By Tom Harle
Huddersfield Town have raised their game since promotion to the Premier League and they have recorded the numbers to prove it.
WhoScored.com’s statistics database makes good reading for Terriers fans, with the team making more tackles than anyone else in the top flight.
Individual stats leaders Tom Ince (most shots per game), Christopher Schlinder (clearances), Laurent Depoitre (aerial duels) and Jonathan Hogg (interceptions) are rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s best.
Town make 21 tackles on average in each game, making them by some distance the leading Premier League team by this measure with 230 in total.
The spike in their interception numbers are perhaps the most impressive. They have risen significantly despite the step up in quality and accuracy of opposition passing.
Wagner’s side have cut out the third-most passes in the league in 2017/18, whereas there were only four teams in last year’s Championship stopped less.
While the collective pressing effort should take most of the credit, Hogg stands out from the rest and is now anticipating 2.5 passes a game.
This is the ninth-highest in the Premier League and shows significant improvement on his average figure of 1.4 per game last season.
Going forward, the picture is understandably mixed.
The Terriers place 19th when it comes to shots attempted, 14th in passes completed and 16th in shots on target.
Only Swansea City have attempted fewer shots, but this is only to be expected from a newly-promoted side finding their feet.
Huddersfield’s statistical make-up has changed significantly since promotion but there are some surviving trends.
Under Wagner they have always mounted very few attacks down the middle third of the pitch - preferring to shift the ball out wide, particularly to the right.
A Premier League low 20 per cent of their attacks come through the middle while last season they had the third fewest with 21 per cent centrally.
Instead, the influence of Ince - who takes an average of one shot per game more than his team-mates - means they are the most right-side dominant team in the top flight.
42 per cent of their attacks have been built down that flank this term, a trend also visible in the Championship where they had the fourth-most shots from the right.
Also emergent is the Terriers’ tendency to take long-range efforts; half of their shots have come from outside the box this season, a league high, with 45 per cent of strikes coming from distance last term.
Wagner has never placed great emphasis on threat from set pieces and, given the lack of stature of his attacking players, it’s not surprising they haven't scored a goal via that route so far.
Crystal Palace are the only other team not to have scored from a set piece.
Huddersfield ought to make no apology for their at times robust approach but they aren't about to come top of the Fair Play league.
With a current placing of 16th, Huddersfield have made the sixth most fouls and their card count of 23 yellows and a red is only bettered by West Ham.