After barely surviving relegation last season, Huddersfield Town have once again launched their bid for the play-off spot this season. They are currently placed in eighth spot in the league with six wins, three draws and five losses to their name in 14 games. While their recent performances have been far from perfect, they remain in contention for the play-off spot for now. This season Corbean has deployed a bit more defensive albeit structured 3-5-2 formation in place of the previous season’s shaky 4-3-3 formation. This has allowed Huddersfield to play their games at a high tempo and bring relative stability in their defence. Although they are not among the side with the highest creativity, Thomas Sorba’s performances has allowed the Terriers to remain a threat going forward.
Following their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Bournemouth, Corbean stated that his side should utilise their defeat as a learning experience and become more aggressive against stronger sides in the league. Huddersfield have been guilty of switching off mid-season in their previous campaigns, a scenario that they would be desperate to avoid. It hasn’t helped that they have to contend with multiple injuries to their important starting eleven players. Aaron Rowe, Jordan Rhodes and Pipa have all been missed by the Terriers.
Huddersfield struggled to establish themselves in their previous defeat in the championship, a double from Dominic Solanke in the first half followed by a goal from Lloyd Kelly in the second half took the game away from them. The Terriers’ low xG of 0.27 indicates their failure in creating any clear-cut goal scoring opportunities.
The Terriers were poor in their shooting as indicated by their shot map. They took a total of four shots in the entire game with just one shot on target. Huddersfield were hardly able to trouble the opposition defence.
In terms of match tempo, Huddersfield are placed at a respectable twelfth spot in the Championship while their open play possession for more than 45 seconds puts them at the sixth spot. Their improvement in match tempo has been largely due to the change of tactics deployed by Corbean. They have still lacked that incisive edge that would allow them to take the game away from their opponents.
Another area of improvement for the Terriers this season has been their defensive pressing and their average challenge intensity. They are ranked in eighteenth spot in terms of their PPDA while their average challenge intensity places them in 21st spot in the Championship.
The next few games will be important in determining whether Carlos Corbean’s message of being more aggressive against their opponents has influenced his side or not. Although Huddersfield have been competitive in many games, they have fallen short significantly in others. Barring another drop-off in performances after mid-season, they should remain in contention for the play-off spot.
The Terriers will welcome Millwall in their next match in the Championship, a team that is level on points with them.