Martin Cranie is poised for a first league start of the season as David Wagner aims to avoid an unwanted low as Huddersfield Town head coach.
While sixth in the Championship, Wagner’s side head to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday having taken just one point from the last four games.
The only other time the German has been in such a position during his 13 months in West Yorkshire, his side went to Nottingham Forest and won 2-0.
That was in February, and in April, Town beat Blackburn 2-0 to record their first win at Ewood Park since 1986.
Another triumph at the East Lancashire ground would be a real tonic, but Town must do it without Tommy Smith.
The right-back and stand-in skipper is suspended after picking up a fifth booking of the season during Monday’s disappointing 2-1 home defeat by Wigan Athletic.
Former Barnsley skipper Cranie, 30, has made just one start this season, in the 2-1 League Cup first-round defeat at Shrewsbury Town.
He has featured three times in the league as a substitute.
“Martin Cranie is our back-up for Tommy,” confirmed Wagner. “If we go with our normal four at the back, he will play.”
Wagner, who deviated from the norm by going with three centre-backs in Town’s last away game at Cardiff City, will also be without Mark Hudson.
The central defender and captain was forced off by a hamstring injury just seven minutes into the Wigan match.
Wideman Sean Scannell is a doubt after picking up a calf problem (he was substituted before the break).
And forward Jack Payne’s knee injury kept him out of a second game on Monday.
With 11 goals conceded in four games, Wagner again bemoaned Town’s defending against Wigan - although this time against counter-attacks rather than set-pieces.
And he also wants a team who have a minus three goal difference to be clinical in the opposition area.
“We made good opportunities against Wigan - five or six of them,” he added.
“Aaron Mooy scored a great goal, but there were other chances for Elias Kachunga, Kasey Palmer and Philip Billing which we didn’t take.”