Last season’s playoff finalists Huddersfield have endured a dismal start to the campaign by their standards, winning one and losing three out of four games. They do have the added advantage of not playing last weekend due to Coventry’s pitch causing their home games to be postponed until further notice. This may play into the hands of the Terriers, who unlike their opponents West Brom have had a week and a half to prepare for this encounter.
Town have had summer exits to deal with, however, as midfielder Lewis O’Brien and left back Harry Toffolo both departed to Nottingham Forest for a combined fee of around £10 million. That will leave a sour taste in the mouths of fans, despite the decent fee, as Forest were the one who beat them in last season’s playoff final, under controversial circumstances. While highly rated youngster Jack Rudoni is seen as the replacement for O’Brien, the Terriers are yet to dip into the market for a left-back to replace Toffolo. You would expect one to be signed before September’s transfer deadline.
Steve Bruce’s West Brom are this weekend’s opponents and finally got their first win over the manager’s former side Hull City last weekend with a convincing 5-2 win at the Hawthorns. The Baggies were clinical and put the game out of sight long before full time, despite the Tigers fighting back late on. Fans will know a performance like that has been coming since the start of the season, with West Brom creating plenty of chances but failing to convert more often than not.
Now they are off the mark in terms of wins, Bruce will be hoping his side can kick on and give themselves a chance of earning a playoff place this year. More signings might be needed to ensure this, however, with just four coming in so far. But the last weeks of the window always bring about a hive of activity in the second tier. Albion head to the John Smith’s stadium as 11/10 favourites to take all three points.