On Saturday, Huddersfield Town host Bournemouth at the John Smith’s Stadium in the EFL Championship. In October 2021, when the two teams met in the reverse fixture, it was Bournemouth who came out on top with a 3-0 win. A brace from Dominic Solanke and a goal from Lloyd Kelly were enough for Bournemouth that day. Coming into this game, Huddersfield lost 0-2 on the road to Millwall, and Bournemouth were held to a 1-1 draw at home against Reading.
Huddersfield are coming off a 0-2 loss against Millwall in the midweek fixtures. This loss means Huddersfield have 17 wins, 12 draws, and nine losses. Despite the loss, Huddersfield are overperforming on their xGA numbers. They were supposed to concede 47 goals till now, but they have let in only 40 goals. They are just three points off the automatic promotion spots, but their opponents, Bournemouth, have three extra games in hand.
Huddersfield’s shot map shows that while they may have taken some chances well, they have also missed big chances. Danny Ward is the team’s top goalscorer with 13 goals to his name. But he has not received adequate support from his teammates. In fact, Ward has scored more goals than the second-best goalscorer and the third-best goalscorer combined.
Sorba Thomas is Huddersfield’s most successful threat creator. No wonder he is the team’s leading assist maker. But most of his threat comes from set-pieces (primarily his corners). From open play, Levi Colwill generated most of the team’s threats.
Bournemouth come into this match after being held to a shock 1-1 draw at home against Reading. Dominic Solanke scored early for Bournemouth before they conceded in the 83rd minute. This draw means Bournemouth have 19 wins, nine draws, and seven losses to their name. Despite the draw, Bournemouth are overachieving at the back. xGA predicted Bournemouth to concede 36 goals, but they have so far conceded only 31.
As shown in the above chart, Bournemouth are generally performing well. They have the best defense in the league this season (yes, even better than Fulham). Still, the percentile rankings indicate Bournemouth have not performed as well as the league position suggests. They come only in the 68th percentile for goals scored per 90, 67th percentile for assists per 90, and 73rd percentile for xG per 90.
Both Huddersfield and Bournemouth will want to bounce back from disappointing midweek results and look to win this encounter. This clash is sure to attract viewers as it is third vs second on the league table.