Michael Owen has been looking ahead at the Huddersfield v Newcastle match on Saturday.
The home side are without a number of key players for this game, Aaron Mooy amongst them.
Whilst the Terriers are missing their one midfielder of true quality, Jonjo Shelvey is also a doubt, it is now six weeks since he started a match and after a sub appearance against West Ham he was once again injured for last Sunday’s defeat to Wolves.
Michael Owen points out the lack of goals in previous meetings and the likelihood of the same again this time.
None of the other 18 clubs have scored less this season than Newcastle’s 13 goals and Huddersfield’s 10.
Michael Owen points out that the last five top flight clashes between the two clubs have resulted in only four goals.
Last season both teams won 1-0 at home in the two matches but there are lies, damn lies and statistics, because you have to go back to 1971 and 1972 for those previous three top flight games that finished 1-1, 0-0 and 0-0.
There has actually been a goal glut in the five games between the two clubs in between the early 70s and last season.
In the Keegan (playing days) promotion season of 1983/84, Newcastle won 5-2 at home and got a 2-2 draw away.
Whilst a 2009 League cup ended 4-3 to Newcastle.
Then in the last (2016/17) promotion season, Newcastle lost their first home game of the season 2-1 to Huddersfield, before then later winning 3-1 in the away game.
The recent form of the two sides as pretty much mirrored each other, as Newcastle picked up nine points from the three games in January, Huddersfield picking up seven. Then the three games in December have seen Rafa’s team pick up only one point and Wagner’s none.
Michael Owen goes for a draw between the two clubs and no doubt both clubs will be looking at that as the minimum they need/expect, though hoping for a win.
You can’t help but feel that games like this one and Fulham the following Saturday are pivotal to how Newcastle’s season will turn out, with hopes up in the air of Mike Ashley selling up and/or better quality players arriving in January.
If I had to do my own prediction, I would say that everything points to one Newcastle goal all but guaranteeing at least a point and if Rafa’s team can find two or more, then surely it will be an away victory.
Michael Owen speaking to BetVictor:
“The last five games between these two clubs in the top-flight of English football have seen just four goals.
“I expect to see another tight, close game at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“Both sides conceded late winners last weekend and both will feel they did enough to get a draw.
“Town haven’t scored more than once in their last 13 home PL games and I feel both sides will pick up a valuable point in west Yorkshire.
“Tip: Game to finish in a draw at 11/5.”
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