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A Great Underdog Story

Can Huddersfield pull off the biggest shock of the Premier League era?

When Huddersfield Town visit the Etihad on Sunday, they will face arguably the biggest test any side has ever faced since the Premier League era began.

Or at least that’s what the bookmakers are telling us since it is hard to recollect any other occasion in which a side has gone off at such forecast long odds!

To get a clearer picture of the size of the task that the Terriers face, you only need to check out our GW2 goal projections which are calculated by converting the latest betting lines into a goal expectancy for each team.

GW2 EPL

Manchester City’s supremacy is close to 3 goals and Huddersfield only have around a 3-4% chance of collecting all 3 points.

So, are they really that bad?

Well, if we take a look at their performance in the Premier League since the turn of the year, we can see that they have collected just 13 points and that they would have propped up the table if the season had started on the 1st January.

Luckily for the Terriers it didn’t, so they managed to avoid the drop courtesy of their displays in the first half of the 2017/18 campaign.

Scoring goals has been as an issue, with Huddersfield having the joint lowest total last season along with relegated Swansea City. Registering an xG of just 0.4 in their seasonal opener against Chelsea last weekend suggests that the problem has not been rectified and there wasn’t too much to get excited about with their transfer activity over the summer either.

David Wagner’s troops did manage to secure a goal-less draw at the Etihad back in May though and the underlying stats indicate that it was a well deserved point.

City themselves have been rocked by an injury to star player Kevin de Bruyne but Pep Guardiola still has an A-list of players to choose from.

He could easily opt to rotate this weekend and that will be a concern for any Fantasy Premier League manager that chooses to captain a City player, especially Sergio Agüero and Raheem Sterling, the two highest rated players in our GW2 Armband rankings.

GW1 Contribution Expectancy (Goals & Assists)
Player 0 1 2 3+
Sergio Agüero 23.40% 33.99% 24.68% 17.93%
Raheem Sterling 29.43% 36.00% 22.02% 12.56%
Harry Kane 30.05% 36.13% 21.72% 12.10%
Gabriel Jesus 30.19% 36.16% 21.65% 12.00%
Olivier Giroud 32.33% 36.51% 20.61% 10.55%
Mohamed Salah 34.62% 36.72% 19.48% 9.18%

 

City’s attacking players all tend to return decent fantasy figures so it will be fascinating to see how Riyad Mahrez is utilised as the season unfolds.

Leicester City averaged just 1.47 goals per game last season, so when you factor in that City are expected to score 3.31 in this fixture alone, his upside is there for all to see, assuming he can establish himself and get those all-important game minutes under his belt of course.

Mahrez, himself, knows all about defying the odds, so even though it might seem unthinkable, Huddersfield fans have every right to dream about causing arguably the biggest upset seen in a single game since the Premier League began.

Shocks do happen in sport and when you throw in the binary nature of football scoring on top of that, it doesn’t seem quite such a long-shot after all.

Manchester City versus Huddersfield Town is probably a mismatch but beware the underdog!

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