Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town

12 Aug

Rafael Benitez


Rafael Benitez watched his Newcastle side lose 1-0 at Fulham in their opening game

BBC coverage

How to follow:
BBC Radio Newcastle, BBC Radio Leeds; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Newcastle United expect a crowd of more than 52,000 for their first home match of the Championship season against Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

France midfielder Moussa Sissoko, who is targeting a move to Real Madrid, is in Rafael Benitez’s squad.

Huddersfield beat Brentford in their first match but were knocked out of the EFL Cup by League One side Shrewsbury.

Head coach David Wagner will have the same group to choose from, with Philip Billing and Harry Bunn still missing.

The Terriers will look to inflict a second consecutive defeat on Newcastle, who lost their opening game 1-0 at Fulham on 5 August.

As well as welcoming Sissoko back into his squad, Benitez could also give debuts to summer signings Ciaran Clark and Mo Diame.

Analysis

BBC Newcastle’s Mick Lowes: “How do you solve a problem like Sissoko? The frustrating Frenchman, a Euro 2016 smash, is still a Newcastle player but clearly has his mind elsewhere.

“Does Rafael Benitez select him or continue to believe a player lacking full commitment to the club should be surplus to requirements? Watch this space.

“Back in 1983, English football had few Frenchmen plying their trade, but 33 years ago is when Huddersfield last travelled to St James’ Park for a league fixture.

“Back then, the Flying Pickets topped the charts. After defeat at Fulham, Newcastle know they have to strike back themselves.”

Match facts

  • Newcastle are unbeaten in 11 home games against Huddersfield in all competitions (won six, drawn five) since losing 2-0 in October 1953.
  • Huddersfield are winless in their last eight league meetings with the Magpies (drawn four, lost four) since a 3-0 win in December 1963.
  • The last two meetings between these sides at St James’ Park have produced 14 goals – Newcastle won 5-2 in a league clash in December 1983 and also won 4-3 in the League Cup in August 2009.
  • Aaron Mooy created four chances from open play in Huddersfield’s season opener, the most of any player in the Championship.
  • Newcastle attempted 24 crosses from open play at Fulham, more than any other Championship side.

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