Huddersfield vs Sunderland predictions: Close clash expected at Kirklees
- Both teams have scored in six of Huddersfield’s last seven league games
- Sunderland have kept only one clean sheet in seven league outings
- Recommended bet: Both teams to score
Sunderland have taken seven points from their last three Championship matches to move on the verge of the playoff places, but they have to put their road woes behind them away at relegation-threatened Huddersfield.
It appears that the Black Cats have finally found their feet under manager Michael Beale, who was appointed as Tony Mowbray’s successor in December.
However, Sunderland have struggled on their league travels, winning only one of their 10 away games since September, and may not have things all their own way against a Huddersfield side that are fourth from bottom and scrapping for survival.
The Terriers put up a valiant fight in Saturday’s 5-3 defeat at promotion-chasing Southampton and, despite their obvious flaws, have lost only three of their 13 home league matches since August.
Huddersfield remain without long-term absentees Delano Burgzorg, Josh Ruffels, Oliver Turton and Kian Harratt while Jaheim Headley has been out since New Year’s Day.
Striker Rhys Healey, a January arrival from Watford, and Michal Helik are both serious doubts and likely to miss out.
Sunderland manager Beale has confirmed that Bradley Dack and Corry Evans are still some way off making their comeback while Niall Huggins and Dennis Cirkin remain sidelined.
Aji Alese is another still out, along with new signing Callum Styles who will miss this match as it comes too soon but could be involved for Saturday’s trip to Birmingham.
Elliot Embleton, however, has returned to training for the Black Cats following a thigh injury.
Huddersfield suffered their first defeat in five league games as they were beaten 5-3 at second-placed Southampton on Saturday, although three of those matches have ended in 1-1 draws.
The Terriers have scored in each of their last eight league games and both teams have scored in six of their last seven.
The hosts have lost only three of their last 13 Championship clashes at the John Smith's Stadium and they were 2-1 winners away at Sunderland in November’s reverse fixture.
The Black Cats have picked up only 17 of their 47 points away from home, winning just one of their last 10 league games on their travels.
Sunderland are without a clean sheet in five league outings and both teams have scored in four of those fixtures.
Jack Clarke is Sunderland’s leading scorer this season, with 14 goals in 33 appearances and 11 of that total has come on his travels.
Sunderland have their sights set on a place in the Championship playoffs and recent performances will have supporters encouraged about their end of season prospects.
However, a big improvement is required on their travels as they have won only once away from the Stadium of Light since the end of September.
That gives them a vulnerable look as favourites against a Huddersfield side that have been playing well since Jon Worthington took over the reins from Darren Moore.
Worthington’s first match in charge saw Huddersfield run riot in a 4-0 rout at home to Sheffield Wednesday while they had led 3-2 at highflying Southampton on Saturday until the slick Saints cut loose with three goals in the final ten minutes.
That shows the punch that Huddersfield pack in the final third and, with both teams having scored in six of their last seven league games, this should be an entertaining encounter.
The Terriers create plenty of goalscoring chances but promotion-chasing Sunderland have star quality in their ranks and will be disappointed to leave Yorkshire empty handed.
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