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Huddersfield Town v Hull City: Match in prospect

There's a test in store as Town seek goals and points

Huddersfield Town and Hull City were promoted alongside each other from what is now League II in 2003-04.

Even in the euphoria of escaping the basement division, the most optimistic Tigers fan would not have envisaged having three times as many games against Arsenal than Town in the years which have followed.

Since 2008, Hull have enjoyed four seasons in the Premier League, reached an FA Cup final and played European football, taking their supporters into territory uncharted in the previous 104 years of their existence.

Former Town manager Steve Bruce’s side dropped out of the top flight last season, but with the help of their parachute payments have maintained a strong squad and have designs on an immediate return.

DERBY, ENGLAND - APRIL 05: Steve Bruce of Hull City looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Hull City on April 5, 2016 in Derby, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Hull topped the table going into March, but a run of just one win in seven has left them fourth and means the play-offs have become a more realistic outcome than one of the two automatic promotion places.

There’s a seven-point gap between Hull and second-placed Middlesbrough, 3-0 winners over Town on Tuesday, so Bruce’s boys, who have a six-point cushion in terms of a play-off berth, badly need a three-point haul at the John Smith’s Stadium to retain a chance of avoiding an extension to the season.

Town, of course, still need points to make sure of Championship status in 2016-17, although an eventual defeat for MK Dons by Wolves on Tuesday kept the gap between David Wagner’s 18th-placed side and the drop zone at eight points despite two defeats on the spin.

READ MORE: Scouting report: Hull City out to rediscover January joy after Spring slump

READ MORE: Huddersfield Town moving in right direction insists David Wagner ahead of Hull City visit

Bristol City v Sheffield Wednesday, Fulham v Cardiff City, MK v Rotherham United and QPR v Charlton Athletic are among the other match-ups which matter to Town, who have a well-chronicled dismal record against teams at the top end of the table.

Town also have a poor recent record against Hull, who have won the last five clashes between the pair, one of them in the League Cup and one on the opening day of this season at the KC Stadium.

The Tigers were last tamed by Town in September 2004, when Peter Jackson was manager and Andy Booth was among the players on target in a 4-0 home win.

After the derby success at Leeds United, the goals have dried up for Wagner’s men.

The chances aren’t coming as thick and fast either, with only three on target in each of the last two outings, against Wednesday and Boro.

Hull, with 27 goals conceded, have almost as good a defensive record as Boro (25), so Town must find a cutting edge as well as improving defensively.

Over to you boss!


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