Hull City host Huddersfield Town on Friday night, and I’ve picked out three selections for a Bet Builder.
Town featured on this page as part of a 12/1 Bet Builder a couple of weeks ago when they were in action against West Brom. The Terriers were coming into the game on the back of four straight wins which saw them cut to 1/2 for a top-six finish. While promotion still looked a tall order – the play-offs will likely feature two or three of Middlesbrough, Sheffield United, Blackburn and Nottingham Forest – a top-six finish was certainly on the cards, and considering many fancied them to battling it out at the other end of the table, it’s been about as good a season as Huddersfield fans could’ve hoped for.
But having set such high expectations, finishing outside the play-offs would be a real kick in the teeth considering they’ve been there for virtually all of 2022, and it’s a prospect facing them; their trip to Humberside is almost a must-win.
Despite holding a 2-0 lead heading into the dying stages at The Hawthorns, they dropped two points. A 2-0 defeat to Millwall followed, and matters were made worse with the 3-0 defeat to promotion-chasing Bournemouth.
Carlos Corberan’s side are in a slump and need to snap out of it sharpish. They offered no response to going behind at the Den and were second best to the Cherries last week. They’re still 5/6 to finish in the top six, but with games against Luton, QPR and Middlesbrough next, they can ill-afford to drop points for a fourth straight game.
Hull meanwhile, are as good as safe after a bit of a scare in the first half of the campaign. Just two wins going into November had them in the bottom three, but four straight wins in November and three straight wins in January put enough breathing room between them and the drop zone.
And while Shota Arveladze may have one eye on next season, he’ll surely be concerned by the Tigers’ recent home form. Hull have now lost five on the bounce in front of their own fans, scoring just one goal.
It's a run that's left them with the worst home record in the league having scored the fewest goals in front of their own fans.
After last year's contract saga, Keane Lewis Potter has found himself on the radar of some Premier League clubs, notably Brentford, having made his debut for England's Under-21s during the recent international break. Despite playing a whole host of positions, including left wing-back, he’s amassed 148 touches in the opponents' box, bettered only by Aleksandar Mitrovic, Dominic Solanke and Victor Gyokeres!
For the visitors, Danny Ward’s goals have fired Huddersfield to a play-off push with 13 for the season. He’s averaging more than 2.5 shots per 90, and has notched 14 across his last four games. I’m fancying him to keep that going with Over 2.5 shots tonight at 11/10.
He may have kept the most clean sheets and made the most saves in the Championship, but you may not be aware of Lee Nicholls' cautions for time wasting?
It’s not often you see goalkeepers ranking particularly high in their team’s booking chart, but on six, Lee Nicholls is giving Lewis O’Brien, Sorba Thomas and Duane Holmes a run for their money.
Five of his bookings have come for time wasting, and while it incurs the ire of opposition fans, he’s becoming increasingly popular at the John Smith’s Stadium. If Huddersfield are to win, it’ll likely be the odd goal, and you can bank on Nicholls using every second he can to run the clock down in the dying stages. He’s picking up a booking roughly once every six games, so I’m happy to take 11/1 about him receiving his seventh yellow of the season on Friday night, particularly with Jeremy Simpson officiating, having already punished Nicholls' antics with a yellow against Blackburn in the 93rd minute back in September.
The 17-game unbeaten run may feel like a distant memory, but the Terriers can get back to winning ways and strengthen their position in the play-off places by taking 3 points against Hull City. With a number of teams performing well in the chasing pack, it is crucial that Huddersfield get back to winning ways and gather some momentum ahead of what is sure to be a dramatic finish to the Championship season.
Danny Ward Over 2.5 Shots - 11/10
Lee Nicholls To Be Booked - 11/1
Huddersfield To Win the Match - 9/5
Bet Builder - 75/1
By Steve Freeth