Moore Than Just A Club

Match Preview: Huddersfield Town vs West Ham United: Premier League Matchday Twenty-Three

In the 23rd round of matches of the 2017/2018 English Top-Flight season, David Moyes’ West Ham United make the tricky trip to West Yorkshire where they will meet with David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town in what promises to be a dogged bottom-half battle.

The Terriers are fresh from an away FA Cup Third Found triumph over Championship side Bolton Wanderers, whereas, the Hammers were held at the New Meadow by Shrewsbury Town on Sunday afternoon in the same Competition, balancing the scales nicely for an even affair.

When?

The Premier League clash is scheduled to take place tomorrow (Saturday 12 January 2018) with a kick-off time of 3 PM GMT and as is custom with starts of that time, no live Television coverage available for viewing.

However, you can tune into live Radio commentary on BBC radio London if you are in the Capital on Saturday, or alternatively, if you head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter, you can be sure to find lie build-up, updates and reaction from Yorkshire.

Where?

The visit of the Irons will be held at Huddersfield Town’s modern home Ground of the John Smith’s Stadium, also known as the Kirklees Stadium, in the past, it has been the Alfred McAlpine Stadium and the Galpharm Stadium.

Opening in 1994, the arena has a capacity of just under 25,000 and is also the home of Rugby League team Huddersfield Giants, hosting games from the 1995, 2000 and 2013 Rugby World Cup, in addition to a single England U21 Football International six years after its completion.

The Kirklees is a renowned Concert venue, outside of Sport, many of the World’s most famous musical acts entertaining fans under its roof, some of the biggest names including American Rock Band the Eagles and English Singer Elton John.

Tomorrow will be only the second time that the East Londoners have been visitors for the Stadium, losing out 1-0 in the 1997 League Cup Second Round First Leg in their only previous outing there, thanks to a strike from Alexander Dyer.

Team News:

Town Boss Wagner has a few injury concerns when it comes to picking his starting Xl for the pivotal matchup, although Michael Hefele could feature from the start and Philip Billing will return to the squad at the very least.

Aside from that, the key trio of Collin Quaner, Elias Kachunga and Jon Gorenc Stankovic will all be missing, the latter two suffering with knee injuries and the former coming off in his team’s Macron Stadium win last weekend.

Meanwhile, Hammers Manager Moyes’ absentee list is expected to read a little loner than his opposite number’s, the fitness of several players will be touch and go with the only real certainties to miss out being long-termers Jose Fonte, Sam Byram and Edimilson Fernandes.

But, we will know more about the situation after the former Manchester United Boss speaks to the Media at the club’s Rush Green Training Ground, a Press Conference that is being brought live to you by us with our Live Blog this afternoon.

Form:

The teams of Huddersfield Town and West Ham United have met a grand total of 40 times before in Competitive Football, a fixture that has been being played out since all the way back in the year of 1999.

The overall record makes for grave viewing for any member of the Claret & Blue Army, however, as the Terriers have an impressive 22 victories to their name, that’s 11 more than the away side’s 11, the spoils have been shared on seven occasions.

Oddly enough, this meeting will only be the second this century as the pair have only faced off with each other in eight instances since 1970, with the majority of past encounters occurring before 1950, 21 of them to be more precise.

Last time out, the two sides were embroiled in battle for the first time since 1997 in September 2017 and West Ham, then under Croat Slaven Bilic, emerged as 2-0 victors thanks to a second-half double coming courtesy of Pedro Obiang and Andre Ayew.

The Opposition:

Huddersfield Town Association Football Club was originally founded in the summer of 1908 and have endured, it’s fair to say, something of a rollercoaster of an existence since then.

Remarkably, the Terriers are winners of three English Top-Flight Titles, all of them coming in the 1920s, three on the spin between 1923 and 1926, a feat only ever repeated by Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United in the decades that followed.

The club also have a single FA Cup and Community Shield tucked away in their Trophy Cabinet, both lifted in 1922, they reached the Semi-Finals of the League Cup in 1968, but have never won it, along with the Football League Trophy.

Nowadays, under reputable German Wagner, Huddersfield are enjoying their first Top-Tier tenure since the formation of the Premier League, despite figuring in League Two, the Fourth Tier, just 13 years ago, Town currently sit in 11th off the back of a respectable first half of the season, the highlight being the October home besting of the Red Devils to end their unbeaten run.

Who Is Officiating?

Experienced Select Group Referee Jon Moss will be the man in the middle tomorrow afternoon, with Linesmen Eddie Smart and ex-Serviceman Andy Halliday acting as his Assistants, and the evergreen Mike Dean taking up the role of Fourth Official.

So, with the John Smith’s Stadium scene well and truly set for a gritty afternoon of Top-Flight action, can the hosts take another step towards ensuring their Premier League status for another year?

Or, will the visiting Moyes’ boys make the dramatic move up into mid-table and out of any immediate drop zone danger? Think you know? Be sure to head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter to cast your late score predictions and join the pre-match discussion.