THE time is right for James Vaughan and Jermaine Beckford to be reunited as the spearhead of Huddersfield Town’s attack.
Simon Grayson’s side have slipped down the Championship rankings in the 10 matches since they last led the line together as a starting pair at Peterborough in October.
Town lost that match, but they’d won at Birmingham and at home to Wolves in the two previous matches when the loanees were in tandem, so what better time to let them loose again?
Crystal Palace are powering along in second place, within striking distance of leaders Cardiff, and will be fancying their chances of piling on the misery for a Town side with just two points from the last 18.
So the last thing Selhurst Park manager Ian Holloway would like to see, in my opinion, would be Beckford and Vaughan given licence at the centre of Saturday’s visiting attack, especially now Alan Lee is suspended for three crucial games.
Service to Vaughan and Beckford, of course, will be absolutely key, especially as Town failed to create a single effort on target in the 2-0 defeat at Hull City last weekend, when Vaughan and Lee Novak were the recognised starting strikers and Beckford went on for the last half hour.
With Vaughan playing the whole match and Beckford selected on the bench following his recovery from injury (after five matches out), it seems safe to assume they are now both fully fit and chomping at the bit to start alongside each other at a vital time of the season.
Saturday’s Sky-televised clash with Palace (5.20pm) comes before home dates against Blackpool (Boxing Day) and Sheffield Wednesday (Saturday week) and it’s a sequence in which Town are desperate to rediscover winning form.
Selhurst Park, too, could be the perfect venue to reintroduce Sean Scannell against his former club and in front of Eagles fans who watched him grow up.
His pace and form at the start of the season were electric when Town were doing well, and to get the vote against Palace would give him a major tonic after his extra training sessions down at Canalside.
It’s important, too, that the other midfielders – Oliver Norwood, Adam Clayton and Keith Southern – rekindle the sort of form which helped them squeeze the life out of opposition earlier in the season.
If Town don’t get in Palace’s faces this Saturday then they could find life extremely difficult – just like they did at Hull – so the midfield has to function well.
If they do, Vaughan and Beckford will get chances and a first win in seven would become much more of a possibility, even though bookies have Palace at odds-on to win.