Town 0-0 Cardiff
3:00pm Saturday 21st February 2015
(3-5-2) Smithies; Smith, Hudson, Lynch; Robinson, Hogg, Coady, Butterfield, Scannell; Wells, Vaughan
Which version of Huddersfield Town will turn up this week I wonder? The high tempo, take the game to the opposition Terriers? Or will it be the lethargic, struggling to get out of third gear disappointment? With the hopeful return of Joel Lynch and Jonathan Hogg I'm leaning more towards the former. We're due a good home performance and those two players could be the key in making it happen. Hogg gives us the tempo and intensity, whilst Lynch offers us balance and stability from the back. Add to that James Vaughan's run of goalscoring form, and a possible return to the starting eleven Nahki Wells and I'm fairly confident of a positive result for this one.
Town 2 - 0 Cardiff
Know Your Enemy
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 our first league away day of the season over the border in Wales, against Cardiff CIty, we spoke to Metro blogger Ben James who runs the twitter account 'View From The Ninian'.
Here's what he had to say to our questions...
TC: How surprised are you to see Cardiff, a side many tipped for promotion, languishing in mid-table?
BJ: When looking at the players we signed in the summer, the money that was spent and who came in, it is a surprise. But when you take into account the fact Ole (Gunnar Solsjkaer) was given six games before he was sacked, Russell Slade is tactically inept and there has been a huge amount of apathy toward the club, from fans and chairman alike, it has created a perfect storm for failure.
TC: Is the current position down to what some may perceive to be instability at the club under Vincent Tan or poor decisions throughout the club?
BJ: It's hard to pin it down to one thing. A huge amount was spent last summer on a seemingly scatter gun transfer policy; our two central defenders cost around £9m between them plus we signed players like Adeyemi, Pilkington and others for cash. Ole wasn't given time to formulate a coherent game plan. Then Slade has come in and has been told to cut the wages and get rid of our better players because of the high wages. It can be pinned on Tan; he is cutting funding and appointed Slade but I really believe this is a culmination of Ole's terrible transfer policy as well as Tan.
TC: Russell Slade has seemingly been signing solid Championship players rather than building a side for promotion. What do you put this down to? Possibly FFP?
BJ: It's down to Tan. Last summer, he was happy to splash the parachute payment money around and we spent big. Just after Christmas, the club went back to blue and we've also released around ten players. It feels like this might be Tan's end game. He doesn't come to games anymore and though he claims Slade was his appointment, I struggle to see how. It really does feel like Tan making the call to go back blue was his way of saying 'you're on your own then'.
TC: Does this side have any weaknesses that Huddersfield can potentially exploit?
BJ: Our midfield had been particularly poor recently. Gunnarsson and Whittingham as a midfield two doesn't create enough or offer enough protection so that's something Huddersfield could look to exploit. We also signed Scott Malone from Millwall and whilst he looks alright going forward, his defending can be a little suspect for a left back.
TC: Which Cardiff player should Huddersfield fans worry about?
BJ: Kenwyne Jones has been unplayable at times. Top scorer and it feels like he's doing it all by himself some times. And Whittingham can turn it on at times. He has a wand of a left foot and when he wants to, he's easily our best player. Eoin Doyle also looks like a good find.
TC: Which Huddersfield player do you think Cardiff fans should worry about?
BJ: I always rated Scannell when he was with Palace and he seems to have found his scoring boots recently. James Vaughan is well known to us as we did almost sign him many years ago and though he seems to blow hot and cold, I do worry about him.
TC: What is your prediction for Tomorrow?
BJ: A turgid game of football will ensue and the game will end in a 1-1 draw.
TC: Cardiff's side contains a few of our ex-players. How have Pilkington, Morrison and Peltier settled in?
BJ: Pilko settled in very well but has been out of the side with an injury recently. I think we do miss his industrious play. Works very hard and does create chances. Morrison has moments of brilliance coupled with madness. Second top scorer, pretty good in the air but has a frustrating tendency to back off players who run at him. And Peltier is solid. The fans like his gung-ho approach to a slide tackle and he's put in some solid, if unspectacular, performances.