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Manchester United to send Huddersfield Town into the relegation zone on Saturday

Friday 2nd February 2018

Hi, I'm the fella who wrote that Nottingham Forest would not threaten Arsenal. We all make mistakes. Personally, I tend not to repeat them. That's a promise to any Manchester United fans reading this. And I keep my promises far more often than Donald Trump. Trust me.

I think I'm on solid ground this time because Jose Mourinho once went nine years and 151 games, with four different clubs, without losing a home game. Mourinho’s Manchester United side welcome Huddersfield Town to Old Trafford on Saturday. The Red Devils are coming off the back of a disappointing defeat. They will be desperate for a result to ensure they don’t lose their runners-up spot in the table. As well, they have a point to settle after losing to the Terriers in last autumn's West Yorkshire leg of their tie.

As for United's opponent, Huddersfield has been trying to arrest an already existing slide to no avail. David Wagner's squad risk falling into the relegation zone on the weekend if other results go against them while they come unstuck at Old Trafford. The form book suggests that’s a real possibility.

United at home a different animal

By its standard, Manchester United’s away form has been poor this season, but Mourinho’s men have been formidable in their own backyard. In all competitions, the Red Devils have suffered just one defeat at Old Trafford. That was December’s 2-1 loss to Manchester City.

Mourinho prides himself on being nigh unbeatable at home. That near-decade-long streak proves it.

Burnley and Southampton have managed to each take a point at the Theatre of Dreams in the last few weeks. That said, consecutive home wins and clean sheets against Derby County and Stoke City will boost United’s confidence regarding another victory this weekend.

The Red Devils are currently second in the Premier League table with 53 points from 25 games. They have won three of their last four. They’ve conceded just five goals from 12 matches on home soil. No side in the division has shipped fewer. Huddersfield's form suggests a very one-sided outing at Old Trafford.

Huddersfield couldn’t be in worse shape

David Wagner’s Huddersfield side beat Manchester United 2-1 back in October, but it’s difficult to see a repeat this weekend. The Terriers come into Saturday’s meeting in woeful form, struggling for goals, while letting in far too many at the other end.

Town are 15 places and 29 points worse than United. Wagner's group has gone seven games without a win. The Terriers are joint-second lowest scorers in the division. They have only netted one goal in their previous five league games, ceding 12 at the other end. It's as though the sponsor on the back of their kit is 'Kick Me!'

30 Dec Huddersfield 0-0 Burnley
1 Jan Leicester 3-0 Huddersfield
13 Jan Huddersfield 1-4  West Ham
20 Jan Stoke 2-0 Huddersfield
30 Jan Huddersfield 0-3 Liverpool

 

Only Stoke City and West Ham, with 30 and 26 respectively, have conceded more goals away than Town's 25 this season. Only Stoke (6) and West Brom (7) have amassed fewer points on their travels. It's not harsh to believe they will find themselves in the bottom three on Sunday.

The two clubs immediately below Huddersfield, Southampton (-11) and Swansea City (-18) boast significantly better goal differences. If both draw while United claims all three points at Old Trafford, Wagner will suddenly be looking up at everyone else except Alan Pardew. If Huddersfield somehow craft a draw, either the Saints or Swans will move out of the drop zone with a victory. Swansea travels to the King Power to face Leicester coming off home wins over Arsenal and Liverpool. So'ton is at the Hawthorns to make Daniel Sturridge wish he'd stayed at Anfield.

David Wagner can't be getting much sleep this week.

Crippy Cooke

Crippy is a long-suffering Aston Villa supporter and weekly football accumulator enthusiast.

Stealing a living, the balding 27-year-old boasts a wealth of writing experience - Telegraph, Independent, Huffington Post, Zoo Magazine, Daily Mail, ITV Football, MSN Sport, Yahoo Sport, London 24 and Bleacher Report.


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