The Premier League's worst attack plays its worst defence in west Yorkshire on Monday night in a game between two sides in the relegation places. Joe Dyer thinks desperation may produce goals...
"Results on Saturday mean Fulham enter this game in the bottom three and as it stands both sides look set for a battle against the drop this season. Both will be chasing the win pretty hard in this one, knowing that three points gained against a relegation rival will be a major win in the long run."
Huddersfield v Fulham
Monday November 5 2018
Live on Sky Sports
Wagner's men badly out of tune
Huddersfield stunned the Premier League last season, finishing 16th after 38 top-flight fixtures, but it's been much tougher this time. Ten games have yielded just three points thanks to draws against Cardiff, Everton and Burnley but that is the sum total of positive results in a hard campaign so far for the Terriers.
Goalscoring has been the main problem for David Wagner's side, who have failed to score in six of those ten Premier League matches. Indeed, the home fans have not yet cheered a goal and Huddersfield have not once scored more than a solitary goal this season.
Worryingly they are feeling the pressure at the other end of the pitch, conceding 21 times to enter the weekend with the joint third worst defence in the league. However, they are a more effective unit at home, having let in just seven of that total at the Kirklees Stadium, restricting Liverpool's feared attack to just one goal in their last game in West Yorkshire.
Leaky Fulham letting themselves down
It wasn't supposed to be like this. Fulham may have taken the playoff route to Premier League football but their outstanding form during the second half of the 2017-18 Championship season had many of us expecting good things of the Cottagers this year.
But 10 Premier League fixtures have yielded just one victory and a pair of draws and they enter Monday night's match on the back of a five-game losing streak in all competitions culminating in an entirely predictable League Cup defeat at Manchester City on Thursday.
Defence is Fulham's weakness, the club have let in an astonishing 28 goals so far this season, and are yet to keep a single clean sheet in the top-flight so far, with only Watford failing to score more than one against them. Manager Slavisa Jokanovic has tried many a combination at the back with eight defenders seeing significant game time so far but seems no nearer the right blend - Fulham's last four league fixtures have seen them concede 15 times.
Jokanovic can pick from a full squad save for leftback Joe Bryan.
Match odds looks a market to swerve
There's just one win between these teams this season so match odds players should adjust their stakes accordingly. Huddersfield are favourites at [2.36] on the Betfair Exchange while Fulham are [3.35] and the draw is [3.5].
In truth I don't have a strong opinion here. Apart from a 3-0 Chelsea win on the opening day of the season, Huddersfield generally frustrate visiting sides and have not suffered a major reverse at the Kirklees. But the complete absence of any goals at home is a worry (although the Fulham rearguard is surely the one any confidence-lacking forward would want to play) as is just the one point gained in five games at the Kirklees. Can you really justify taking that price about a team that hasn't won a game yet this season?
On the other side of the pitch, Fulham are totally out-of-form but do possess players of quality. Once you put it all together it's very hard to make any sort of confident pick.
Don't miss the overs price here
Huddersfield can't score but Fulham can't defend, but the market is strong on defence trumping attack. Unders is favourite at [1.85] with overs out at [2.14].
As stated above this is a fine chance for Huddersfield to get the ball in the back of the net but in Aleksandar Mitrovic Fulham have a forward of genuine quality and Andre Schurrle also has an eye for goal.
Results on Saturday mean Fulham enter this game in the bottom three and as it stands both sides look set for a battle against the drop this season. Both will be chasing the win pretty hard in this one, knowing that three points gained against a relegation rival will be a major win in the long run and I feel that extra pressure could just make the difference.
And, as argued in this week's betting battle, getting odds-against on overs in a game featuring Fulham is almost a must-bet.
Same Game Multi
The Betfair Sportsbook allows punters to mix up single bets into a tasty acca - I think overs is a touch of value as a single but if combined with a goalscorer punt you will get a very decent return on your investment. That Fulham defence is so bad that a Huddersfield player perhaps ought to make his way into your selection but with their four goals shared between three defenders and a midfielder you'll get huge odds on any of that quartet scoring anyway. Perhaps then it is Mitrovic or Schurrle - available at 15/8 or 23/10 - who you back here? A Mitrovic/overs Same Game Multi pays at [4.05] while a goal for Schurrle and overs is a full tick bigger.
Back over 2.5 goals @ [2.14]