By Peter Hampshire
Sitting just four points from an automatic spot in the table, 18 of Huddersfield Town’s 20 victories this season have been by just a single-goal margin.
Winning six on the bounce in the league, including 11 in their last 13, the Terriers’ only defeat in 2017 also came in South Yorkshire, a 2-0 loss at Hillsborough.
🔵 ⚪ League wins in their last six…
– Huddersfield: 6
– Real Madrid: 5
– Barcelona: 5
– Bayern: 4
— thesportsman (@TheSportsman) February 21, 2017
While Town’s new striker Izzy Brown looks to have overcome illness, influential Barnsley midfielder Josh Scowen (ankle) is still expected to be missing. For his replacement, head coach Paul Heckingbottom has turned to Leicester loanee Matty James in recent games. Also in contention are George Moncur and Alex Mowatt, who scored a 30-metre thunderous half-volley against the Terriers last season for Leeds United.
Mowatt has been in and out of the side since his sudden arrival at Oakwell in January, returning to action from the bench in Barnsley’s defeat to Brighton last weekend. He told the official Barnsley FC website: “I’ve got a few mates who are Huddersfield fans. Derby games are always exciting and good games with a big atmosphere so I am really looking forward to Saturday. Now I am back I am going to get out onto the pitch and show the fans what I can do.”
Barnsley and Huddersfield have shared some memorable fixtures in the past, including the Tykes being 6-0 up at halftime back in 1998.
— Barnsley FC (@BarnsleyFC) February 23, 2017
Huddersfield have received many plaudits this season, culminating in an auspicious FA Cup replay at Manchester City on Tuesday.
However, David Wagner was keen to show how much he has admired Heckingbottom’s work at Oakwell this season. Speaking of Barnsley being consistently top-half this season, he told Huddersfield Town’s official YouTube channel: “After the first four or five weeks, seeing how intelligently the manager was working with them, it isn’t a surprise to me.”