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PREVIEW: Sky Blues head to Yorkshire

City take on the Terriers...

10 December 2021

The Sky Blues travel to Yorkshire to face Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium in the Sky Bet Championship this Saturday. Here’s everything you need to know about our opponents.

Fact File

Name: Huddersfield Town Association Football Club
Founded: 1908
Stadium: John Smith's Stadium (Opened in 1994)
Capacity: 24,121
Nickname: The Terriers
Address: The John Smith’s Stadium, Stadium Way, Huddersfield, HD1 6PX
Pitch Size: 115 x 75 yards

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The Opposition 

Three-time champions of England Huddersfield Town are enjoying a strong start to their third season back in the Championship currently sitting 11th in the division on 29 points.

Carlos Corberan is in his second season in charge at the John Smith’s Stadium and welcomed the likes of former Sky Blue Josh Ruffels and former Sheffield Wednesday duo Tom Lees and Jordan Rhodes to the club among his 14 arrivals, with Rhodes having scored 87 times in his first spell with the Terriers.

The Terriers began the season with a point at Derby before losing 5-1 at home to Fulham, however three successive wins followed to take the team from 22nd to 4th by the end of August and they have stayed in the top half ever since, thanks to a four-game unbeaten run in early October and later victories over Millwall and West Bromwich Albion.

The Terriers top scorer is currently Danny Ward with four, netting twice in the win over Blackburn Rovers, with Matty Pearson next on three with last season’s top scorer Josh Koroma one of four players on two goals after his strikes against Sheffield United and Blackpool.

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Manager

Born in Cheste, 16 miles from Valencia, current Terriers boss Carlos Corberan was initially in Valencia’s academy but he gave up a career on the pitch at the age of 23 because of his enthusiasm for coaching.

He became a fitness coach with the reserve side Villarreal B before being promoted to first team duties in 2011.

Either side of a brief spell in charge of AD Alcorcon’s youth side he was on the coaching staff of Saudi Arabian sides Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr before being appointed to his first senior role in charge of Cypriot side Doxa in November 2016.

Dismissed after only one win in eight games the following January he was quickly appointed manager of fellow top flight side Ermis leading them to a seventh place finish before departing.

Summer 2017 saw Corberan move to these shores when he took over as Leeds United u23s manager but upon the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa 12 months later he became First Team Coach alongside his original role.

Although the first team lost to Derby County in the Championship Play Offs, Corberan led the u23s to the Professional Development Northern League title before being crowed national champions by beating Birmingham City in the final.

Following Leeds’ promotion, the next season Corberan decided to cross West Yorkshire when he was offered the job to become Danny Cowley’s successor at Huddersfield Town in July 2020.  

Despite losing his first three matches in charge, his first victory, over Nottingham Forest, began a run of 10 points from 12 saw them rise away from the relegation zone.

A run of five successive home wins in December including a 2-0 victory against Watford took the Terriers into the top half however only three wins in the Spring, including heavy losses to Norwich City (7:0) and Blackburn Rovers (5-2) meant the Yorkshire side eventually finished 20th a bit six clear of the drop.

This season has seen Corberan’s side start much better, having registered eight wins so far including trumphants over Play Off hopefuls Sheffield United, Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers and the Baggies.

During time at the John Smith’s Stadium, Corberan has overseen 71 matches, winning 20, drawing 19 and losing 32.

 

Last Six Games

Drew – Barnsley 1–1 Huddersfield Town (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost – Huddersfield Town 1–2 Middlesbrough (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost – Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Huddersfield Town (Sky Bet Championship)
Won – Huddersfield Town 1-0 West Bromwich Albion (Sky Bet Championship)
Lost – Cardiff City 2-1 Huddersfield Town (Sky Bet Championship)
Drew – Peterborough United 1-1 Huddersfield Town (Sky Bet Championship)

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Last Time We Met

The two sides last met in May 2021 at the John Smith’s Stadium in the Sky Bet Championship, with the Sky Blues earning a share of the spoils in West Yorkshire.

The hosts were the first to go close but City ‘keeper Ben Wilson was on hand to deny Josh Koroma to his right.

Callum O’Hare responded with a shot at the other end, but he was denied by Terriers’ keeper Ryan Schofield.

Richard Keogh almost opened the scoring when he was presented with a chance from six yards out, but he couldn’t get his effort on target before Wilson denied Lewis O’Brien to keep it scoreless at the break.

Jordan Shipley entered the action as a half time substitute and he set up Viktor Gyökeres within minutes of his introduction, with the forward’s effort being pushed onto the post by Schofield.

Schofield then denied Gyökeres again before Gus Hamer found Shipley, with the midfielder’s deflected shot giving the Sky Blues the lead!

With eleven minutes remaining Huddersfield equalised after City failed to deal with a corner and Danny Ward fired into the left hand corner to leave Mark Robins’ side going home with a point.

Sky Blues XI: Ben Wilson (GK), Fankaty Dabo (Jack Burroughs 59’), Michael Rose (Josh Pask 70’), Kyle McFadzean (C), Dom Hyam, Sam McCallum, Matty James, Gus Hamer (Josh Eccles 69’), Callum O’Hare, Tyler Walker (Jordan Shipley 46’), Viktor Gyokeres.

Unused Subs: Marko Marosi (GK), Jamie Allen, Max Biamou, Amadou Bakayoko, Fabio Tavares.

 

Head-to-Head Record

Sky Blues Wins – 5
Draws – 4
Huddersfield Town Wins – 8

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Club Connections

Martin Cranie

Yeovil born Martin Cranie signed for Coventry City in 2009, making 120 appearances over three seasons, before later joining Huddersfield Town in 2015 featuring 64 times.

The defender made his professional debut for Southampton in a 4-0 defeat at Chelsea in May 2004 before being sent out on loan to AFC Bournemouth where he featured three times for his parent club’s South Coast neighbours.

He returned to the Saints first team to help earn a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Charlton Athletic on Boxing Day 2004, going on to feature in defeats at Liverpool and Manchester City with Harry Redknapp’s side relegated at the end of the campaign.

After coming on a substitute in a win over Coventry, his search for more minutes saw him join his hometown club Yeovil Town in November 2006 for a four-month loan spell, with his final appearance of the season coming back in red and white at Pride Park as Southampton lost on penalties to Derby County in the Championship Play Off Semi Final.

Summer 2007 saw Cranie join his third South Coast club, being reunited with Redknapp at Portsmouth, making his debut in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United but he joined Queens Park Rangers on loan that October, helping them keep four clean sheets whilst at Loftus Road, with his final match being a 2-1 defeat to the Sky Blues.

His first half of 2008/09 was spent at The Valley, playing 19 times but at the start of the following campaign Cranie joined Coventry City and played his part in the side earning successive clean sheets at the start of the season.

His bright start to his time in Sky Blue also saw him on the scoresheet with the winner in a 3-2 victory over Sheffield United, in what would turn out to be his only goal for the club, and he made 42 appearances in his first season with Chris Coleman’s side, deputising at right back when required.

Cranie featured 38 times in 2010/11 under Aidy Boothroyd then Andy Thorn as City finished one place higher than the previous season and played in eight shut outs.

The 2011/12 season saw Cranie reach the 40 appearance mark again however Thorn’s side were relegated at the end of the campaign with the defender’s final match for the Sky Blues coming in defeat at previous club Southampton.

South Yorkshire was Cranie’s next destination and a the end of his second season he won the club’s ‘Players’ Player of the Year’ award, a prize he would scoop the following season despite the Tykes’ relegation to League One, departing Oakwell after 122 games for the club.

Crossing Yorkshire, he would spend three years at Huddersfield Town, being a part of the side in 2016/17 that took Manchester City to a replay in the FA Cup, then went on to be surprisingly promoted to the Premier League, with Cranie coming off the bench in the Play Off Final in their penalty shoot out victory over Reading.

Following that Wembley success Cranie only featured three times in the top flight for David Wagner’s men and joined Middlesbrough in January 2018 in the search of more playing time but left the Teessiders for Sheffield United that September where he helped the Blades earn promotion to Premier League.

However, after one season in the Steel City, Cranie moved south to Bedfordshire to take in a two years with Luton Town, scoring on his debut in a 3-3 draw at Kenilworth Road against Middlesbrough as well as the winner against Brentford as the Hatters beat the drop.

Cranie departed Luton last summer after half a century of games under Graeme, then Nathan Jones and he remains a free agent.

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Match Officials

The EFL have confirmed Joshua Smith will be the man in the middle for the clash in West Yorkshire.

This match will be the first Smith has officiated involving the Sky Blues since becoming a Football League official in 2019.

So far this season, Smith has shown 71 yellow cards and two red cards across 20 fixtures in the Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League One, Sky Bet League Two and EFL Cup.

Smith will be assisted by Matthew Jones and Akil Howson whilst James Bell will act as the fourth official.


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