has been based, rather like the Albion’s, on finding value in the market abroad. Steve Mounie scored both goals in our December meeting and given is he something of a target man, could prove to be a real threat given how poor we’ve been this season defending crosses into the box. He’s got eight goals and will look to link up with Alex Pritchard who arrived at the John Smith’s in January from Norwich, presumably having not got stuck on the motorway this time. Defender Christopher Schindler also makes the list.

Betting
He may have fluffed his lines on Saturday, but Glenn Murray is 6/4 to score anytime against Huddersfield which is decent value seeing as he has scored at home nine times against sides in the bottom half the table. More worryingly, Lewis Dunk loves a card against the Terriers, picking up four bookings and a red in seven games. He is 11/4 to find his way into the referees notebook.

Prediction
Games with Huddersfield are normally low scoring affairs, so we’re plumbing for a 1-0 win to the Albion. It is very rare we predict victory, so apologies in advance for jinxing it.

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