MX23RW : Friday, December 6 20:14:01| >> :600:49646155:49646155:
May 13, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​John Smith's Stadium
Attendance: 24,122
HuddersfieldHuddersfield Town
FT(HT: 0-1)

Preview: Huddersfield Town vs. Arsenal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews the final day of Premier League action as departing Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger takes his side to face Huddersfield Town.

Huddersfield Town of Arsenal to the John Smith's Stadium on the final day of the Premier League season with David Wagner's side having already sealed top-flight safety.

The travelling Gunners will be heading north as the club prepares to say one final goodbye to departing coach Arsene Wenger, as he calls time on a 22-year stint at Arsenal.

Huddersfield Town

Steve Mounie celebrates getting the Terriers' second during the Premier League game between Huddersfield Town and Bournemouth on February 11, 2018© SilverHub

Crystal Palace's escape and West Bromwich Albion's mini-resurgence has arguably seen Huddersfield's quiet march towards safety go slightly unnoticed.

Town have taken a few drubbings across the campaign, but Wagner has shown boundless endeavour and tactical astuteness to keep the club in the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Chelsea that secured the Terriers safety was emblematic of the dogged type of performances that Huddersfield have been capable of producing at crucial points in the season. Survival means that Wagner now has a solid base to build from should he not be pipped by another club during the summer window.

In many ways the Terriers have produced a strong blueprint for stability for newly-promoted sides. Wagner's charges have taken likely and obvious defeats on the chin and kept confidence within the group to pick up points against more favourable opposition.

At times the tactic has caused all manner of inconsistencies, especially when achieving back-to-back wins, but Town fans will not mind one bit after securing what is arguably one of the finest achievements of the season alongside Rafael Benitez's Newcastle United.

Playing their final fixture at the John Smith's Stadium will give Terriers fans the chance to provide the team with a well-deserved party on the final day of the campaign, although they are facing an Arsenal side that have caused them no end of problems.

Town have won only one of their previous 12 home league games with the Gunners, but Wagner will be looking to put things right when the sides meet for the first time at Huddersfield since 1971.

With Huddersfield's final three games coming against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal many onlookers had written off the club's chances of survival, but in typical Town style Wagner has produced at the vital moments to return to the John Smith's Stadium with a second Premier League season safely in the bag.

Recent form: LDWLDD


Arsene Wenger bids farewell to fans during the Premier League game between Arsenal and Burnley on May 6, 2018© Offside

The past week has been emblematic of Wenger's last few years in charge: displays of attacking brilliance undermined by showings of complete defensive ineptitude.

After producing a thrilling 5-0 demolition for the Frenchman's sendoff at the Emirates, Arsenal followed the result up just a few days later by rolling over for Leicester City, as Claude Puel's out-of-form side won 3-1 at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday night.

The defeat has not only encapsulated the frustration of fans under Wenger's contemporary stewardship, but the loss has also compounded Arsenal's continually problematic away form. The Gunners have not won a single league game on the road in 2018.

Heading to Huddersfield Wenger will be desperate for a win on Sunday to sign off in glory, while the potential for an embarrassing record of eight straight away defeats during his final few months at the club will leave the manager with plenty of motivation before he moves on to pastures new.

What has arguably been most problematic with Arsenal on the road is the manner in which they have lost. The Gunners have now conceded at least two goals in six of their last seven away trips in the top flight and have been well beaten by the likes of the Foxes, Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion.

Aside from the glaring negatives surrounding the club, Sunday will prove to be a monumental day for Arsenal fans and club staff alike as they wave goodbye to Wenger following his 828th Premier League match in charge of the Gunners.

His arrival in the English top-flight undoubtedly changed the progression and direction of the division in more ways than one and despite the fallow years of late, Wenger will go down as one of the greatest managers to have graced the Premier League. Such has been the Frenchman's reign in England, the John Smith's Stadium will be the 54th different ground that Wenger has competed at in the league.

Arsenal's away showings perhaps indicate exactly why so many fans have been restless during Wenger's stewardship this season, but divisions amongst the club's travelling fanbase will likely come together to provide the Frenchman with one final goodbye regardless of the scoreline.

Recent form: WLWLWL
Recent form (all competitions): WDLLWL

Team News

Terriers keeper Jonas Lossl celebrates after the Premier League game between Crystal Palace and Huddersfield Town on August 12, 2017© Offside

Jonas Lossl was remarkable in goal against Chelsea and he will be welcomed to mass applause when he takes his place between the sticks on Sunday.

The Terriers are without Jon Gorenc Stankovic, Elias Kachunga and Danny Williams, while Michael Hefele and Tom Ince are carrying slight knocks. Wagner could name the same side that started against the Blues on Wednesday.

Jack Wilshere missed Arsenal's defeat to Leicester following the birth of his baby daughter and it remains to be seen if he will return against the Terriers.

The Gunners will be without youngster Konstantinos Mavropanos who was sent off against the Foxes, while Mohamed Elneny, Laurent Koscielny and Mesut Ozil will all be missing through injury.

Huddersfield Town possible starting lineup:
Lossl; Zanka, Schindler, Kongolo; Smith, Lowe, Billing, Hogg, Mooy; Pritchard; Mounie

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Cech; Bellerin, Mustafi, Holding, Monreal; Iwobi, Xhaka, Ramsey; Mkhitaryan, Lacazette, Aubameyang

Head To Head

Arsenal beat Town 5-0 in the reverse of this fixture at the Emirates earlier in the campaign. Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez, who have both since departed the club, scored during the rout in London.

That meeting has been the only one between the two teams in Premier League history. Elsewhere in the record books, Arsenal beat the Terriers 2-1 in an FA Cup meeting in 2011.

Town have found it tough when welcoming the Gunners. Huddersfield have won just one game at home against Arsenal in their last 12, losing four and drawing seven. The sides have not met at Town since 1971, though.

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We say: Huddersfield Town 1-2 Arsenal

With safety secured the pressure is off Huddersfield, who will be hoping to enjoy a carnival-like atmosphere in front of their home support come Sunday.

Arsenal will be desperate to send Wenger away with a win following a poor showing against Leicester, while Wenger himself will be keen to put an end to some woeful away form as he signs off from the club.

The permutations of a Town celebration and Wenger's final game in charge of Arsenal should prevent this contest from being the dull dead rubber that the Premier League standings suggest.

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Who will win Sunday's final-day clash between Huddersfield Town and Arsenal?

Huddersfield Town
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