Last updated January 19th, 2019
Two teams at opposite ends of the table clash when relegation-threatened Huddersfield meet title-chasing Man City at the John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday (8:30am ET).
Huddersfield are marooned at the bottom of the Premier League table, eight points from safety, and still have to face all of the current top six during their remaining 16 fixtures. Man City are second, four points behind Liverpool and keen to continue applying pressure to the leaders.
The long and painful slog to a seemingly unavoidable relegation resulted in David Wagner leaving his post as Huddersfield head coach in the wake of last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Cardiff. Huddersfield are clear, heavily odds-on favorites with the U.S. betting firms to be relegated. One statistical modelling site has them with a 92% chance of going down.
It was a result that ended an eight-match losing streak, but that nevertheless provided little reason for optimism. After producing a pair of miraculous campaigns, in which Huddersfield were promoted to the top flight for the first time in 45 years and then survived on a low budget, Wagner could no longer handle swimming so obviously against the tide.
Huddersfield were not exactly convincing survivors last season. Their total of 28 goals scored was the league’s joint worst record. While they were a bit better defensively, their goal difference of -30 was worse than that of three of the four teams who finished below them. They have been much worse this time around, scoring less, conceding more, and accumulating just 0.5 points per match, down from 0.97 last season.
When you are averaging just over one goal for every two matches played, your chances of survival are obviously not going to be great. Primary strikers Laurent Depoitre and Steve Mounie have got just one goal between them, summer signing Adam Diakhaby has struggled to make any sort of impression and it says much that defender Mathias Jorgensen is their top scorer with just three goals.
The club were nevertheless taken by surprise by Wagner’s decision to depart. It is Mark Hudson who has stepped up from a role on Wagner’s staff to take temporary charge. On Sunday, he will be tasked with overcoming a disparity in resources, quality and confidence that is so large as to see some bookies price Huddersfield as long as 25/1 to record victory.
It isn’t hard to see why. Man City come into the game on the back of a five-match winning streak in all competitions. They have scored 19 goals in their last three matches – more than Huddersfield have notched in their last 36. They also recorded a comfortable 6-1 victory when these sides met at the Etihad back in August, with Sergio Aguero scoring a hat-trick.
After a difficult December, in which they lost three of their seven Premier League fixtures, victory over Liverpool in their first match of the New Year, and then a 3-0 triumph at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday have reasserted City as title challengers. Liverpool still have the edge, but Man City will be breathing down their necks until the end of the campaign.
City are strong at both ends of the pitch, but it is their league-best attack that has again stood out. They are again on pace to break the 100-goal barrier, and are doing so while spreading their goals around more equitably than many top-of-the-table sides. Aguero leads the way, but Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and David Silva are all also on pace to reach double figures.
The result is that City, like Liverpool, have recorded seven wins by three or more goals so far this season. What is more, while only they and Tottenham Hotspur have won by margins of five or more goals, City have done in four times to Tottenham’s one.
All four of those thrashings were recorded against teams currently in the bottom six, including their home triumph over Huddersfield, and a similarly crushing victory should be expected on Sunday. Giving City an disadvantage to make up on the spread looks the best play for what is likely to be a heavily one-sided encounter.
Our Betting Preview’s Huddersfield vs Man City Picks & Predictions Verdict
- Bet on Manchester City -3 goals on the spread @ best odds of +200 (2/1) with Bovada.