Corberán returns to Huddersfield for Terriers test

Huddersfield Town v West Bromwich Albion; John Smith’s Stadium, Sunday 10th March, 12 noon

After an entertaining and somewhat fortunate draw at Loftus Road, Albion travel north this weekend for another away game at one of the teams battling against relegation. Unlike QPR, however, Huddersfield Town are struggling to get a run of results together that will lift them clear of the drop zone winning just three of their last dozen league games and, ahead of the weekend’s fixtures, are only out of the drop zone on goal difference.

Carlos Corberán knows the John Smiths Stadium well, of course, having been the Terriers’ head coach for two seasons between 2020 and 2022 guiding them to the play-off final in his second season and this will be his first trip back to Huddersfield. Since he left, there has been something of a revolving door at the club and their current boss, André Breitenreiter, is their fifth permanent head coach since Corberán and their third of the current campaign. Neil Warnock was at the helm when the Terriers won at the Hawthorns in September – he was replaced by Darren Moore later that month and Big Dave was himself sacked at the end of January with Breitenreiter taking charge in the middle of last month after three matches under the caretaker stewardship of Jon Worthington.

Breitenreiter was certainly something of a left-field appointment for Huddersfield, although not their first over the years. Before moving to West Yorkshire, his coaching career has been exclusively in his native Germany apart from one season with FC Zürich in Switzerland. His spell with the Swiss side was probably his best as they won the league title for the first time since 2009, but he opted to move back to Germany at the end of the season to take over at Hoffenheim. However, he was sacked after eight months and had been out of work for a year when he was offered the job at the John Smiths Stadium.

His four games so far have resulted in two defeats, at home to Hull City and away to Cardiff City, a draw with Leeds United and a win away to Watford. The draw with Leeds stands out as it is the only game in which their Yorkshire neighbours have dropped points since Albion beat them at the Hawthorns at the end of last year, while the other games have probably gone to form – Hull and Cardiff are both on good runs while Watford have only beaten Rotherham since mid January. It’s difficult to read too much into Breitenreiter’s early results but it is certainly not a game that can be taken lightly.

Terriers’ skipper, Jonathan Hogg, missed the midweek defeat at Cardiff due to suspension having been sent off in the draw with Leeds last weekend, but he will be available again for this match. Centre-back Michal Helik took the armband in his absence, and it is perhaps an indication of where Town’s strengths and weaknesses lie that Helik is their top scorer this season with the Pole having netted nine times.

Only three teams in the Championship have scored more than Huddersfield’s 12 goals from set pieces while only five teams have scored fewer that the 41 goals that the Terriers have notched in the league this season. Their most prolific striker is Dutchman, Delano Burgzorg, who is on loan from Mainz and has six goals this campaign. He scored four in six starts towards the end of last year but then missed six weeks with an ankle injury and completed his first ninety minutes since then at Cardiff on Wednesday.

After Darren Moore was sacked in January, caretaker Jon Worthington looked to have found a goalscoring solution as they scored seven in his first two games in charge – the remarkable 5-3 defeat at Southampton and the 4-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday – but they have only scored five goals in the five games since.

Corberán may have some late decisions on his line up given doubts as to the availability of Brandon Thomas-Asante, Conor Townsend and Kyle Bartley. Wallace’s limitations as a number nine were exposed at Loftus Road and the return of BTA to the line up would be welcome. Furthermore, Adam Reach also struggled as a left back and I feel that the back four that started at QPR didn’t really work. If Townsend isn’t fit, I would prefer to see Pieters at left back with either Ajayi or Bartley alongside Kipré in the middle.

The other potential change would be in the number ten position. Corberán has preferred Grady Diangana in that spot in recent weeks, and two goals in his last two games and a place in the Championship Team of Mid Week would seem to indicate that it is working, but I still feel that he is not properly suited to a role in the centre of the pitch as he often gets crowded out of possession. John Swift had been in poor form and hasn’t started the last three games, but maybe he should be given another chance, although it would appear harsh to drop Diangana. Thankfully, it’s not me that has to make such decisions!

I said before these two away games that four points would be a good haul, and a win at Huddersfield would be an excellent result, but with other results having largely gone Albion’s way in midweek, another draw would not necessarily be a bad outcome. However, while Huddersfield are desperate for points, they are a team that the Baggies should be beating – they are nowhere near the form of QPR and a win should be well within reach.


Albion’s record against Huddersfield Town is not great. Despite the Terriers having spent more than half of the last 50 years in the third or fourth tiers, compared to the Baggies two seasons below the top two divisions, when the sides have met in the league in that period, it is the West Yorkshire side that hold the edge. In the 29 league meetings in the past five decades, Albion have won ten to Town’s thirteen, while in Huddersfield, the record is 8-4 in the Terriers’ favour from 14 matches.

In fact, the Baggies haven’t won in the league at Huddersfield since November 2000 when goals from Jordão and Lee Hughes earned Gary Megson’s team a 2-0 victory at what was then called the McAlpine Stadium. Albion did record a victory at the same venue, although by then referred to as the Galpharm Stadium, almost a decade later in a third round FA Cup tie in January 2010, Graham Dorrans and Chris Wood the scorers, but they have lost on four of the subsequent five visits with their only positive result a 2-2 draw on their last visit in August 2022.

Huddersfield Town first entered the Football League in 1910 joining Albion in Division Two. The Throstles did a league double over the Terriers in that first season starting with a 2-0 win at Leeds Road on Christmas Eve 1910 with goals from Frank Waterhouse and Sid Bowser. By the time the First World War had come and gone, Town were heavily in debt and the chairman was planning to merge the club with the newly-formed Leeds United and move to the city, but the news galvanised the supporters to invest in the club and they ended up staying in Huddersfield.

It sparked a golden era for the Terriers as they immediately won promotion to the top flight in 1920 and, when Albion returned to Leeds Road as defending champions in October 1920, Town thrashed them 5-1 in what remains their biggest ever win over the Baggies. Huddersfield would go on to win the FA Cup in 1922 and three successive league titles in 1924, 1925 and 1926.

The Baggies’ biggest win at Huddersfield is 3-0, achieved at the McAlpine Stadium in December 1998 – all the goals came in the final 16 minutes with James Quinn scoring a quick-fire double before Lee Hughes added a third for Denis Smith’s team.

Stat Attack

Current Form

Albion W L W D W D
Huddersfield Town L W L W D L

All competitions; most recent game on the right

Last matches

Last meeting

2 Sep 2023 – League Championship
West Bromwich Albion 1 (Swift)
Huddersfield Town 2 (Burgzorg, Rudoni)

Last meeting at Huddersfield Town

27 Aug 2022 – League Championship
Huddersfield Town 2 (Anjorin (2))
West Bromwich Albion 2 (Wallace (2))

Last win

11 Mar 2023 – League Championship
West Bromwich Albion 1 (Swift (pen))
Huddersfield Town 0

Last win at Huddersfield Town

2 Jan 2010 – FA Cup 3rd Round
Huddersfield Town 0
West Bromwich Albion 2 (Dorrans, Wood)

Albion’s Record against Huddersfield Town

  Overall   Away
  P W D L F A   P W D L F A
League 75 26 18 31 105 113   37 8 9 20 39 62
FA Cup 3 1 1 1 4 3   2 1 0 1 3 2
Total 78 27 19 32 109 116   39 9 9 21 42 64

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