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Opinion

Couldn’t be clearer what Rafa Benitez tactics need to be against Huddersfield

1 year ago
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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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