Huddersfield vs Chelsea: Predictions, Odds and Betting Tips
Saturday, August 11, 2018, 9:00 UTC-5
John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield
All eyes will be on Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri as he attempts to bring his Napoli flair to the Premier League.
It is an interesting time at Stamford Bridge as Maurizio Sarri begins his Premier League career after coming so close to knocking Juventus off the top spot in Serie A. Although he promised not to raid his Napoli side for new players he has brought midfield ace Jorginho with him and will be hoping that his style of possession play will translate to the English game.
Chelsea seemed to struggle defensively against Manchester City in the Community Shield season opener and it may take a while for Sarri’s preferred 4-3-3 formation to bear fruit. The almost inevitable loss of Courtois will be a huge hole to fill but it is up front where Chelsea are really having problems. Giroud only scored three goals after his move from Arsenal and Morata has not impressed so far.
Huddersfield surprised everyone just by staying up last season and that was largely down to manager David Wagner’s inspirational leadership and tactics. Changing in style from the attacking displays that saw them get promoted from the Championship, Wagner concentrated on not conceding goals rather than scoring them and that tactic served them very well.
Terriers striker Steve Mounie will be hoping for more chances this season and it may well be down to Aaron Mooy to push his side further up the pitch to help his forward line get into the game. With Chelsea still adjusting to a new style and coach this looks like it could end in a 1-1 draw.
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At any other club Mounie would have surely scored more than the seven goals he recorded for Huddersfield last season. The Benin international striker has all the attributes but is hampered by his team’s defensive style. An opening day goal here would be a great start to the season.
It may take a while for Chelsea to get used to their system, manger and personnel and although they go into this match as favourites it is not inconceivable that Huddersfield will do enough to frustrate the Londoners into a draw.
Head to Head
Chelsea were unable to win both matches last season as Huddersfield secured their Premier League status with a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge the beginning of May. Chelsea had won 3-1 earlier in the season with Bakayoko, Willian and Pedro all getting on the score sheet.
- Huddersfield’s defensive displays last season meant that only seven other clubs kept more clean sheets – a remarkable feat considering they were favourites for the drop.
- Although they ultimately didn’t produce many goals, Huddersfield played in 765 crosses during the 2017/18 season – the 4th highest in the league.
- Alvaro Morata attempted 79 shots last season in the Premier League – but only scored 11 goals.
- Chelsea lost 10 games in the league last year compared to just the 5 when they swept to the title in 2016/17.