By 90Min
August 18, 2018

Manchester City and Huddersfield meet at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday in what is, on paper, one of the biggest mismatches of the Premier League season.

City are widely tipped to retain the title that they won in emphatic style last season, while Huddersfield are among the favourites for relegation despite their heroic survival in May.

However, last season's meetings will have made City wary of the threat that Huddersfield pose.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of this encounter.


Recent Form

GLYN KIRK/GettyImages

Huddersfield came into the new campaign off the back of a strong pre-season. A humbling 3-0 defeat to Accrington Stanley was the only downside as they ended with three consecutive wins over strong European opposition: Lyon, Bologna and RB Leipzig.

But they couldn't take that form into the Premier League season as Chelsea won 3-0 at the John Smith's Stadium last weekend under new manager Maurizio Sarri.

Manchester City couldn't be judged on their indifferent pre-season performance due to the vast number of World Cup participants who returned late from their holidays.

When the competitive football resumed it was back to business for City, who have racked up consecutive 2-0 wins over Chelsea in the Community Shield and Arsenal in the Premier League.


Previous Meeting

PAUL ELLIS/GettyImages

Manchester City 0-0 Huddersfield Town (6 May 2018, Premier League)

No Premier League team had been able to stop Manchester City scoring at the Etihad Stadium until Huddersfield came to town in the latter stages of last season.

This was the day when City lifted the Premier League title but they couldn't produce a crowning performance as they were held at arm's length by one of the best defensive displays of the season.

An exhausting effort from the Terriers kept City at bay and the side who had recently surpassed 100 Premier League goals for the season could find no way through.

It proved to be a crucial result as Huddersfield drew 1-1 at Chelsea three days later to consolidate their top flight status for a second year.


Team News

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Manchester City were dealt a blow this week with the news that Kevin De Bruyne has suffered a knee injury and could be absent for up to twelve weeks.

This news will come as a boost to City's title rivals, but they have several players who can step up in his absence, including İlkay Gündoğan and Bernardo Silva, who both started against Arsenal.

David Silva may return to the side after being kept out last week as a precaution, and Pep Guardiola has other options available with Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus pushing for starts.

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Huddersfield defender Mathias 'Zanka' Jorgensen didn't miss a single league match last season but will be absent on Sunday after pulling a muscle in training, so Jon Gorenc Stanković could make his Premier League debut.

Jonathan Hogg is also doubtful with a hip problem. Huddersfield did not have any central midfielders on the bench last weekend and Danny Williams is not yet fit, so Juninho Bacuna may also be in line for a debut.


Predicted Starting Lineups


Manchester City: Ederson; Mendy, Laporte, Kompany, Walker; David Silva, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva; Sterling, Aguero, Mahrez.


Huddersfield: Hamer; Stankovic, Kongolo, Schindler; Löwe, Mooy, Bacuna, Billing, Hadergjonaj; Pritchard, Mounie.


Prediction

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Although Huddersfield's draw at the Etihad last season was amazing, it came against a City side who had already secured the title, so they had taken their foot off the gas a little. There will be no such mercy on this occasion, and an early goal for the home side could open the floodgates.

One of Huddersfield's greatest strengths last season was the consistency of their centre back pairing, but that becomes a weakness when one of them is absent, as Jorgensen is this week. 

The only game last season in which Schindler and Jorgensen were separated was away at Bournemouth, where Huddersfield lost 4-0. Another crushing defeat could be in store on Sunday.

Prediction: Manchester City 5-0 Huddersfield

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