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Match Previews

PREVIEW: ROCHDALE (H)

1 September 2020

All you need to know ahead of Town’s season opener

- Huddersfield Town vs Rochdale match preview
- First competitive game for Terriers under Carlos Corberán
- Watch the game live on iFollow HTAFC

Huddersfield Town’s 2020/21 campaign kicks-off with the visit of Rochdale to the John Smith’s Stadium in Round One of the Carabao Cup on Saturday 5 September 2020; 3pm kick-off.

Off the back of this summer’s pre-season fixtures, Saturday’s game will be Carlos Corberán’s first competitive match in charge as Town’s Head Coach.

The behind-closed-doors game was originally scheduled to be played at Rochdale’s Crown Oil Arena, but the Lancashire Club requested to change the match venue due to pitch renovations at their home ground.

Saturday’s Carabao Cup tie will get Town’s new season underway exactly a week before the Terriers’ Sky Bet Championship opener at home to Norwich City.

THE OPPOSITION

As is the same for all EFL clubs this season, the weekend’s first round tie will also see Brian Barry-Murphy’s side begin their season in Carabao Cup action.

The Sky Bet League 1 outfit will make the trip up to West Yorkshire as part of a busy opening week of the season on the road that sees them start their EFL Trophy campaign at Morecambe before they kick-off their league season at Swindon Town.

That trip to the Robins will be the first game of their seventh successive season in English football’s third tier following an 18th placed finish on the points-per-game system in 2019/20.

It means that this week there could be debuts for the Dale’s new recruits, having signed midfielder Alex Newby from Vanarama National League North side Chorley, whilst also bringing in young Irish goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu from Manchester City on loan.

FORM GUIDE

Both sides have enjoyed largely successful pre-season campaigns in preparation for Saturday’s season opener.

Whilst the focus may have been on building up fitness levels in what was a shorter pre-season schedule than normal, Town now have some momentum building too off the back of a victory over Bradford City before an entertaining draw with Manchester United’s Under-23s at the weekend.

Like Town, the Dale have also made positive steps over their pre-season schedule, building up to Saturday’s opener with victories over Atherton Collieries, Stockport County and Oldham Athletic before a narrow defeat at Port Vale on Saturday.

ONES TO WATCH

Eoghan O’Connell

The Irish defender is getting set for his second season in Rochdale blue having made the move across Lancashire from Bury ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

Prior to that, the 25-year-old had come through the youth ranks at Scottish giants Celtic before going on to make 13 appearances for the Hoops at senior level between 2014 and 2017.

In 2019/20, his first season at the Crown Oil Arena, O’Connell featured in 31 of the Dale’s 34 league games – the most league games played by any of the Club’s defenders last season.

Matty Lund

The central midfielder is currently in his second spell with the Dale having re-joined the Club back in January from Scunthorpe United.

Lund first signed for Rochdale in 2013 from Stoke City, scoring 22 times in 122 appearances for the Lancashire Club across four years.

Following permanent spells at Burton Albion and Scunthorpe United, Lund returned to the Dale in January, getting his first and only goal to date back in Rochdale colours against Rotherham United, shortly before the season’s curtailment.

Alex Newby

Newby is one of the newer faces in the Rochdale dressing room having signed from Chorley on a free transfer earlier this summer.

Having found the net on 24 occasions across his 94 games for the Magpies, the 24-year-old has wasted no time in making an impact amongst his new teammates, bagging three goals across the Dale’s pre-season campaign.

After scoring twice on his debut against Atherton Collieries, Newby was also on target with the winner in a pre-season Lancashire derby victory at Oldham Athletic.

PREVIOUS ENCOUNTERS

The Terriers have a good record against Saturday’s opponents, losing in only two of 25 previous competitive meetings with the Dale (W 13, D 10).

Saturday’s game will be the fourth meeting between the two sides in the Carabao Cup. The last came in 2001 as Town were beaten 1-0 at home. The two prior to that, however, ended in the Terriers progressing to the next round.

Our last competitive outing against the Lancashire Club came back in February 2017 when a debut goal from Collin Quaner, an Izzy Brown penalty and a second half double from Michael Hefele ensured a 4-0 win in an FA Cup fourth round tie at Spotland.

ACTION ELSEWHERE

Town’s game against Rochdale is one of 13 ties to be played on Saturday in the Northern section of the draw with a total of 31 Round One matches to be played across the weekend, starting on Friday evening when Middlesbrough host Shrewsbury Town and Burton Albion take on Accrington Stanley.

TEAM NEWS

Town Head Coach Carlos Corberán will provide an update on the fitness of his squad ahead of the season opener during his virtual press conference on Friday 4 September 2020.

KIT

The Terriers will wear the new blue-and-white striped home kit for the first time competitively on Saturday – CLICK HERE to get yours ahead of the new season!

HOW TO FOLLOW

With the game being played behind-closed-doors, Town supporters will be able to watch the game live on iFollow HTAFC by purchasing a Match Pass, which is available for £10. CLICK HERE to buy a Match Pass!

Unfortunately, due to the EFL’s agreement with Sky Sports, Season Card holders will NOT receive a free pass for Town’s Carabao Cup games.


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