The 2022-23 EFL Championship season is almost here, exactly two months after Nottingham Forest won promotion to the Premier League via the playoffs. The first match of the season sees last season’s losing finalist of the playoffs, Huddersfield Town, host recently relegated Burnley. The Clarets ended their six-year stay in the Premier League after they lost 1-2 at home to Newcastle United on the final matchday. They have appointed former Manchester City captain, Vincent Kompany, as their new head coach in the summer.
Huddersfield Town finished the 2021-22 EFL Championship regular season in third place. They defeated Luton Town in the semi-final before losing to Nottingham Forest at Wembley in the final. They scored 66 goals in the season. Compared to xG, it was an overperformance of six goals. However, the Terriers’ head coach, Carlos Corberan, has quit and has been replaced by Danny Schofield ahead of the start of this season.
Last season, the Huddersfield man who generated the most xT was Welshman, Sorba Thomas. However, the vast majority of his threat came from set-pieces, specifically corner kicks. He generated the most assists of any Terriers man last season. As far as threat creation from open play was concerned, that was topped by Levi Colwill. But he has since returned to his parent club, Chelsea.
The above viz is Huddersfield’s shot map from last season, excluding the penalties. The team missed a few big chances but more often than not, they at least hit their shots on target, if not, even score them. Their top goalscorer last season was Danny Ward, with 14 goals. He attempted 85 shots, giving him a shot conversion rate of 6.07 shots per goal scored.
Burnley dropped into the EFL Championship for the first time since the 2015-16 season, with a loss at home to Newcastle United combined with Leeds United winning on the final matchday of the season sealing their fate. As a result of their relegation, they have had to let go of Nathan Collins, Nick Pope, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee and Wayne Hennessey. But they brought in three men from Manchester City – goalkeeper Arijanet Muric and centre-backs CJ Egan-Riley and Taylor Harwood-Bellis. In the last Premier League season, Burnley completed the joint third-most crosses along with Brighton.
Like one would expect from a relegated side, Burnley underachieved in both xG and xA, which were already low. They completed only 287 passes per 90 last season. They were generally solid defensively, winning 78% of their defensive actions and making 39 interceptions per 90 (adjusted for possession).
Both teams will be looking to get off to a good start to the season. For Huddersfield, it will be a miracle if they finish in the top six once again by the end of the season. For Burnley, they will be looking to get promoted straight back up. While Dwight McNeil and Maxwel Cornet have not yet left the club so far, one can expect them to depart before the summer transfer window slams shut.