Huddersfield Town finished the 2021/22 season in third place in the Championship, only six points off second position. They made it to the playoff final after beating Luton Town over two legs in the semi-finals, but lost 0-1 to Nottingham Forest, who secured a return to the Premier League after 23 years away from the top flight.
The Terriers have just retained their Championship status for another season after a 1-0 win at home to Sheffield United, last Thursday, confirming Reading’s relegation prior to the final day. Huddersfield currently sit in 18th place in the league, following 13 wins, 11 draws and 21 losses.
They have been on a good run of form of late, winning their last two games, while also seeing two draws and only one loss in their last five matches. The two sides last faced each other back in October, with Reading claiming a 3-1 victory at the SCL Stadium after an opener from Tom McIntyre, an own goal from goalkeeper Lee Nicholls and a strike from Yakou Meite.
Neil Warnock: Huddersfield appointed Warnock as manager in February on a deal until the end of the season, with him returning to the club 30 years after managing them in the 1990s. He took over from Mark Fotheringham, who was sacked after only 21 games in charge, with the Terriers sitting in 22nd place in the league.
Warnock has had a long and varied time in management, but enjoyed probably the best spell of his career with Sheffield United from 1999 to 2007, when he guided the Blades back to the Premier League in 2005/06, finishing as runners-up to the record-breaking 106-point Reading side.
Warnock is a Championship veteran, having managed Sheffield United, Crystal Palace, Queens Park Rangers, Leeds United, Rotherham United, Cardiff City, Middlesbrough and Huddersfield.
He became the Terriers’ fourth manager of the season, taking over with Town sat one place off the bottom of the league, however he secured Championship safety with a game to spare. Warnock likes his sides to stay strong defensively, while remaining aggressive and playing direct.
Huddersfield are expected to name a similar lineup to the side that faced Sheffield United last week. They will however be without defenders Ollie Turton and Yuta Nakayama who have knee and achilles injuries respectively. Midfielders Tino Anjorin and Duane Holmes are all also expected to miss out through injury.
Nicholls, Ruffels, Lees, Helik, Pearson, Headley, Hogg, Kasumu, Rudoni, Koroma, Ward
Danny Ward: Striker Ward returned to Huddersfield for a second spell at the club in August 2020, following his release from Cardiff City, having previously been with the Terriers between 2010 and 2015. The 32-year-old forward was Town’s top scorer last season, netting 14 goals, including a hat-trick in Town’s 3-4 win at Reading last January.
Ward started his career at Bolton Wanderers, but has also played for Swindon Town, Coventry City, Rotherham and Cardiff, and has 16 Premier League appearances to his name (with Bolton and Cardiff).
Ward has five goals to his name so far this season, including the one against Sheffield United last week which secured their Championship status. He is a strong finisher with both his feet and his head.
One to watch
Jack Rudoni: Midfielder Rudoni joined Huddersfield last summer, signing from League One side AFC Wimbledon for an undisclosed fee. He started his youth career at Crystal Palace, before joining the Wimbledon youth setup at the age of 11.
Rudoni made his debut for the Dons in 2019 and went on to make 106 appearances for the club, scoring 17 goals. He has played a part in all of Huddersfield’s Championship games this season, starting 41 games and coming on as a sub in four, with two goals and five assists to his name,
The 21-year-old plays in centre midfield but can also go in the number 10 role. He likes to dribble in the middle of the park but also plays his part defensively.