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Preview: Jose Mourinho seeking to keep the chase on Manchester City with Huddersfield victory

Huddersfield Town -v- Manchester United

Premier League 2017/18

John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield

Saturday 21st October 2017; KO 15:00 BST

Not televised live in the United Kingdom

Manchester United travel to Huddersfield Town, their first competitive first team match at the John Smith’s Stadium in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. It has been more than 45 years since United and Huddersfield last met competitively, 46 years since they faced each other in Huddersfield, also the last ever match the United Trinity all scored in the same match. Jose Mourinho will be seeking a win against the Premier League new boys, keeping chase on Manchester City, who currently top the league, two points ahead of United. David Warner’s side is seeking a victory too, which could be the first in a while have lost or drawn in their last six league matches, winning the opening two matches against Crystal Palace and Newcastle United. Mourinho’s side will be similar to the one which beat Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday, which could have been without Marcus Rashford, who avoided a major injury. There are some great odds on Manchester United scoring first against Huddersfield in this match.

United have many injuries at this time with Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Paul Pogba, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all out of action. Rojo is back in full training and could be back in contention in a fortnight’s time, ready for November’s matches with Ibrahimovic likely to play again this year after seemingly being ruled out by the manager earlier this season. Bailly returned from international duty on the sidelines, which was a big blow against Liverpool last week, but it turned out just fine with neither team able to score a single goal. Mourinho gave an update about Bailly in his pre-match press conference on Friday, suggesting the Ivorian could be back in action next week, whether that is against Swansea City in the carabao Cup or against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, we are yet to find out. Mourinho said:

“I expect Eric Bailly to be back next week.”

Previous Matches: Manchester United have more victories, but having not played in 45 years, Huddersfield Town could make the headlines

Manchester United and Huddersfield Town have not played each other in first team competitive football for over 45 years. The last match played at Old Trafford on the 11th March 1972 was a 2-0 with George Best and Ian Storey-Moore scoring the goals. The last match played in Huddersfield, the year before, was a 3-0 victory for United, the trinity (Best, Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law) scoring for the last time in the same match. In total, 45 matches have been played between the two sides, United winning 20 times, drawing 15 times and losing just ten times. The last defeat for United came on the 22nd March 1952, Huddersfield Town winning 3-2 with Stan Pearson and Frank Clempson scoring the consolation goals for United that day. United are undefeated in the last 11 matches between the two sides, with United seeking to make that twelve and their first victory at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Form: Manchester United are in the better form with struggling Huddersfield searching for a victory, winless in the last six league matches

Both Manchester United and Huddersfield Town started the new Premier League season in fine fettle, winning both opening matches, United with two 4-0 scorelines and Huddersfield Town winning 3-0 and 1-0. United continued winning, and drawing, Huddersfield have not won a Premier League match since beating Newcastle United in the second league game of the season. David Wagner’s side are out of the Carabao Cup. losing to Crystal Palace in the third round, United are into the fourth round, facing Swansea City and also playing in the UEFA Champions League, winning all three group stage matches so far, scoring eight goals and conceding just one. United have scored 21 goals in the Premier League, conceding twice, also scoring four in the Carabao Cup, conceding one. Huddersfield could be on the wrong end of a goalscoring session by United again if the real Manchester United turn up.

Team News: Injuries are taking talent away from this Manchester United side, but there is more undiscovered talent in the team

Jose Mourinho still has many big names on the sidelines for Manchester United including midfield trio Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, and Paul Pogba. Not to mention Marcos Rojo, who has recently returned to full training and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who could be back in action before the end of the year. These injuries alone would all start, or at least the majority of them would, which shows the depth of United’s squad this season and the talent missing from the team. Mourinho has not moaned about his injuries and some are starting to come to an end. Pogba, Fellaini, and Ibrahimovic are players who have not been penciled in to resume playing, Carrick is a big doubt at this moment in time. Only Rojo is nearing his comeback and that could be at any time in the next fortnight but the final international break of the year will commence at the start of next month.

Predicted Starting XI:

Match Prediction: 

Huddersfield Town 0-3 Manchester United

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