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Jan 28, 2022 at 7.45pm UK
HuddersfieldHuddersfield Town
StokeStoke City
Koroma (27')
Nicholls (79'), O'Brien (83')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Brown (78')
Thompson (5'), Wilmot (44'), Campbell (79')

Preview: Huddersfield Town vs. Stoke City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Huddersfield Town vs. Stoke City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Championship clash between Huddersfield Town and Stoke City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Huddersfield Town play host to Stoke City on Friday evening with the opportunity to strengthen their position in the Championship playoffs.

While the Terriers currently occupy sixth position in the standings, Stoke have recently dropped down to 11th spot, a consequence of losing four of their last five fixtures.

Match preview

Ahead of this season, Huddersfield were, with substantial justification, being tipped to again be involved in a relegation zone, but Carlos Corberan has emerged from the opening five months as one of the managers of the campaign.

Although everything has not always gone swimmingly for the Spaniard, the Terriers have lost just four times since the end of September, three of which came during a four-game spell in November.

Since then, 16 points have been accumulated from a possible 24, Huddersfield's latest victory seeing them prevail by a 4-3 scoreline in a thrilling encounter with Reading.

Danny Ward made the headlines with a hat-trick, taking his tally to the season to 10 strikes, but Corberan would have felt that it was a team effort given the back-and-forth nature of a bizarre contest.

Huddersfield, who have lost just three times in 13 home matches this season, now play three of their next four fixtures at the John Smith's Stadium, and the opportunity is there to make real progress in the top six.

There can be no complacency against a Stoke side who have won four of their last six away games in the Championship, the most recent coming at Hull City.

However, that represents the Potters' only triumph in five league games, the latest of their four defeats coming by a 1-0 scoreline at Coventry City on Tuesday night.

The Sky Blues were full value for their win, a result which has moved them into ninth position and two points above Stoke while still possessing a game in hand.

That is the kind of small margins that Michael O'Neill and his squad are now dealing with, the gap to the playoffs now standing at six points.

Nevertheless, a showdown against the club occupying that spot is the perfect game at this stage for Stoke, and O'Neill knows that it can make-or-break their campaign.

Huddersfield Town Championship form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Huddersfield Town form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W

Stoke City Championship form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L

Stoke City form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L

Team News

Having experimented with a back four against Reading, Corberan will revert to a three for this contest, particularly with Stoke using a front two.

Providing that Levi Colwill remains unavailable due to a knee injury, Naby Sarr or Ollie Turton could be recalled, leaving Corberan with a decision regarding who plays out of Pipa or Sorba Thomas at right wing-back.

Having been the one attacking player to not make a direct contribution in the final third versus Reading, Josh Koroma may be the player to miss out in attack.

Facing a third game in a week, O'Neill will likely make several changes to his Stoke XI, including handing a recall to Joe Allen.

Mario Vrancic may also come back into the side, while Tyrese Campbell will almost certainly replace either D'Margio Wright-Phillips or Jacob Brown up-front.

Nick Powell will only be named on the substitutes' bench after making his long-awaited comeback from the substitutes' bench against Coventry.

Huddersfield Town possible starting lineup:
Nicholls; Turton, Pearson, Lees; Pipa, Hogg, O'Brien, Toffolo; Thomas, Sinani; Ward

Stoke City possible starting lineup:
Bonham; Harwood-Bellis, Jagielka, Chester; Smith, Vrancic, Allen, Clucas, Tymon; Brown, Campbell

We say: Huddersfield Town 1-1 Stoke City

Stoke are in desperate need of a result and performance, and we feel that will lead to O'Neill going on the offensive. Nevertheless, Huddersfield are one of the form teams in the division, and that may result in these two clubs cancelling each other out at the John Smith's Stadium.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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19Hull City2995152532-732
20Cardiff CityCardiff2885153148-1729
22Peterborough UnitedPeterborough2755172355-3220
23Derby CountyDerby2981292830-215
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