In this series we are going to be taking a look at our upcoming opponent’s last match in the Premier League. The goal is to look at how the team is currently playing to derive some insight into how Everton may attack and what the squad will have to avoid in order to come away with the win.
The thoughts presented below were made as the game occurred and are based on specific events or general trends in the game with some summarizing thoughts on each half and the game as a whole.
Huddersfield Formation & Lineup
Hadergjonaj - Zanka - Schindler - Kongolo
Hogg - Billing
Diakhaby - Mooy - van La Parra
Subs: Lossl - Smith - Lowe - Mbenza - Depoitre - Pritchard - Stankovic
Manager: David Wagner
So Cardiff’s kits are.... visible. I’m pretty sure my eyes are going to hurt from looking at these guys.
Huddersfield got split by some Cardiff pace here and Hamer does well to come out, but it is an ugly collision. Both are down for awhile but Hamer is fit to continue as Mendez-Lang is stretchered off. As for the play, the back line is doing well to stay level, but not a lot of communication between the fullbacks and the centerbacks. Something to exploit for Everton.
The Terriers really like going down their right and they have some speed with the wingers. If Leighton Baines plays this weekend it could be a real problem for Everton. Right now Huddersfield has all of the possession but they aren’t doing anything with it. A few times they get down the right flank to put a cross in, but the crossing is ugly. They just haven’t found much success stringing an attack together.
This is an ugly game. Huddersfield just doesn’t seem to want to do anything beyond long balls down the right side. The thing is they are dominating the ball but just don’t have the interest to try and build up to an attack. It’s almost like they are scared to attack.
Huddersfield is now spreading it out a bit better, they’ve gone down the left a bit more but they aren’t really finding much success. They don’t want to challenge the middle of Cardiff’s defense so every move is going out wide.
1st Half Thoughts - Everton should beat Huddersfield based on the first half. There wasn’t much creativity other than long balls over the left side of Cardiff’s defense. But that wasn’t exactly effective. David Wagner is going to have to do something to challenge his side and convince them to attack with purpose. Right now there isn’t a strategy and it looks a lot like a David Moyes side from 2008-2011 against an inferior opponent.
We have our first shot on goal! 50 minutes in and it is an ugly duck from 20 yards out right to the Huddersfield keeper. Cardiff is definitely more interested in attacking right now, but it isn’t what you’d call good.
Huddersfield finally gets a great chance by driving through Cardiff’s defense then playing it out wide. This creates some space for an attempted header that the keeper puts out for a corner. That’s what Huddersfield needs to do, create unrest then put the ball wide.
Huddersfield is doing much better now that the game is opening up a bit. They’re able to hit on the counter which is where they want to be, not dominating possession and trying to create. Expect them to sit and counter against Everton which could cause problems just like Bournemouth.
HANDBAGS! And Hogg gets a red card for Huddersfield in what was basically a more forceful repeat of Richarlison’s sending off for Everton. Have to wonder if refs are beginning to crack down on near head butts.
The game is more open, but Huddersfield haven’t been able to take advantage because of the red card. Cardiff has looked.... better than Huddersfield, but it isn’t pretty. That said Everton can definitely take advantage of this Huddersfield defense by being patient and attacking.
Stop this if you’ve heard me before, but Everton could have issues on set pieces against Huddersfield. They are not afraid to get up and attack the ball and have created more than a few opportunities against Cardiff.
2nd Half Thoughts - The second half has been much better than the first. Huddersfield came out and actually tried to attack. It was still disjointed, but there was an attempt to swing the ball across to try and probe Cardiff. But the red card changed things and Cardiff was able to get in a few looks.
xG map for Huddersfield - Cardiff. So far still not much from Huddersfield that makes them look like they're good enough for the league this year. pic.twitter.com/peDoLJypKc— Caley Graphics (@Caley_graphics) August 26, 2018
Final Thoughts - Really this game should play out similar to AFC Bournemouth, just against a worse team. Everton should have some success if they can attack the middle of Huddersfield’s defense. I’m curious to see where Marco Silva goes with the central midfielders given Idrissa Gueye’s injury and Morgan Schneiderlin may not be risked for a full ninety minutes. Luckily for Everton this is a match they should get away with without too much creativity from a defensive midfield position.
Huddersfield were thumped 6-1 away at Manchester City, and 3-0 at home by Chelsea to begin the season, so it’s hard to see them providing more than token opposition at Goodison Park this weekend. And as always, we’ll probably need to be careful on set pieces. But what else is new.