Huddersfield Town are just one win away from making a return to the Premier League when they take on Nottingham Forest in the EFL Championship playoff final at the Wembley on Sunday the 29th of May 2022. Should the Terriers win this game, they will end a three-year absence from the Premier League. In this article, we will look at Huddersfield Town’s performances this season and how they surprised many viewers.
Huddersfield Town have won 23 games in the regular season of the 2021-22 EFL Championship. The Terriers finished in third place to qualify for the playoffs. In the semi-finals, they saw off Luton Town 2-1 on aggregate, drawing 1-1 away at Kenilworth Road before winning 1-0 at home. During the course of the regular season and the playoffs, Huddersfield have netted 66 goals, six more than what xG estimated. The Terriers rank 10th in xG, but having overperformed on this, they rank fourth for goals scored.
Just like their overperformance in attack, Huddersfield Town’s defence has also overperformed relative to xGA. The metric estimated the Terriers to ship 59 goals, but in reality, they have let in only 49, 10 fewer than expected. One of the reasons could be the performance of their goalkeeper Lee Nicholls. The 29-year-old had a save percentage of 78.3 this campaign and conceded less than a goal per game.
Shown above is the shot map of Huddersfield Town this season in the EFL Championship, excluding the penalties. Danny Ward is the Terriers’ top goalscorer for the team, with 14 to his name. Second on the list is the Luxembourgish man Danel Sinani, who has half the number of goals of what Ward netted. Overall, Huddersfield have taken 509 shots and netted 61 goals (excluding own goals scored by opponents), giving them a conversion rate of 8.34 shots per goal scored.
Midfielder Sorba Thomas is Huddersfield Town’s most successful threat creator. As a result, he is the team’s leading assist provider, with 11 to his name. However, the Welshman is producing most of his threat from set-pieces. From open play, it is defender Levi Colwill who has generated the majority of the threat.
Given in the above visual is Huddersfield Town’s performances in the EFL Championship relative to the rest of the division. While Huddersfield have overperformed on their xG as well as xGA, they have underachieved on their xA. The Terriers have an xA per 90 of 0.74, but their actual assists per 90 are at 0.65. They rank below average in key passes per 90, with only 2.33.
Huddersfield Town will be hoping to end their three-year spell away from the Premier League. But they face a resurgent Nottingham Forest team who have not lost two consecutive games since late December 2021. They have also defeated the likes of Arsenal and Leicester City on their way to the FA Cup quarter-finals this season.