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Huddersfield won promotion to the Premier League via the play offs, but to put it bluntly, few sides have been promoted to the English Premier League with inferior credentials than those of the Terriers, which won three English titles in a row in the 1920s under its legendary former manager, Herbert Chapman.
The play-offs have been great in maintaining interest in the English Football League divisions since their introduction in the 1980s but they have resulted in some lucky teams winning promotion due to their performances in a few matches. One thinks that Huddersfield is one of them.
According to the English Championship ladder, which does not lie once every side has played every other one at home and away, Huddersfield was the fifth best team last season and many of its other statistics were ordinary. For example, Huddersfield lost 15 of its 46 English Championship games, which was at least two more than any of its fellow top-six finishers. Huddersfield’s offence ranked 14th in the English Championship and its defence ranked 11th, rankings that go a long way to explaining why the Terriers ended up with a goal difference of minus two, which was worse than every other side in the top 13 on the ladder. And, according to one’s English Championship collateral form analysis, Huddersfield was inferior to Newcastle (first), Sheffield Wednesday (fifth), Fulham (sixth), Cardiff (12th), Bristol City (17th), Birmingham (19th) and Nottingham Forest (21st), while being equal to Reading (third), Burton (20th), Blackburn (22nd) and Wigan (23rd).
SkyBet are offering odds of 9/4 3.25 +225 2.25 2.25 -0.44 about Huddersfield finishing bottom of the pile.
Huddersfield, which will kick off its English Premier League program away to Crystal Palace – incidentally, the Terriers faced the Eagles at Selhurst Park in their last top-flight fixture 45 years ago – does not have pockets anywhere near as deep as those of English Championship winner Newcastle and it was 12 points inferior to runner-up Brighton. One fears for Huddersfield over 38 English Premier League rounds and the Terriers are going to have to recruit better players than Australia midfielder Aaron Mooy if they are not going to return from whence they came at the end of next season.
Last term, Huddersfield ran into only one English Premier League team and that Manchester City in the English FA Cup fifth round. Manchester City counted itself unlucky not to win at Huddersfield despite not starting the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva and Raheem Sterling but the Citizens made light work of the Terriers in the replay, overcoming the concession of a seventh-minute goal to post a 5-1 home victory in which they led 3-1 following just 38 minutes.
One hit the jackpot with Sunderland to finish bottom of the English Premier League last season at double-digit odds before a ball was kicked in anger. Huddersfield has the potential to be every bit as uncompetitive as Sunderland because, at the risk of incurring the wrath of Terriers fans, David Wagner’s side did not deserve to go up. And Huddersfield will be in a world of hurt if it is near the foot of the English Premier League ladder going into April and May – Newcastle (away), Brighton (away), Watford (home), Chelsea (away), Everton (home), Manchester City (away) and Arsenal (home) are its final seven scheduled fixtures.
Huddersfield to finish bottom of the Premier League
Odds: 9/4 3.25 +225 2.25 2.25 -0.44
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