#HUDARS: Five things to look out for

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We have the opportunity to record our first Premier League away win in six on Saturday, when we face Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium, but what are the five key things we need to look out for? 


The fight for the final Champions League spot appears to be a three-way battle at the moment – we slipped down to sixth last weekend, having been in fourth place prior to the last round of fixtures.

We are now one point behind Manchester United, and a further two behind Chelsea, whose goal difference is seven better than ours.

All three teams have away games this weekend. United will go fourth if they beat Fulham in the early fixture on Saturday, though Chelsea have the chance to respond when they play Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.

Of our remaining 13 games, seven are away from home, and we will certainly need to improve our form on our travels if we want to leapfrog United and Chelsea by the end of the season. We have taken just two points from our last six away matches, losing the last three, without scoring more than once in our last four.

Huddersfield's form though isn't just the worst in the Premier League, but the worst in any of the top four divisions, taking one point from the last 36 available.



It's fair to say we have struggled to keep clean sheets lately, and in fact haven’t kept one away from home in the Premier League all season. Saturday though surely gives us a huge opportunity to end that run.

Huddersfield have scored just five goals from their 13 home Premier League games this season, the fewest at this stage of a top-flight season since 1913.

But we remain the only Premier League side to keep an away clean sheet this term. The last time we stopped the opposition from scoring on the road was on the final day of last season – also at the John Smith's Stadium in a 1-0 win.

That's our only shut out in the past 17 away Premier League games, and we have only kept one league clean sheet – home or away – since our last meeting with Huddersfield.

Defender Mathias Jorgensen is the Terrier's top scorer with just three goals, and Huddersfield have only scored more than one goal in a game on one occasion this season (a 2-0 win at Wolves in November). It's now more than 500 minutes since they last found the net.



So it's a huge task facing new Huddersfield boss Jan Siewert. He replaced David Wagner in mid-January, but has so far been unable to arrest the team's slide, as Michael Cox of zonalmarking.net explains.

"After parting company with David Wagner last month, Huddersfield turned to Jan Siewert – who, like Wagner, made his name with Borussia Dortmund’s B team. Thus far, Huddersfield have yet to win a point or score a goal under his management, and with the club 13 points off 17th place, the focus may be upon building for next season.

"Siewert used a 5-4-1 formation in a 3-0 loss to Manchester City, then 4-3-3 in a 1-0 loss to Everton and a 5-0 defeat at Chelsea. The smart money is on 4-3-3 again, although it’s fair to say Siewert is still looking to find the right balance."



Shkodran Mustafi is in line to reach a landmark this weekend – he will represent the club for the 100th time he features against Huddersfield.

The German defender made his debut back in August 2016, making 37 appearances in his first season, 38 last term and 24 so far this campaign.

He has started all but three of his 99 games so far, and the breakdown per competition is: 74 in the Premier League, seven in the Champions League, eight in the Europa League, five in the FA Cup and five in the League Cup. He has scored seven goals, at a healthy rate of one every 14 games.

He will become the 10th member of the current squad to reach a century of Gunners appearances.

Mustafi was withdrawn before the end of our defeat at Manchester City last weekend, but returned to full training earlier this week.



The traditional Saturday 3pm kick-off slot has generally brought us success recently, in fact we haven't lost such a fixture since November 2015 – a 2-1 reverse away to West Brom.

Since then we have played 20 Saturday 3pm games, winning 19 (including the last 10 in a row), drawing the other one and scoring 50 goals in the process.

This is the first time we have kicked off at 3pm on a Saturday since the last time we played Huddersfield – a 1-0 win on December 8.

Further good omens are to be found in the head-to-head records between the sides. Huddersfield have won just one of their last 16 home games in all competitions against Arsenal, and are winless in 11 competitive matches against us (drawing two and losing the other nine), a run extending to January 1971.


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