The first of three Premier League fixtures this afternoon takes us to Yorkshire as a struggling Huddersfield play host to a resurgent Bournemouth. David Wagner’s men have not won any of their last eight league outings as their form has departed them at the worst possible time.
It is that barren run of results which has seen the Terriers slip to second bottom in the table, albeit just a point from safety. However it is fair to say that the rot has well and truly set in as life in the English top flight becomes harder with each week with passes.
If there trajectory is something of a concern the same cannot be said about their opponents Bournemouth who start today currently lying 10th in the table while knowing that a win could see them leapfrog Everton and move back up to 9th by virtue of goal difference.
Eddie Howe’s men have alleyed any immediate fears of beating the drop and are arguably just two but certainly three wins away from securing their top flight status for another season, if Huddersfield’s form has evaporated at the wrong time then Bournemouth’s has kicked in at just the right time.
That is because the Cherries are currently unbeaten in their last seven matches, this is the second longest current streak in the top flight behind Tottenham. Not only that but if they win today they would only be two points off of Burnley in 7th.
All of a sudden the prospect of a Europa League place next season becomes something of a reality, had you mentioned that a couple of months ago it would have been an almost ludicrous suggestion. I guess that is just the measure of how far they have come in such a short space of time.
For Huddersfield they may have earned a morale boosting win in the F.A. Cup in midweek and the hope will be that they can carry that momentum into today’s clash, they cannot afford for this streak to continue as it will only erode what little confidence the squad currently has.
If you were to look at the glass half full than opposed to half empty you would say that a win could well take them out of the bottom three, they would need the other two results to go their way also but right now you get the feeling they would be happy just to get some points on the board.
Their last league outing saw them make an honest fist of it at Old Trafford but ultimately they were beaten by a solid if not spectacular Manchester United by two goals to nil. In fairness though that game was always going to be something of a free hit.
In essence it is these games that are going to be the difference makers and the ones that define whether or not the club stays up this season, in a sense it could be the fact that Huddersfield have stayed loyal to their manager which means they also get relegated.
Where other clubs have struggled and then decided to pull the trigger, it has then consequently given them something of a ‘new manager lift’, obviously this is something that Huddersfield have not had the benefit of due to David Wagner staying at the helm.
Obviously I’m not advocating managers getting the sack but it seems as if that loyalty could be the club’s undoing should they not get the required results between now and the end of the season, results that they need to start getting from today.
The question is can they pull it off, with home advantage you would think there is a chance but the way this Bournemouth side is playing as of late makes you think that there can be nothing over than a win for Eddie Howe’s men as their unbeaten run continues.