Eye on the Opposition: Huddersfield Town vs. Crystal Palace (17.03.2018)

Written by Jack Pierce

Crystal Palace take on Huddersfield in what you could, if you wished, call a relegation six-pointer. Here's Jack with a look at what to expect. 

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This just feels like a really important game, doesn't it?

We've not won for over two months, now find ourselves in the bottom three and games are running out. A trip to one of the more unfancied sides is a chance Palace can't afford to ignore.

Huddersfield themselves go into this one with eyes on the prize. Anything but defeat would be another step towards a Premier League survival that many doubted would occur. Despite the appreciation there is out there for David Wagner, not many gave his team a chance when it came to surviving their first season in the top flight for a generation but a win on Saturday would see Palace fall seven points behind Wagner's lot with just seven games to go.

Huddersfield have been one of the positives of this Premier League campaign and if they were to stay up, Wagner would certainly be a contender for the awards at the end of the season. If their promotion was unlikely, their staying up would be just as good a story. A squad made up of a combination of young British talent and shrewd acquisitions from across the continent has served their manager well and maintained the ability to keep their points total totting up since the first day of the season in August. That first day of the season is also one that we will recall, just perhaps not as positively.

Frank de Boer's tenure started as disastrously as it possibly could. The 3-0 score line may have flattered our visitors but defeat was well earned by Palace. Two up inside 45 minutes, Selhurst was stunned by just how open our side was three months on from Sam Allardyce's tight defensive unit securing top flight survival the campaign previous. Aaron Mooy, who has impressed throughout the season, had the licence to do exactly what he wanted and Steven Mounie, a summer arrival from Montpellier, must've thought the league he'd arrived into was far easier than he anticipated.

There have been some thrashings in their first season in the Premier League - Chelsea, Spurs and West Ham have all won well at The John Smith's - but Palace just need to win by one on Saturday. A Palace defeat and confidence will ebb away but a win, particularly with the host of players returning from injury, will provide a huge lift as enter the last stretch of this season.