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    Liverpool vs Huddersfield Town Match Preview


    Liverpool and Huddersfield Town meet on Saturday afternoon for the first time in 18 years, with both teams separated in the table by a single point despite contrasting expectations at the start of the season.

    Last weekend, The Terriers recorded a famous victory over Manchester United to consolidate their impressive start to the season, while Liverpool were comprehensively beaten by Tottenham at Wembley 24 hours later.

    The match sees Jurgen Klopp and his former protégé David Wagner go head-to-head for the first time in English football after the two coaches spent four years together in German football as part of the Borussia Dortmund management set-up.

    Liverpool

    Liverpool's 4-1 loss to Tottenham last Sunday once again brought the club's defensive problems under close scrutiny, with all four chances stemming from errors which were clinically dispatched by a ruthless Spurs side.

    Simon Mignolet, Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip were all singled out for criticism from many commentators and pundits after they produced abject performances last weekend, which prompted Klopp to claim that he could have defended better than his side on the day.

    Although Liverpool went into the match on a high following a 7-0 win over Maribor in the Champions League, they fell behind after four minutes courtesy of Harry Kane's opener and suffered another huge blow seconds before half-time when Dele Alli gave Spurs a 3-1 lead.

    The Reds never fully recovered from either setback and only briefly rallied after falling 2-0 behind, although Klopp's side still managed to achieve 64 per cent possession as well as having seven efforts on target compared to Tottenham's six.

    The wins over Leicester and Maribor apart, it proved yet another occasion in which the club showed a lack of ruthlessness in the opposite third of the pitch to alleviate the damage caused by their defensive shortcomings.

    Liverpool's meeting with Huddersfield will take on further significance due to The Reds' poor run of form and another defeat on Saturday could leave the club trailing leaders Manchester City, who play West Brom at the same time, by 15 points.

    Philippe Coutinho is expected to miss out due to an adductor problem, with Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain the player most likely to take his place as Klopp's side attempt to end a sequence of two wins and five draws from 10 matches in all competitions.

    Huddersfield Town

    Huddersfield Town boss David Wagner crosses swords with Jurgen Klopp for the very first time as a manager on Saturday, with the duo having worked closely together during a four-year period at Borussia Dortmund.

    Wagner coached the Dortmund reserve team between 2011 and 2015, a period in which Klopp was boss of the senior team, but he left to join Huddersfield shortly after his friend and mentor was appointed Liverpool manager in the autumn of 2015.

    Success didn't come instantly for the former Mainz and Schalke striker, with The Terriers finishing 17th in his first campaign in charge, but he subsequently masterminded a miraculous turnaround of fortunes last season to earn the club promotion to the Premier League.

    Huddersfield spent a fraction less than £40 million in the summer transfer window on eight different recruits, while two players joined on free transfers and a further three signed on season-long loan deals.

    The club broke their transfer record three times during June and July, firstly to sign Porto forward Laurent Depoitre for £3.5 million before they tied up subsequent deals for Manchester City midfielder Aaron Mooy (£8 million) and Montpellier striker Steve Mounie (£11.44 million).

    Wagner's side started the season in blistering form with wins against Crystal Palace and Newcastle United, while three draws from the next four matches maintained the club's solid start to the campaign.

    Successive defeats to Tottenham and Swansea seemed to indicate that the club's honeymoon period may have finally been over but a 2-1 win over Manchester United last weekend propelled The Terriers to 11th in the table ahead of this weekend's action.

    Liverpool Team News

    Philippe Coutinho is expected to be out of Saturday's clash after he picked-up an adductor problem, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain his most likely replacement despite not starting a match for The Reds in the league so far this season.

    Georginio Wijnaldum has recovered from a knee injury and could return to the starting XI in place of James Milner, although fellow midfielders Sadio Mane (hamstring) and Adam Lallana (thigh) remain unavailable until after the international break.

    A shake-up of the club's defence is expected following a poor showing against Tottenham last weekend, with Dejan Lovren likely to be dropped after he was substituted for tactical reasons after a disappointing 31 minutes on the pitch.

    Nathaniel Clyne (back) also remains out of action through injury, having failed to appear for the club so far this campaign, and is joined in the sidelines by reserve goalkeepers Adam Bogdan (knee) and Danny Ward (back).

    Huddersfield Town Team News

    Huddersfield's DR Congo striker Elias Kachunga is available once again after recovering from a back injury, which forced him to leave the field after 39 minutes during last weekend's 2-1 victory against Manchester United.

    Manager David Wagner could name the same XI that started last Saturday, with Kachunga's replacement Rajiv van La Parra and defender Scott Malone expected to remain on the bench once again after both players were dropped last weekend.

    Forward Collin Quaner has recovered from the calf injury which prevented him from appearing in the first-team for six weeks, although Michael Hefele (achilles), Kasey Palmer (hamstring) and Jon Gorenc Stankovic (knee) are still on the sidelines.

    Huddersfield will also be without midfielder Philip Billing for the next three months after the Denmark international sustained an ankle injury in the recent 2-0 loss to Swansea City, which forced him to be stretchered-off after 60 minutes.

    Head-to-head

    Liverpool have been unbeaten in their last 10 matches against Huddersfield, a sequence which has yielded seven wins and three draws, although the sides have met only once since The Terriers' relegation from the top flight in 1972.

    The teams last played each other in the FA Cup third round back in December 1999, with Titi Camera and Dominic Matteo scoring either side of half-time to earn The Reds a 2-0 win at the formerly-titled McAlpine Stadium.

    Huddersfield had their most dominant period in the head-to-head between 1929 and 1933, in which they won five successive matches, although they were also victorious in four consecutive games between 1953 and 1956.

    Somewhat surprisingly, The Terriers have beaten Liverpool on 31 occasions compared to their opponents' 27 victories although 17 of the 75 matches between the two teams have ended in draws.

    Score Prediction

    Liverpool 3-1 Huddersfield Town
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    Item Reviewed: Liverpool vs Huddersfield Town Match Preview Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Richard Tufft
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