Last Updated: 09/11/18 3:56pm
Huddersfield are chasing back-to-back wins for the first time since February as West Ham visit the John Smith’s Stadium.
The Terriers registered both their first home goal of the season and first victory of the campaign against Fulham on Monday night, and now remain inside the Premier League relegation zone only on goal difference from 17th-placed Newcastle.
The Hammers come into the game on the back of a 4-2 win over Burnley in their last game, having picked up form themselves after losing their first four league matches under Manuel Pellegrini.
And the Chilean is wary of a similar recovery from Huddersfield after getting putting their winless start to bed this week.
“Our start of the season was so bad that we need to recover points,” the West Ham manager said.
“(But) if we think that we are going to do it just because we are playing Huddersfield, who are not having such a good season, then I think we will be making a big mistake.
“They fight for every ball, they just won their first game, they only lost to Liverpool 1-0, so I think we need to play a complete game in defending and attacking if we want to win back-to-back games.”
Unsurprisingly, David Wagner’s next target is to earn Huddersfield’s second win in less than a week, and one which would likely propel them outside of the bottom three.
“This is now our next target,” said Wagner, who will pick from a full-strength squad following Danny Williams’ return from a knee injury. “It’s a difficult one. We know West Ham are a very good side.”
The German added: “On the back of Monday and this togetherness we have, I have the confidence that it’s possible to be successful again.
“Everybody knows how important back-to-back wins are in the Premier League. We only did it twice last season and now we have another chance in front of our home crowd.”
Huddersfield boss Wagner will have a full squad to pick from when West Ham arrive at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday, while the visitors have no fresh injury problems either.
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Midfielder Pedro Obiang should be available after being substituted during last weekend’s win over Burnley with a minor knee trouble, but captain Mark Noble remains suspended following his red card against Leicester.
Andy Carroll and Jack Wilshere (both ankle) could return following the international break, while Andriy Yarmolenko (Achilles), Carlos Sanchez, Manuel Lanzini and Winston Reid (all knee) continue their rehabilitation from injury.
- Huddersfield lost both of their Premier League meetings with West Ham last season – the Terriers were the only side the Hammers beat twice during 2017-18.
- West Ham’s 4-1 away Premier League win at Huddersfield last season was only their fourth away victory in all competitions against the Terriers, and their first since January 1969 in an FA Cup match.
- Five of West Ham’s six Premier League goals against Huddersfield have been scored in the second half of games.
- Huddersfield’s victory against Fulham last time out ended a run of 14 consecutive Premier League games without a win. They last won back-to-back games in the competition in February.
- Huddersfield haven’t scored more than once in any of their last 21 Premier League games, netting just eight goals in total in that run.
- West Ham are looking to secure back-to-back Premier League victories for the first time since January 2017.
- West Ham have kept just one clean sheet in their last 14 Premier League away games, a 2-0 win at Leicester in May.
- Huddersfield have scored a league-high 80% of their Premier League goals in the first half of games this season (4/5).
- No Huddersfield player has scored at home in the Premier League since April (Tom Ince vs Watford), with their winner against Fulham last time out coming by virtue of an own goal.
- Since the start of last season, Marko Arnautovic has been directly involved in 23 of West Ham’s 61 Premier League goals (16 goals, 7 assists) – more than twice as many as any other player at the club.
What a result that was for Huddersfield on Monday Night Football. It wasn’t the greatest spectacle but David Wagner would not have cared one bit. I watched West Ham demolish Burnley last week – yes Burnley got in the game a few times but they thoroughly deserved to win the match. On that display, it’s clear West Ham are turning the corner. They will be too strong for Huddersfield.
PAUL PREDICTS: 1-2 (17/2 with Sky Bet)