The EFL Championship carries on its relentless march and we're approaching the halfway point of the season. On Wednesday evening (19:45) Sunderland host Huddersfield Town, in a game televised on the red button. We've previewed the game and given you our best two predictions for the occasion.
Tony Mowbray's men will be looking for an immediate response to their disappointing loss at the weekend away to Plymouth. That result saw an abrupt end to a good run of form, where the north-east club had picked up seven points from the previous three matches.
The loss to the Pilgrims saw Sunderland drop down to ninth spot in the table but only two points off the playoff places. They will see the visit of Huddersfield as a great chance to pick up another three points and continue their promotion assault on the Championship.
The West Yorkshire outfit made the brave/suicidal decision to dispatch with the services of last year's saviours Neil Warnock and Ronnie Jepson early in the season and their choice of Darren Moore was a controversial one at the time.
That faith in the former Sheffield Wednesday man appears to have been misplaced, as Town have picked up just eight points from a possible 30 since Warnock's sacking.
Moore will be buoyed by the late fightback and goal against Southampton on Saturday, which secured another vital point in their fight for survival but sooner or later they will need to start picking up wins, if they are to maintain their second-tier status.
Sunderland are without five confirmed players for the visit of the Terriers, with Dennis Cirkin and Jewison Bennette the latest additions to the injury list.
Huddersfield also have their own injury woes, with homegrown striker Kian Harrett unavailable, after hobbling off against Southampton with a hamstring issue.
The Black Cats are big home favourites for this one at 8/15 , with Town priced generously at 9/2. If you fancy the stalemate, that is available at 10/3.
Over 2.5 goals looks likely at 8/11 and both teams to score is the slight favourite at 4/5.
Under 2.5 goals - EVS
Ironically, at the time of the Darren Moore appointment, it was stated that he was being appointed because of his attacking brand of football. Well as any Town fan can attest to, that's been far from the case, with a series of negative formations and performances.
To be fair to the ex-West Brom legend, he has a very barren squad to work with and back-to-back games where the Terriers shipped four goals probably left him feeling like there was no other option than to shut up shop and try and nick games.
That has paid off slightly, with just two goals conceded in their last two games and a couple of important draws but will it be enough on Wednesday night against an in-form Sunderland?
Huddersfield have defended well in recent games and should set up with five at the back here, theoretically ensuring solidity. I like the chances of a low-scoring game given all the above.
Match result Draw - 10/3
Doubling down on my last selection and the fact that Town have looked a lot more solid recently, I'm going to opt for a frustrating night for Mowbray and a stalemate.
Despite the poor results under Moore's stewardship, he doesn't look to have lost the dressing room and the players are putting their bodies on the line for the cause.
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