Huddersfield v Burnley: Low-scoring draw on the cards

David Wagner's Huddersfield side have been punching above their weight
David Wagner's Huddersfield side have been punching above their weight

Jack Lang is not expecting many fireworks at The John Smith's Stadium this weekend

"Huddersfield are clearly more comfortable against the division's lower lights, but in truth that description does not really fit Burnley anymore"

Huddersfield Town v Burnley
Saturday, 15:00


Terriers in handy form

With 2017 drawing to a close, football managers up and down the country will be taking a moment to reflect on the past 12 months. And few will be more content with their lot than David Wagner, whose Huddersfield side have made a good fist of their first few months in the Premier League. The Terriers will be well aware that safety is not yet assured, but had you offered them 11th place after 20 games, they would surely have bitten your hand off.

Four straight defeats coming into December looked to have shaken confidence at The John Smith's Stadium, but Huddersfield have bounced back admirably, claiming eight points from their last five games. There was some frustration on Boxing Day when Ramadan Sobhi salvaged a point for Stoke, but Wagner's charges still took another small step away from the dropzone. Now, they'll be looking to end a fine year on a high note.

Burnley looking to tighten up

After a few weeks of binary finery (0-1, 1-0, 1-0, 0-0) to start December, Burnley's results have turned oddly... normal over the last couple of weeks. Against Spurs, the Clarets shipped three goals in a Premier League game for only the fourth time in 2017, succumbing to hurricane Harry Kane at Turf Moor. Then, against Manchester United, they were actually involved in a bona fide four-goal thriller - not the kind of thing we expect from the division's grinders par excellence.

A point from a visit to Old Trafford is never to be sniffed at, but Sean Dyche must have been a touch frustrated to see his side squander a two-goal lead. Burnley were under the cosh for some time, but they have prevailed in such situations before and there's a feeling that enforced defensive changes (James Tarkowski is still banned; Stephen Ward is yet to return from injury) have disrupted the usual rhythm at the back. Cue nine clean sheets in a row...

Stalemate could be on the cards

Huddersfield have only lost three of their nine home games so far - to Tottenham, Manchester City and Chelsea. Their form otherwise has been steady rather than spectacular (W3 D3) but they are clearly more comfortable against the division's lower lights.

That description does not really fit Burnley anymore, however: the Clarets are currently the best of the rest outside the top six and their away form has been very impressive compared to previous campaigns. Dyche's men have lost just twice on the road, winning four, and they will be keen to get back to winning ways this weekend.

The away win is tempting at 3.65, but there is a bit of momentum about Huddersfield that pushes us towards the draw at 3.1511/5. The sides played out a 0-0 draw at Turf Moor back in September and this may well be another attritional, well-balanced affair.

Goals not on the horizon

Both of these sides tend to keep things tight: only 25% of Burnley's Premier League games have produced three goals or more, and while Huddersfield's rate is a touch higher at 45%, that falls to 40% when you consider only games at the John Smith's Stadium. Given how the first meeting between the sides went, it's no surprise that under 2.5 goals is short at 1.511/2.

That doesn't interest us, but with a low-scoring game probably on the cards, we can squeeze a bit more value out of that draw prediction by backing 0-0 and 1-1 in the Correct Score market. Dutching the two yields odds of 3.711/4.

Depoitre looking to add to tally

Huddersfield's Laurent Depoitre has been in good form recently, scoring three in his last four matches. He should start here after being rested against Stoke - he came off the bench for a late cameo - so 3.45 looks like a fair price.

Jack Lang's Premier League P/L, 2017/18

Staked: 26pts
Returned: 27.30pts
P/L: +1.30pts

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