PMB: Chelsea v Huddersfield - matchday

The final part of the Pre-Match Briefing gets you ready for today's game..

• With a trip to the Etihad up next, Maurizio Sarri will be determined his side make a big statement today. His skipper Cesar Azpilicueta described Wednesday’s performance as ‘unacceptable, and we have to find the solutions.’ We may expect the kind of immediate reaction that followed defeats at Tottenham and Arsenal, but it will have to be sustained in the league if the club is to secure a top-four slot.

• Tactically, the Blues struggled again with David Brooks deployed as Tottenham used Dele Alli: behind the striker, harassing Jorginho. Azpilicueta and fellow full-back Emerson both also played unusually high up the pitch, requiring others to cover, and Bournemouth exposed the gaps in rapid counter-attacks.

• Pedro has scored twice in three appearances against the Terriers, but only against Fulham (five games) has Eden Hazard played more times without hitting the net. Jorginho’s only Chelsea goal to date was a penalty in the reverse fixture, his debut.


• So far this campaign Huddersfield have made the most crosses (537), second-most long balls (1,728) after Burnley, are responsible for the second most-tackles (456) behind Wolves, and have committed almost half as many fouls again as the Blues. Six Terriers errors have led directly to them conceding a goal. New coach Jan Siewart, though, has demanded a more aggressive approach.

• Midfielder Aaron Mooy was a second-half replacement on Tuesday after almost two months out, as was bustling forward Laurent Depoitre – scorer of both Town’s Premier League goals against the Blues. More than half their goals under previous man David Wagner derived from set-pieces, and a third from outside the box.

• Town’s sole win in 11 games on the road this season was a 2-0 at Molineux on 25 November; they have taken one point from a possible 33 home and away since then. That draw was also on another team’s ground: fellow strugglers Cardiff.


Maurizio Sarri's pre-match quotes

'Now we have some problems to score and we are working on this. Against Bournemouth we played with four or five players with their backs to the opposition goal. We need to receive the ball on the run, not receive it there with our backs to goal, so we have to improve in this.

'In the last match we reacted very well in the first half, but then we closed spaces ourselves because we stayed too tight with the three offensive players so it was easy for the defenders to defend against us. Sometimes we have to stay high and wide, we have to go inside to receive the ball, not stay inside.'

Huddersfield boss Jan Siewert’s pre-match quotes

'I have to mention that I’m not a magician, I came here to develop something, to develop players and a certain style of play. I am proud and confident.

'We will focus on each game as it's given to us. I know that we will go for three points in each game.'

Squad news


Antonio Rudiger


Isaac Mbenza
Hamid Sabiri
Danny Williams

Philip Billing


Matchday weather outlook

Very cold and a gentle breeze. 

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