Huddersfield Town head to Derby County this evening looking for a first away victory in the Championship since October’s success at Millwall.
Carlos Corberan has just put an end to the longest winless run in the Championship by beating Swansea City emphatically at the weekend, but there’s little time to reflect as a clash with Derby looms.
Wayne Rooney’s side sit two points adrift of Huddersfield in the current standings, but do have a game in hand on the Terriers.
It is another hugely important fixture for Corberan, who will be looking to pull his side further clear of the relegation zone and build on such an impressive weekend win.
More obstacles have emerged, though, which will be causing Corberan a slight headache ahead of a trip to Pride Park…
Corberan revealed in his press conference on Monday that Jonathan Hogg was having a scan on a calf injury he picked up in the win over Swansea City.
Whether he’s fit or not for Derby remains to be seen, but there’s no denying Corberan could do with having his ‘general’ fit, and might see the benefit of risking him.
Hogg was exceptional against Swansea, combating the threat of Conor Hourihane well in open play and allowing Lewis O’Brien, Duane Holmes and Juninho Bacuna that freedom to attack.
In Alex Vallejo, there’s a natural replacement in the Huddersfield squad, but even the improving Spaniard isn’t at Hogg’s level just yet.
A hugely important injury update that will leave Corberan crossing absolutely everything in hope that Hogg’s scan returns clear.
Must-win or Must-not-lose?
Given this pair’s position in the Championship table, Corberan needs to weigh up whether it’s a game Huddersfield need to chase a victory in or just not lose.
Huddersfield don’t really play to draw, so they won’t alter their style, but the Terriers need to be mindful of where a defeat could leave them: behind Derby in the table, with the Rams having the chance to kick a further three points ahead of them given their game in hand.
The midweek schedule sees Coventry take on Swansea, Birmingham host Norwich, Sheffield Wednesday face Brentford and Rotherham tussle with Nottingham Forest. The likes of Coventry, Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday have a task on their hands to win points, whilst Rotherham, Forest or both will drop points in South Yorkshire.
A win would be huge with that in mind, but a defeat could be more detrimental than anything for the Terriers and leave them cut adrift in the bottom third of the table.
It’s tough for Corberan to weigh up right now, but given Huddersfield’s struggles on the road for the best part of four months, he might see a point as a very valuable result.