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When we travelled to the John Smith’s Stadium for our opening game of the season, our opponents Huddersfield were under new management with Danny Schofield in charge for the first time.

A difficult season has seen Schofield sacked; he’s now at Doncaster, with his successor Mark Fotheringham also shown the door. That’s allowed 74-year-old Neil Warnock, who managed Huddersfield between 1993 and 1995, to return for the remainder of the season.

He got off to a good start too with a 2-1 home win against Birmingham last Saturday which has left them third from bottom, ahead of both Blackpool and Wigan on goal difference, but still four points behind Warnock’s former club Cardiff who are in 21st place.

It’s a fall from grace for Huddersfield who, under Carlos Corberán, reached the play-off final, losing out to Nottingham Forest at Wembley after two very dodgy VAR decisions went against them. Tipped to do well again this season, they first lost their manager who went to Olympiacos for a short spell before a sacking led him to West Brom. Just to rub things in, Forest, having beaten them at Wembley, then signed Harry Toffolo and Lewis O’Brien from them although neither have played too much for Forest and O’Brien is a player now in limbo after a deadline day move to Blackburn went wrong and Forest not including him in their squad.

This season, they’ve won six times at home. Luton are currently in sixth place in the table with just five wins at Kenilworth Road. On the road, Huddersfield have won just nine points, the least of any team in the league. They’ve drawn at Luton, Middlesbrough and Hull while winning 2-1 at both QPR and Preston, the most recent of those wins coming at Deepdale on Boxing Day.

On paper this might look a home banker, but with Warnock and Ronnie Jepson on the line and our nemesis Jordan Rhodes, their leading goalscorer, potentially leading the line, although he didn’t feature last week, it could prove to be a very difficult game.

Warnock has been playing things down, claiming we are the best team he’s seen at Championship level in the last 20-25 years. He added: “They can do everything, and they could hold their own in the Premier League. Vincent Kompany has done a great job, but we want to go there and give them a game. We shouldn’t worry about anyone else, we need to concentrate on what we can do.”

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Back in 2016, Matty Pearson (pictured above) scored Accrington’s League Cup winner against us; last season he scored the winner for Huddersfield at the Turf in the FA Cup. He’s declared himself fit for tomorrow but has been told he won’t play, that he’s needed for the games against Coventry and Bristol City.

They will be forced into at least one change from the team that beat Birmingham. Matt Lowton played on the left hand side of a back three but will not feature tomorrow as part of the loan agreement. Recent signings Martyn Waghorn and Anthony Knockaert both came on as subs last week but both are in the reckoning to start.

Their team against Birmingham was: Nicholas Bilokapic, Tom Lees, Michal Helik, Matt Lowton, David Kasumu, Jack Rudoni, Jonathan Hogg, Etienne Camara, Jaheim Headley, Joseph Hungbo, Danny Ward. Subs: Jordan Smith, Josh Koroma, Tyreece Simpson, Brahima Diarra, Josh Ruffels, Martyn Waghorn, Anthony Knockaert.

The last time we played at home, Michael Obafemi scored his first Burnley goal to rescue a late point against Watford. It ended a run of ten consecutive league wins and also a run of ten consecutive home league wins.

We’ve since been on the road to Luton and Millwall, bringing four points home with us that was so close to being six before Millwall equalised five minutes from the end of normal time. For those Burnley fans still nervously looking over their shoulders, we currently have a twelve point advantage over Sheffield United and sit sixteen points ahead of Middlesbrough; Sheffield United do have a game in hand.

There is no doubt, we’re not promoted yet, we still need more points and I firmly believe that should we play well tomorrow then that is very likely to be three more points. Things can be different if we don’t play well of course but a good performance should be enough. How many more points are we likely to need. To be honest, I’d be surprised if we needed more than four more victories but let’s not take anything for granted, let’s keep winning games.

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Midfielder Josh Cullen said ahead of tomorrow’s game: “Going into Saturday, we know it will be a tough test and with a new manager which can sometimes give teams the lift they need. They won at weekend too so they will have a bit of momentum behind them and with their position in the table they will be fighting and doing all they can to get a result. We need to be right at it and on our game and make sure we are ready for a challenging afternoon.”

Back at home after those games at Luton and Millwall, he added: “The fans have been brilliant for us all season so to know there will be another big crowd there this Saturday is huge. They push us over the line when we need them and they really are our twelfth man, so hopefully we can put in a good performance for them.”

Cullen was one of six debutants in the starting line up at Huddersfield and he’s missed just three league games this season, the home wins against Norwich, Reading and Rotherham due to an injury. He’s one of the first names on the team sheet I expect.

Who will play alongside him is something only the manager will know. It’s become just about impossible to second guess him; I’m sure few thought there would be four changes at Millwall from the team that had won at Luton.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Jay Rodriguez and Manuel Benson remain out of the reckoning but we can welcome back both Jordan Beyer and Darko Churlinov who have recovered from injury and illness respectively. Both Charlie Taylor and Ameen Al-Dakhil have played exceptionally well alongside Hjalmar Ekdal in defence in the last two games but, even so, it will be a tough decision to leave out Beyer.

A reminder that our team at Millwall was: Arijanet Muric, Connor Roberts, Hjalmar Ekdal, Ameen Al-Dakhil, Ian Maatsen, Josh Cullen, Josh Brownhill, Vitinho, Scott Twine, Anass Zaroury, Ashley Barnes. Subs: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Charlie Taylor, Jack Cork, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson, Nathan Tella, Michael Obafemi, Lyle Foster.




Huddersfield’s last Championship visit to Turf Moor came in October 2015 when two Andre Gray goals helped us to a 2-1 win with Huddersfield’s reply coming late in the game via a Michael Duff own goal.

They’ve played here three times since, twice in the Premier League and once in the FA Cup, and it’s the last of those two Premier League games we look at which came in October 2018. After a poor start to the seasons, wins against Bournemouth and Cardiff had lifted us to twelfth in the table while Huddersfield sat bottom of the table with just two points from their seven games, behind both Newcastle and Cardiff on goal difference.

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We were far from our best and were fortunate to go in to half time with a 1-0 lead. The goal came following a free kick that was flicked on for Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson. His cross was met by Sam Vokes who headed it across the keeper to score.

Huddersfield were the better team in the second half and Christopher Schindler headed home their equaliser on the hour with the game ending in a 1-1 draw.

The teams were;

Burnley: Joe Hart, Matt Lowton, James Tarkowski, Ben Mee, Charlie Taylor, Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson, Ashley Westwood (Jeff Hendrick 73), Jack Cork, Aaron Lennon, Ashley Barnes (Chris Wood 61), Sam Vokes (Matěj Vydra 90). Subs not used: Tom Heaton, Phil Bardsley, Kevin Long, Dwight McNeil.

Huddersfield: Jonas Lössl, Chris Löwe (Florent Hadergjonaj 86), Christopher Schindler, Mathias Zanka, Erik Durm, Rajiv van La Parra (Steve Mounié 59), Philip Billing, Jonathan Hogg, Aaron Mooy, Alex Pritchard, Laurent Depoitre (Isaac Mbenza 59). Subs not used: Ben Hamer, Jon Gorenc Stanković, Elias Kachunga, Adama Diakhaby.

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