Robins up for the Cup again
With the draw throwing up several Premier League-EFL mis-matches, there’s not too much value knocking around the FA Cup third round programme. I’m thinking there could be a small shock on the cards at Ashton Gate though.
The Robins are no stranger to cup giant killings having knocked out no less than four Premier League sides en route to the League Cup semi-final last season.
Watford, Stoke, Crystal Palace and Man United all succumbed to Lee Johnson’s side who managed to take full advantage of being backed by home support in all but one of the opening rounds.
The draw’s been kind to them again with another home tie and though the race for a play-off spot in the bread and butter of the league remains the priority, the Championship outfit will be looking to continue their recent good form and keep momentum intact going into a crucial part of the campaign.
The Robins having are undefeated in eight league games and sit just 5 points off the final play-off spot. Last weekend’s impressive 2-0 win at Stoke backed up a home win four days earlier against Rotherham, while they’ve managed to hold promotion chasing Norwich and Derby to creditable draws during their unbeaten spell - confidence is clearly high.
- vs. Stoke (a) - W 0-2 ✅
- vs. Rotherham (h) - W 1-0 ✅
- vs. Brentford (h) - D 1-1 ➖
- vs. Derby (a) - D 1-1 ➖
- vs. Norwich (h) D 2-2 ➖
Barring a dramatic upturn in results during the second half of the season, Huddersfield’s stint in the Premier League will be confirmed as a brief one sooner rather than later.
No team has ever survived the position David Wagner’s men find themselves in after 21 games. The Terriers have amassed just 10 points having posted two wins and are eight points adrift of safety already.
The gap has widened on the back of a club record eighth straight defeat in which they’ve lost to fellow relegation rivals: to say its bleak for the Terriers at present would be an understatement.
The last thing they need is more games to stretch an already limited squad so I can see Wagner sacrificing pride here, in order to keep his best XI fit and fresh for their next PL match - a crunch six-pointer with 17th placed Cardiff. I’m probably not the first to say Huddersfield’s best chance of survival lies in exiting the cup as soon as possible.
- vs. Newcastle (h) - L 0-1 ❌
- vs. Southampton (h) - L 1-3 ❌
- vs. Man United (a) - L 3-1 ❌
- vs. Fulham (a) - L 0-1 ❌
- vs. Burnley (h) - L 1-2 ❌
Anything can happen in the cup, as we all know. Yet, I’m expecting this tie to play out true to form and produce what would be a shock on paper but not much of a surprise in truth.
Nick’s tip: Back Bristol City to win at best market odds of 5/4 (2.30) with Ladbrokes