All three promoted teams have made a decent start to life in the Premier League this season, none more so than Huddersfield Town, who briefly flirted with the top four before dropping back to mid-table. They currently sit 12th, one spot ahead of Brighton and a few more ahead of Newcastle. It’s not often that all three newcomers survive, but this season, they just might.
Like many of the Premier League’s smaller sides — Huddersfield’s glory days of the interwar period, when they won back-to-back-to-back top flight titles, are long gone — the Terriers rely on solid defending and a barely adequate attack, which, based on Chelsea’s recent encounters, could spell trouble for the visitors.
If the Blues’ finishing woes continue — not to mention the odd early concentration lapse — we could be in for another long 90 minutes.
Date / Time: Tuesday, December 12, 20:00 GMT; 3pm EST; 1:30am IST (next day)
Venue: Kirklees Stadium, Huddersfield, England
Referee: Andre Marriner — as if we needed any bad omens, Eagle-eyes Marriner’s only other Chelsea game this season was the 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace.
On TV: BT Sport 1 (UK); NBCSN (USA); Star Sports Select HD1 (India); elsewhere
Streaming online: BT Sport Live (UK); NBC Sports Live Extra (USA); Hotstar (India)
Huddersfield Town team news: Huddersfield are dealing with a couple long-term injuries, but do get key winger Rajiv van La Parra back following his three-match red card ban. Kasey Palmer, recently uninjured, is ineligible due to loan rules.
With just 11 league goals scored in 16 games, they aren’t exactly a huge threat up front, but Steve Mounié did double his goal total for the season with the weekend’s brace against Brighton. That 2-0 win was the Terriers’ first in five games and just third since the start of September.
Chelsea team news: Drinkwater is back following the illness that ruled him out from the West Ham game and apparently affected a few others in the squad as well, including Alvaro Morata, who’s been ruled out today’s game due to continuing fatigue as well as a back injury.
Conte has hinted at a fair bit of rotation given the short turnaround from Saturday’s defeat; either way, Chelsea will probably need to show some significant improvement to get back to winning ways.
Previously: Chelsea and Huddersfield haven’t been in the same division since the early 70s, but did meet twice in the FA Cup in the last decade or so, with Chelsea winning 2-1 in the third round in 2006:
...and 3-1 in the fifth round in 2008, featuring Frank Lampard’s 100th (and 101st) goals for the club.