Preview

The international break came just at the right time for Town, giving the board and Chairman Dean Hoyle the time to appoint Chris Powell as the new permanent manager.

Powell has brought in Alex Dyer, yes that one who wasn't very good for us in a brief spell during the 1990's, as his assistant manager and they have had a good ten days to work with the squad.

It all feels like Huddersfield Town's season starts tomorrow at home against Middlesbrough. A new manager, possible home debuts for Jack Robinson and Mark Hudson and a feel good factor is starting to flow around the club once again.

MIddlesbrough will be tough opposition given the way they have moved in the transfer market. You can expect them to be the dark horses for the play-offs this season.


Likely Line-up

Chris Powell is known for advocating a 4-4-2 formation and pretty much said he would do in the question and answer session at PPG Canalside last night. This could possibly see James Vaughan and Nahki Wells start up front together for the first time this season.

Powell will have some selection headaches though, which isn't a bad thing. Throughout the side we may see changes although you'd expect Alex Smithies to retain the number one jersey, Conor Coady and Jacob Butterfield to be the midfield pairing and Vaughan alongside Wells up top.

Joel Lynch is also the leading contender to line up in central defence next to new signing Mark Hudson.

It is down the flanks where his big decisions will be. In defence Jack Robinson will be hoping to oust Paul Dixon from the left-back position and the fit again duo of Lee Peltier and Tommy Smith are battling it out to play at right-back.

Powell's big decision will be who to play in midfield. Sean Scannell will be favourite to start after finding a little bit of form under caretaker boss Mark Lillis. Danny Ward may also pip Adam Hammill and Joe Lolley into starting, with his all round game suiting a 4-4-2 formation.


Prediction

Town 2-1 Middlesbrough

The head says a draw but the heart says a narrow win. The feel good factor which has returned to the club with the appointment of Chris Powell will play a huge part. The only worry is our very leaky defence.


Know Your Enemy

If you didn't know already, throughout this season, Thrice Champions will be getting the views of opposition fans, bloggers and podcasters so you know the story behind the club they know so much about.

Ahead of tomorrows fixture against Middlesbrough at the John Smith's, we spoke to Boro fan Anthony Ward, who gave us a little bit of insight into what is happening on Teesside.

Here's what he had to say to our questions...


TC: With the player recruitment that has gone on at Middlesbrough, what would you class as a good season?

AW: At the start of the season with the squad we had, I would of been content with a top ten finish. Looking at the additions we have brought in during the window, a top six spot is within our reach.

TC: Would you say the transfer window has been a success?

AW: The transfer window has transformed our season. Patrick Bamford, Jelle Vossen, Yanik Wildschut alone would get into most Championship teams.

TC: Having had some time to settle into the job, what is your opinion on manager Aitor Karanka?

AW: Karanka has been patient in getting his tactics correct. We are now starting to play with more freedom. He is certainly the man to take us up to the next level

TC: How has Adam Clayton been in his early career at Middlesbrough?

AW: Adam Clayton has settled in well. It was always going to take 2-3 games to get used to his new surroundings and I believe he will form a great partnership with Grant Leadbitter in the centre of midfield.

TC: Was letting Jacob Butterfield join Huddersfield Town the right thing in your opinion?

AW: Not many Boro fans wanted Jacob to go including me. He had just hit top form and was our most consistent player. We knew players had to move out but Jacob was not someone we expected. Top signing for Huddersfield.

TC: Which Middlesbrough player should Huddersfield fans worry about?

AW: Should he start - Jelle Vossen. Belgian international, scored a hatful in the Belgian league and fired Genk into the Champions League. There is no doubt he should be playing Premier League football.

TC: Which Huddersfield player do you think Middlesbrough fans should worry about?

AW: Nakhi Wells. A player Boro fans wanted at our club. Match winner on his day and Ken Omeruo will have his hands full trying to keep him quiet.

TC: What is your prediction for Saturday?

AW: I fancy a closely fought 2-1 win for Boro. Albert Adomah and Jelle Vossen with the goals and Nakhi Wells for Huddersfield. (we'll probably come from behind)


Middlesbrough fan Anthony Ward was speaking with Thrice Champions' Greg Marah. You can give Anthony a follow on Twitter HERE.

Comment