Liverpool fans’ experimentation with cheering on Manchester United in midweek did not go well, as Manchester City now hold a firm advantage in what is probably the most fascinating Premier League title race ever. The Reds can temporarily reclaim top spot for a couple of nights, though, if they pick up the expected three points from tonight’s home fixture against a Huddersfield side that will sadly go down as one of the most ill-equipped top-flight teams in living memory.
It’s the third Friday night fixture of this Premier League season for Jürgen Klopp‘s side, coming just three weeks after the most recent of those, the 3-1 come-from-behind win at Southampton. Their other Friday night date this term was just before Christmas when they beat Wolves, the team who will provide their final opposition of the league campaign in 16 days time. Do Huddersfield have any realistic hope of throwing the biggest curveball of the season so far? Let’s see what the statistics say…
Last six Premier League games
Liverpool: W6, D0, L0, F15, A5, Pts 18
Huddersfield: W0, D0, L6, F5, A18, Pts 0
The form of these two teams simply could not be in starker contrast. Liverpool stretched their winning run in the Premier League to six with last Sunday’s result in Cardiff, leaving them on course to reach 97 points if they can keep the sequence going to the end of the season. They’ve won each of their last three league games by a two-goal margin and kept clean sheets in their last two victories.
Now for the part that Huddersfield fans are not going to like. They have lost their last seven games, and 12 of their last 13. They’ve conceded more goals in their last nine games (21) than Liverpool have in almost four times as many matches (20 in 35). In the last six weeks, the Reds have earned more points than the Terriers have managed all season. Since beating Wolves five months ago yesterday, they have lost 20 out of 22 league matches. Indeed, six of their last seven points have come against Nuno Espirito Santo’s team; the other was in a goalless draw against Cardiff in January.
Premier League head-to-head record
The teams have only met three times so far in the Premier League, with Liverpool winning and keeping a clean sheet each time. Both meetings last season ended 3-0 to the Reds, although their clash at the John Smith’s Stadium six months ago was far closer. Mohamed Salah scored the only goal of the game in the first half on an evening when Liverpool were far from their best. Indeed, Huddersfield ought to have taken a point late on, only for Steve Mounié to fire over from point-blank range.
Last Anfield meeting
Liverpool 3-0 Huddersfield, 28 October 2017
The first Premier League meeting of the two teams ended up as a fairly routine Liverpool win, but that was not on the cards after a goalless and instantly forgettable first half. Huddersfield had been buoyant after defeating Manchester United the previous week, while the Reds had just been spanked 4-1 by Tottenham, and the Terriers’ tails were up as they frustrated their illustrious hosts.
Once Daniel Sturridge opened the scoring five minutes after half-time, though, the result was only going one way. Roberto Firmino soon added a second, marking the goal with one of his more curious celebrations, and Georginio Wijnaldum rounded off the scoring with 15 minutes to go as the Reds ensured there would be no unexpected slip-up against the Premier League newcomers.
Huddersfield’s damning 2018/19 statistics
Unfortunately for Huddersfield, they are on course to go down in infamy as one of the worst teams of the Premier League era, which makes last season’s escape from relegation with practically the same squad all the more remarkable.
- Their current points total is 14. If they fail to add to that in the next three games, they will end the season with the second lowest points tally in Premier League history, superior only to Derby’s 11-point haul in 2007/08. If they can draw one game before the season is out, they will match the 15-point tally of Sunderland from 2005/06.
- They have earned eight points at the John Smith’s Stadium this season with one home fixture remaining (against Manchester United on Sunday 5 May). That is only one better than Derby of 2007/08, who collected a mere seven points on home turf all season.
- Along with that beleaguered Derby side, they hold the record for the earliest relegation from the Premier League. On 30 March, their demotion to the Championship was mathematically confirmed with six matches still to play.
- Their 2-0 win at Molineux in November at least spared them from becoming the seventh team in Premier League history to go through an entire season without an away win. The last to do so was Hull in 2009/10.
- The Terriers have lost 27 league matches so far this season. If they lose all their remaining fixtures, they will set a new record for defeats in a single Premier League campaign. The current record is 29, held jointly by Ipswich (1994/95), Sunderland (2005/06) and Derby (2007/08).
- They are already the joint holders of the record for most home defeats in a Premier League season with 14, an unenviable feat managed twice by Sunderland (2002/03 and 2005/06). They will at least avoid being the outright holders if they can get a result against Manchester United next week.
- In 14 matches between 1 December and 23 February, Huddersfield picked up just one point, that in a goalless draw against Cardiff. Defeats in their final three games would see them end the season with 10 losses in a row, 15 out of their final 16 and 23 out of 25.
- If the Terriers fail to score in their remaining three matches, they will jointly hold the record for fewest goals in a Premier League season (20) with Derby’s class of 2007/08.
- If they fail to score against Manchester United next week, they will set a new record for the fewest home goals in a season with nine. The current holders, remarkable as it seems now, are Manchester City, who only scored 10 goals at the Etihad Stadium in 2006/07.