A 4-0 win against Reading at the latter end of last month has left Huddersfield Town in high spirits going into their next set of games after the international break.
Many Terriers fans would argue the break came at the wrong time after such a bright start to the season and may have disrupted their momentum – but if they want to remain in the play-offs and show they are a completely changed side from last term – they will need to maintain their performance levels until the next international break in October and beyond.
10 new additions in the summer seems to have completely changed things for the Terriers at the John Smith’s Stadium and after two seasons of hovering above the relegation zone, they needed a revamp.
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A couple of former first-teamers in Juninho Bacuna and Isaac Mbenza have left the club in recent weeks – but the additions of Levi Colwill from Chelsea and Danel Sinani from Norwich City (both loans) were particularly eye-catching and may prove to be crucial to their long-term future as they look to drag themselves up the second-tier table.
The Terriers will be hoping to build on their 4-0 hammering of Reading last time out against Stoke City, as they travel to the bet365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Ahead of this clash, we have picked the lineup Carlos Corberan may decide to go with against Michael O’Neill’s men, who are also flying high in the table as things stand.
After a magnificent performance against Reading, you could argue there’s little justification in changing the starting lineup and this is the reason why we have gone with an unchanged starting XI, even with the recent loan signing of West Ham forward Mipo Odubeko.
Lee Nicholls retains his place in goal, although he didn’t have too much to do against the Royals, with the three summer signings in Levi Colwill, Tom Lees and Matty Pearson keeping Naby Sarr out of the lineup for the time being.
Vice-captain Harry Toffolo starts on the left, with the outstanding Sorba Thomas on the other side despite the temptation to push him up higher. He was unbelievable against Veljko Paunovic’s side and has been consistently impressive so far this season – and will be looking to continue in the same vein against a tough opposition in Stoke City.
The ten signings may have been a game-changer for Huddersfield, but retaining Lewis O’Brien amid previous strong interest from Leeds United in the summer may be just as important after Juninho Bacuna’s departure and he will be a key asset alongside captain Jonathan Hogg.
Josh Koroma and Danel Sinani also remain as two of the first names on the teamsheet despite Aaron Rowe’s imminent return – and it will be interesting to see how the latter gets on after arriving from Norwich City.
He could be in direct competition with Portsmouth loanee Gassan Ahadme for a first-team spot at Carrow Road next term, so the 24-year-old Luxembourg international will be keen on making an impression in West Yorkshire this season.
And Danny Ward gets the nod up top ahead of new signing Mipo Odubeko, although you would expect the latter to be involved at some point.
It’s definitely a strong lineup and one that will give Stoke City a tough test – but will it be enough to overcome a rejuvenated Potters side this weekend?
Predicted substitutes: Schofield, Sarr, Turton, Vallejo, High, Holmes, Odubeko