Rafa Benitez has already lost twice in three games to David Wagner.

The Huddersfield boss winning at St James Park last season and then defeating Newcastle 1-0 at home, back in August.

Fair play to Wagner in his first managerial post, most ‘experts’ had them down as cannon fodder in the summer but in 15th place and three points above the drop, he has given them evey chance of staying up.

This would be a remarkable achievement after taking them on as Championship no-hopers, though you do have to take into consideration ahead of Saturday, that David Wagner has been allowed a massively higher net spend than the limited funds Mike Ashley has allowed Rafa in the past two transfer windows.

Back to Saturday though.

The stats make it clear what the Newcastle boss has to do on Saturday and if employing the right approach, NUFC will be within touching distance of safety.

These stats all point in one direction…:

Only West Brom have lost more away matches this season than Huddersfield’s 10 from 15 so far.

Only Brighton and West Brom have scored less than Huddersfield’s 10 away goals.

Only Stoke and West Ham have conceded more than the 30 goals Huddersfield have leaked on their travels.

Huddersfield haven’t scored in their last three Premier League matches.

In 10 of their 15 away matches, Huddersfield have failed to score.

In fact, if you take out the three away matches they have won, Huddersfield have only scored twice in the other 12 away games, that is twice in around 20 hours of football.

The message is clear, just like against Southampton, Newcastle have to press and attack Huddersfield from the start.

Against the Saints they got right at them and scored in only 70 or so seconds, then went after the second goal to make the result safe, adding a third in the second half.

It would be great to see similar tactics and outcome.

We all understand that in other games Rafa Benitez has had to take a different approach but Saturday needs to be a case of taking the game to Huddersfield from the first whistle, getting right in their faces.

Do that and three points will surely come our way.

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  • Paul Patterson

    3-1 win, but I’d take the three points any way they come.
    However, look at the fixtures this weekend. Everyone around us play each other or have really difficult games. This weekend could make the picture so much clearer . .

    • Lord

      Yes. West Ham – Southampton is the biggest match of the weekend, especially with recent pitch invasions. I’m not sure what the best result is there. Southampton loss probably.

      • Danimal

        I was also going through the wish list of potential results (can’t see us getting such a perfect set as last time, that’s once every ten years). Apart from the obvious (win our own match), I think the most beneficial outcome for us would be for the bottom three to keep losing. After that, anything else is a bonus.

  • TheFatController

    Our best tactic at home seems to be to get Shelvey further forward early. None of this dropping to pick up off the keeper, get in the centre circle and pick the passes. (I think this is why Rafa prefers Lejeune, as he can take the ball off the keeper comfortably, saving shelvey’s workload there)

    So long as we stay solid and let Diame cover any holes left by Shelvey, we should make home advantage count…

  • Rich Lawson

    Be foolish to underestimate them,even with the injuries,Wagner is a good manager,but yes, don’t give them time to settle,just attack them from the start,these are the most crucial 3 points of the season.

  • Wor Lass

    The stats show that they`re struggling to convert chances but Steve Mounie looks like a really decent player. I think we`ll win but I hope the players are up for it after three weeks off and that Rafa decides to go for the throat.

  • Paul Cannell

    Here’s another fact. They’ve already beat us this season.
    It’s not a must win game, it’s a must not lose game IMO.

  • Damon Horner

    The wins away they’ve had have been largely convincing. What was different with those games than the other games they didn’t score in?

  • TheNutJob

    Hola amigos.
    we`ll beat this lot on Saturday & if other results go our way the Mighty Toon will have a bit of breathing space, but this is the time of year when there`s some real upsets.
    it`s a funny old game

  • Wezza147

    Go for it from the off just like we did against Southampton. They’re on terrible form, have injury worries and confidence will be low. If we do take the lead we must not sit back and invite pressure on.