David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town side plays its final game of the 2015/16 Sky Bet Championship season on Saturday when Brentford visits the John Smith’s Stadium for a 12.30pm kick-off.
Both sides will play in the division again next season, so it’s all about pride for both sides; something that is important to the Terriers after the poor showing in the 4-0 defeat at Bristol City last weekend.
BRENTFORD: SEASON SO FAR
It has been an up and down season for the Bees, who put Dutch Head Coach Marinus Dijkhuizen in charge in the summer to try and go one better than the failed Play-Off campaign of 2014/15.
Unfortunately that move did not work out and he was dismissed in late September. At that point former Everton midfielder Lee Carsley was placed in temporary charge and he oversaw a dramatic improvement in results.
Carsley always said he didn’t want the job permanently and so Dean Smith (below) was brought in as new Head Coach in late November, departing League 1 promotion contenders Walsall.
Smith’s side had a poor run throughout February and March, with a run of seven defeats in eight games leaving the London side firmly in mid table.
Since then form has improved, with six wins and a draw in the last eight fixtures ahead of Saturday’s match.
BRENTFORD: PLAYERS TO WATCH
That run is particularly impressive given the number of injuries to important players that Dean Smith is contending with. One of the Sky Bet Championship’s standout performers of 2015/16, Alan Judge (below), is out for the season with a broken leg, joining captain Jake Bidwell, defender Andreas Bjelland and midfielders Lewis Macleod and Josh McEachran on the sidelines.
Strikers Lasse Vibe – impressive against Town in the first meeting of the season – and Marco Djuricin have also been struggling with injury issues, so the return of Scott Hogan has been more than welcome to Brentford.
After two unfortunate ACL injuries ruled him out for well over a year, it’s understandable he is being eased back in – but a brace in the Bees’ 3-0 win over Fulham last time out shows he wants to make up for lost time.
“There was always a plan between me and the medical staff and we have to go softly, and manage him properly,” Head Coach Smith said after that game.
“He’s a goalscorer, and he’s stronger knows where to run. He always had that edge, but he looks more powerful now.”
Another player taking his opportunity due to the spate of injuries is young left back Tom Field, who was involved in two of the three goals last weekend on his professional debut.
Watch out too for loanees John Swift (Chelsea) and Sergi Canos (Liverpool), who add real attacking intent in the Brentford wide areas.
Brentford’s last line-up (4-2-3-1):
GK David Button
DL Tom Field
DC Harlee Dean
DC Yoann Barbet (pictured below)
DR Maxime Colin
MC Ryan Woods
MC Nico Yennnaris
AML Sergi Canos
AMC Konstantin Kerschbaumer
AMR Sam Saunders
S Scott Hogan
The first meeting between the two sides back in December ended in a deserved home win at Griffin Park, with the Terriers below-par first half performance being punished to the full by the hosts.
Liverpool loanee Sergi Canos, striker Lasse Vibe and attacking midfielder Alan Judge gave Brentford a three goal lead at the interval and when Joe Lolley’s quick-fire second-half strike gave the travelling fans hope of an improbable comeback, Judge’s penalty quickly extinguished it.
There was a late highlight when Kyle Dempsey scored his first goal for the Club to make it 4-2.
Highlights of the game are below courtesy of HTTV
TOWN: TEAM NEWS
There are question marks over the fitness of newly crowned Player of the Year Nahki Wells, who was withdrawn at half time of last weekend’s game at Bristol City with a knee complaint. In that game, Harry Bunn moved forward to deputise in attack.
David Wagner has also recently been without goalkeeper Joe Murphy (shoulder) and midfielder Philip Billing (calf), but fellow midfielder Jonathan Hogg made a welcome return to the bench last weekend after a long-standing knee issue.
TICKET NEWS2016/17 Season Card holders can watch Saturday's game for just £10 adults and £5 Under-18s by buying in advance!
for full ticket information on the game and to buy online!