- Expected formation: 4-2-3-1
- Expected line-up: Lössl; Smith, Schindler, Zanka, Löwe; Billing, Mooy; Ince, Palmer, Van La Parra; Mounié
- Penalties: Mooy, Löwe, Kachunga (Took the majority last season)
- Direct free kicks: Ince, Palmer, Löwe
- Corners: Mooy, Löwe
- Indirect free kicks: Löwe, Mooy
- Opening Fixtures: Cry (a), NEW (H), SOU (H), Whu (a), LEI (H), Bur (a), TOT (H), Swa (A), MNU (H), Liv (A)
The fairy tale story of last season in the Championship.
Let’s take a look at what the Huddersfield Town squad offers us FPL managers this season. Having lived in Huddersfield for a few years, I have a great affinity with Town and their storybook dream of making it into the big time.
Keepers and Defence
Last season, Huddersfield conceded a total of 58 goals in the 46 games of the regular campaign. Not too promising on first inspection and delving deeper doesn’t make the stats look any better either; more than 1 goal per game was conceded in home games, which is where we would be looking for a Town defender to gather the bulk of their points – hmm.
Tommy Smith (£5.0) had some decent attacking stats last season – 4 goals and 8 assists in 42 games – to cover for the poor defensive displays however, at that price, you would be expecting more for your buck than a few assists and very few shut outs. Now I’m not saying we won’t see any Huddersfield clean sheets this season, but in a vastly superior league, I only expect the above defensive stats to weaken.
For a slightly cheaper alternative, look to the other side of the defence – Chris Löwe (£4.5m).
Löwe could be on a few set-pieces this season and with the big presence of Steven Mounié to attack crosses, could see himself grabbing a decent amount of assists. Not only that but if Mooy isn’t on the pitch for whatever reason, Löwe seems to be next in line to take a spot kick. That might change if Kachunga is on the field having took the majority for them last season, but the point is, Löwe has a chance at taking a few.
With Town bringing in a new goalkeeper – Jonas Lössl (£4.5m) – and a couple of new defenders in Zanka (£4.5m), who brings champions league experience from his time with FC Copenhagen, and Scott Malone (£4.5m), I would advise FPL managers to view how the new look defence gels during the first month or so, before parting with any money on them from our precious, seemingly tight, budget.
A player that really, really, impressed me last season was the Australian, now permanent singing, Aaron Mooy (£5.5m). Playing in the deep-lying playmaker role in Wagner’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system, he has fantastic passing range, the ability to dictate the tempo of the game and he isn’t shy of a tackle and won’t get bullied in the middle of the park.
From an FPL perspective, the main selling point Mooy has, is his set-piece taking. A player who always backs himself with the ball; corners, free-kicks and even penalties. If it’s a dead ball, he’ll want to take it. David Wagner had the following to say about Arron after shelling out the biggest fee Huddersfield have seen, since a Saturday night at the nightclub Tokyo:
“As I said many times last season, Aaron was right at the heart of our team. When he played well, we usually played well – and won!”
Elsewhere in the Terriers midfield, for £0.5m more than Mooy, you can get the rapid winger Tom Ince (£6.0m). He played all but one game for Derby last season and returned some pretty impressive attacking stats. Although his premier league stats make less promising reading. In 15 games (for Crystal Palace and Hull City) he got a solitary goal and assist.
Since these 2 seasons in the top fight however, he has matured and become a more rounded player. If he can translate last season’s form and his pre-season form (4 goals) into the coming season, he could really get Huddersfield firing and create plenty of chances for Steve Mounié – a perfect segue into the next player of interest.
Big Presence Up Front
I see Huddersfield playing a direct style this season, and David Wagner hasn’t messed around signing players to fit this tactic. The 22-year-old, Benin international Steve Mounié (£6.0m), a record singing at around £12 million, fits the lone front man role perfectly. Big, powerful, and great in the air, Mounié provides all the attributes Wagner was looking for in a target man to play up top.
“Steve has real physical attributes that should be perfect for the Premier League.” – David Wagner on the Benin striker.
All sounds peachy doesn’t it?
Well the 14 goals and 3 assists he got in the French top flight last season, make for even more impressive reading. This lad has all the qualities to make a real impact in the premier league and in Wagner, he has a manger that will play to his strengths.
With the Terriers having a lovely start to the season, there is a case for going with Mounié from the off. He has been banging them in, in pre-season, so the form is there. It just remains to be seen if Huddersfield can handle the step-up in quality to the Premier League.
With none of the big 6 to play in the first 6 gameweeks, investing in Huddersfield assets from the off seems to be the best time to pick em’ and with Spurs, Man Utd and Liverpool in the following 4 games, we would need some returns in these games before shipping out. In defence however, I wouldn’t expect much in terms of clean sheets as the Terriers will need time to get used to life in the upper echelons of the English Pyramid.
Chris Löwe could be one to watch if he gets his share of set pieces and maybe pens, but on clean sheets alone (the bread and butter for our FPL defenders), I wouldn’t recommend a Town defender over these fixtures.
Further up the pitch and in an attacking sense, I see Huddersfield being heavily reliant on their record signing Mounié. Players like Mooy and Ince will be supplying the chances, but much of Huddersfield’s season depends on how the big man from Benin adapts to the English game. He has the presence to shake up premier league defences and Town will be playing to his strengths. At £6.0m, he could be a real bargain from the off.