Key Players & Battles: Nemanja Matic key to Manchester United beating Huddersfield Town for the 21st time!

Manchester United face Huddersfield Town in the Premier League this weekend, the first match between the two sides in more than 40 years. United have had a great start to the season, yet undefeated and have dropped four points, a 2-2 draw with Stoke City and a 0-0 draw with Liverpool. Jose Mourinho will be seeking another three points this weekend keeping up the chase on rivals and noisy neighbours Manchester City, who top the table and are two points clear of United. Here I outline two key players, one for each team and highlight some key battles on the pitch between United and Huddersfield players.

Key Players: Nemanja Matic and Aaron Mooy could write the headlines for their teams…

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Nemanja Matic

The Serbian defensive midfielder was a big loss for Chelsea this season, especially as the two season wonder N’Golo Kante has not been half the player he has been this season and is currently on the sidelines through injury. Matic has played in the majority of matches for United this season, playing to the best of his abilities as being one of the reasons United have been in the form they have been. He is a great replacement for Michael Carrick, not a young player, but is one who will offer a few years of top football before United and possibly Mourinho need to replace him. United will go far with Matic this season and that will only show how stupid Chelsea were to let him go, especially to a team they can not consider a rival for the Premier League crown this season.

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Aaron Mooy

The Australian Manchester City player is only on loan with Huddersfield Town for the season, loaned out six days after making his move from Melbourne City permanent. At 27, he is a player that would not normally be on City’s radar, but they must have seen something in the player, perhaps not enough for him to be part and parcel of the team this season. Mooy has played nine times for Huddersfield this season, scoring once (in the Premier League) against Newcastle United, the second league match of the season and the second victory for the Premier League new boys. Mooy could threaten United, in a bitter way, being a City player and that hatred could inspire him to set out to stop United from taking all three points.

Key Battles: Manchester United have the better players, but giant killing could be something Huddersfield Town have been looking at!

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David De Gea -v- Steve Mounié

Steve Mounié could be back in action for Huddersfield when they welcome United to the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday. The Beninese international opened up his account on the opening day of the Premier League, scoring a brace against Crystal Palace in one of their many defeats this season. Huddersfield topped the league on the opening day with United taking their place a day later. Mounié, should he play, could be a threat to De Gea but with the form of the Spanish goalkeeper, he could pose more of a problem to the Beninese player.

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Nemanja Matic -v- Tom Ince

Nemanja Matic will play against Huddersfield with United’s midfield at this stage of the season. The player will be doing what he does best, controlling the tempo and dictating play, also defending his back line and probably marking any threat, which could come from Tom Ince. Ince has played nine times for his club this season and is yet to score a goal. Against United, it could motivate the player, whose father, Paul Ince played for, also Liverpool – which could be where some bitterness comes from. Ince could be a danger man for United, but Matic could have the threat in the bag, causing his own if the right Manchester United turn up.

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Romelu Lukaku -v- Jonas Lössl

Romelu Lukaku has not scored in two matches for United and with United being criticised, even in a week where they drew away to Liverpool and Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, the Premier League champions, lost to the worst team in the league this season – Crystal Palace. Jose Mourinho was in the firing line from the media, putting United at risk of losing their identity, which is something that was said during the reign of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal. Mourinho’s United side are much better and are having an off part of the season, possibly because of the injuries, but the manager has not blamed everything on that like others do and are backed up by the media. Lukaku, dependant on how he plays and is supported, could well cause Jones Lössl some problems with the Danish goalkeeper conceding nine goals in the last six matches – with Huddersfield Town winless in the Premier League since their opening two matches.

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