Huddersfield need to turn things around quickly to progress in FA Cup

By James Smith

Championship side Birmingham City host David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town side in an FA Cup fourth round replay after a 1-1 draw at the John Smith’s stadium last month.

The Blues are on an upturn in form, with only one loss in 2018 which was a 3-0 loss to Gary Rowett’s promotion-chasing Derby County side.

Premier League Huddersfield on the other hand, are yet to register a point in 2018, with their only win coming against Championship strugglers Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup.

David Wagner’s side have registered only three away wins all season in all competition, notching just ten goals on their travels – seven of those coming in two emphatic wins over Crystal Palace and Watford.

The Midlands outfit are the lowest scorers in the Championship, with only 22 goals in 30 games to their name, top scorer Sam Gallagher has six.

The last time the sides met was in the original fixture. One time Terriers loanee Lukas Jutkiewicz opened the scoring before Town’s joint top scorer, Steve Mounie forced a replay.

Birmingham will be without Jonathan Grounds (knee), and Jacques Maghoma (groin) as Isaac Vassell (knee) remains out.

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The Terriers’ only long-term absentee is German striker Elias Kachunga, who hasn’t played since the turn of the year. Danny Williams and Chris Lowe missed the weekend loss to potential opponents in the next round, Manchester United.

Both sides will be expected to make changes with the precarious league positions in mind. Blues manager Steve Cotterill said: “Our priority is our league points because of the position we’re in. It’s not like we can step off the gas and suddenly up the ante’’.

Tonight’s meeting will be the 111th meeting between the two sides. Huddersfield winning 40, and Birmingham 38, with 32 draws.

The last meeting before the FA Cup tie was in April 2017, with David Wagner incurring the wrath of the FA after making ten changes to the line-up having assured his team of a play-off place in the previous week.

The only FA Cup triumph was courtesy of the West Yorkshire side, with Billy Smith’s goal deciding the fixture. Birmingham’s best performance is as runners up in 1956, which became synonymous with the injury sustained by Bert Trautmann in Manchester City’s 3-1 win.

The winners of the tie will face Manchester United in the fifth round.

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