Hello and welcome to Sports Mole
's live coverage of the match in the Premier League between Manchester City
and Huddersfield Town
. The Terriers were able to hold the Premier League champions to a draw at the Etihad Stadium as recently as May, but can lightning strike twice three months on? Let's take a look at the two starting lineups...
MANCHESTER CITY XI:
Ederson; Mendy, Kompany, Stones, Laporte; Gundogan, Fernandinho; Silva, Bernardo, Jesus; Aguero
MANCHESTER CITY SUBSTITUTES: Bravo, Walker, Sterling, Sane, Mahrez, Otamendi, Foden
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN XI:
Hamer; Smith, Schindler, Stankovic, Kongolo; Hadergonaj, Sabiri, Billing, Pritchard, Lowe; Mounie
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN SUBSTITUTES: Lossl, Diakhaby, Ramadan, Van La Parra, Mbenza, Williams, Depoitre
Let's start with the Manchester City side as Pep Guardiola
makes a number of surprise calls. It is currently unclear how City will line up with three centre-backs and a left-back in the team, although the most likely scenario looks to be a back three.
If it is a back three, John Stones, Vincent Kompany and Aymeric Laporte will play in the centre with Benjamin Mendy being used at left wing-back. It appears that Bernardo Silva is the most likely to feature at right wing-back in the absence of Kyle Walker.
Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan will operate in the centre of the pitch, with David Silva
and Gabriel Jesus
being handed their first starts of the campaign in place of Riyad Mahrez
and Raheem Sterling
Walker, Mahrez and Sterling all feature among the replacements, as do Nicolas Otamendi and Leroy Sane who have again been left out. Phil Foden may also get some minutes in the second half. Kevin De Bruyne - of course - misses out with a knee injury.
As for Huddersfield, David Wagner
has opted to make three changes to his team, with Aaron Mooy
missing out on featuring against his former club. However, there is a start for Jon Gorenc Stankovic
, who has missed a lot of action with a knee injury.
As for Huddersfield, David Wagner
has opted to make three changes to his team, with Aaron Mooy
missing out on featuring against his former club. However, there is a start for Jon Gorenc Stankovic, who has been absent for 17 months with a serious knee injury. It was at this ground in March 2017 that the centre-back sustained the issue and this is his first outing back.
Tommy Smith and Abdelhamid Sabiri have also been brought into the team. We think that Smith is going to operate at right-back, with Sabiri being used in a more attacking role.
Matias Jorgensen misses out through injury, which is a big blow to Huddersfield's hopes this afternoon, while Jonathan Hogg is the other player who does not feature in the starting lineup.
Wagner includes three of his summer signings on the substitutes' bench. Ramadan Sobhi, Adama Diakhaby
and Isaac Mbenza are all kept in reserve, as is Rajiv van La Parra and Laurent Depoitre. It is an extremely attack-minded bench.
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As we have already pointed out, Huddersfield held City to a goalless draw three months ago, and City have gone a total of four home league matches without scoring a goal against Huddersfield! That may change today...
Remarkably, City head into this match on the back of a 21-game streak where they have not suffered a defeat in their opening Premier League home fixture of the season.
However, City have work to do with regards to their efforts in the final third against Huddersfield. Just seven shots were registered on target in their two games versus the Terriers last season.
That said, City have scored at least two goals in 26 of their last 32 matches in the Premier League. It will take some effort for Huddersfield to prevent that becoming 27 in 33.
David Silva is likely to act as the main replacement for De Bruyne while he sits out the next three months, and the Spaniard becomes just the third City player to make 250 Premier League appearances for the club with an outing this afternoon.
It was quite the welcome for the City squad earlier...
Huddersfield survived in the Premier League against the odds last season, but Wagner's side head into this fixture having only won once in 11 outings.
Scoring goals has been a huge problem, too, with Huddersfield only netting in three of those 11 matches!
They will probably have to improve on that return if they are to avoid succumbing to two successive defeats in their opening top-flight fixtures for the first time since 1954.
Huddersfield have also never failed to score in either of their opening two top-flight games. They are really up against it to preserve some of these streaks!
On a positive note, Huddersfield have recorded draws in their last three away fixtures in the Premier League, and that has included points at City and Chelsea. It is fair to say that they are well drilled away from home.
There must be a lot of supporters enjoying a few pre-match "refreshments"...
PREDICTION! Naturally, we are going to predict a comfortable City win this afternoon. Huddersfield produced a near miracle to claim a share of the spoils three months ago, but expect City to run riot today. We are going for a 4-0 victory.
HEAD TO HEAD! Today's clash represents the 79th meeting between the two sides, with City claiming 26 wins in comparison to 22 victories for Huddersfield.
Huddersfield only lost one game in six during a period between 1996 and 2000 where the clubs squared off in Division One. However, City are unbeaten in four matches in all competitions since the start of 2017.
For whatever reason, City have struggled for goals against Huddersfield over the past 18 months. They netted five during an FA Cup replay at the Etihad Stadium, but Huddersfield have kept two clean sheets in the other three showdowns.
It's time for the two teams to start making their way out in the North-West of England. It is the first time that City have played at their home ground since May 9, so expect plenty of noise from their supporters.
A remainder of the two starting lineups...
MANCHESTER CITY XI: Ederson; Stones, Kompany, Laporte; B.Silva, Gundogan, Fernandinho, Mendy; D.Silva, Jesus, Aguero
HUDDERSFIELD TOWN XI: Hamer; Schindler, Stankovic, Kongolo; Smith, Hadergonaj, Sabiri, Billing, Lowe; Pritchard; Mounie
KICKOFF: Huddersfield get us underway!
City have started like a train. Aguero has already had a goalbound shot blocked by a defender and Smith has already been forced to head behind for a corner.
OFF THE BAR! Mounie has very nearly scored one of the Premier League's great own goals. The striker sliced the ball on the half-volley inside of the six-yard box, with the ball hitting the crossbar and going over.
CHANCE! Now Hamer makes a fine block to prevent Jesus from hitting the back of the net from 12 yards. We may still be in the opening stages but it really is just a matter of time before City go in front.
CHANCE! Jesus misses from three yards now! David Silva's cross found the Brazilian at the back post, but he directed the ball straight at Hamer.
A quick note on the formations. While City are playing in a very attacking 3-4-3, Huddersfield are playing with four at the back with Stankovic in front of them.
City are still probing in pretty much every available area. Huddersfield are having to work hard just to stay on level terms. The home side just won a couple of corners in a row, but Huddersfield survived.
City have lowered the intensity slightly and it has enabled Huddersfield to get organised in front of their own 18-yard box. That said, the visitors are seeing very little of the ball.
Like we saw at Arsenal last week, the return of Mendy has given City a different dimension. The Frenchman is practically playing as a left winger in these early stages.
Still no more shots on goal to report. City are focusing on getting the ball in wide positions, but they are beginning to struggle for space.
SHOT! Better from City, but a good move only leads to a weak header from Jesus which is gobbled up by Hamer. The Brazilian was running away from goal so was unable to get any pace on the ball.
City have started to up the tempo again. More crosses and more shots are blocked as a result of desperate Huddersfield defending, but it may be a sign of things to come.
When City have the ball, Stones and Laporte are pushing so high up the pitch that they are effectively midfielders. It's risky with just Kompany behind them, but it is proof of City's confidence on the ball.
A burst of pace from Bernardo Silva takes him past two players before Kongolo gets across to make a really good, strong challenge. There will be comparisons to Jamie Vardy's tackle on Matt Doherty yesterday, but the Dutchman was in control of the challenge and was not overly aggressive.
SHOT! Huddersfield work a decent break and Mounie is able to pick out the advancing Stankovic from a wide position. However, the holding midfielder drills the ball over the crossbar.
GOAL! Manchester City 1-0 Huddersfield Town (Sergio Aguero)
Literally seconds later, City take the lead. Ederson's long pass finds the run of Aguero, who is in behind the defence. The Argentine bides his time, wrong-foots a defender and produces a sublime chip over goalkeeper and a defender, with the ball finding the top corner. A quite unbelievable finish.
That was a shame for Huddersfield because it was the first time that they had really committed players forward. Once they did, one long ball and one shot later and they are behind!
CHANCE! Nearly a second for City. Hamer cannot deal with a cross from Bernardo Silva and Aguero retrieves the loose ball. However, the Argentine sends a shot into the side-netting from close range.
GOAL! Manchester City 2-0 Huddersfield Town (Gabriel Jesus)
This is probably game over already. Mendy sees a run halted but the ball falls to Jesus, who drills a low shot from 20 yards past Hamer and into the bottom left corner.
I would be surprised if City are not further ahead before the break. It is literally a game of attack versus defence. David Silva is pulling the strings in the final third.
GOAL! Manchester City 3-0 Huddersfield Town (Sergio Aguero)
There you go. A low cross from Mendy is spilled by Hamer and Aguero is there to fire home from close range. I think that we may be seeing Jonas Lossl back in goal for the next match...
Credit to Huddersfield. They put together a few nice passes down the left flank before winning a throw in a deep position. However, City quickly manage to win a goal kick.
City take their time in spraying the ball about in the middle third of the pitch. There is no need to rush anything now, not that they do anyway!
It is difficult to see what Wagner may do at the break. He will surely be thinking about damage limitation but the majority of his substitutes are offensive-minded! There will be some sort of tinkering.
GOAL! Manchester City 3-1 Huddersfield Town (Jon Gorenc Stankovic)
What a moment. Stankovic is making his first appearance for 17 months after sustaining a serious knee injury at this very ground, and he now goes and gets on the scoresheet! A long throw was flicked on by Mounie and Stankovic was there to convert from six yards. Game on?
There will be two minutes of added-on time. Bernardo Silva has just warmed the fingers of Hamer from 20 yards.
HALF TIME: Manchester City 3-1 Huddersfield Town
The half-time whistle goes at the Etihad Stadium and City lead Huddersfield by a 3-1 scoreline. The home side deserve their advantage, but will wonder how they have given Huddersfield a way back into this match.
Each of City's three strikes came during a 10-minute period. Each goal had little finesse about them, although Aguero's 20-yard chip for the opener was just delightful. That said, Huddersfield have contributed to their own downfall.
Huddersfield's goal came completely out of nothing. A long throw found Mounie and Stankovic was in the right place to fire home from six yards. Ederson had no chance. It is something which will really irritate Guardiola because his team had been in total control.
Huddersfield have decided to make a change. Depoitre is on for Sabiri.
KICKOFF: City get us back underway.
A mazy run from Aguero leads to a free kick being won on the edge of the box through a foul by Mounie. This a good opportunity for a number of players.
GOAL! Manchester City 4-1 Huddersfield Town (David Silva)
If you are looking for an example of the perfect free kick, David Silva has just provided it. The Spaniard curls a 25-yard free kick over the wall and into the top corner. Hamer didn't move. It didn't matter. He would not have got there anyway.
Huddersfield need to ensure that they do not lose by six or seven now. It's a possibility when you consider all of the options that City have on the bench.
YELLOW CARD! Billing goes into the book for a trip on Jesus. It's frustration more than anything.
Huddersfield currently have all of their outfield players within 40 yards of their own goal. City have each of their outfield players within 50 yards of goal.
More of the same from the home side, who are looking to try to score the perfect goal. They can afford to at this stage.
OFF THE POST! Aguero has had enough and decides to take it upon himself to get a shot away. His effort from 20 yards is well-struck, but it hits the inside of the post and rebounds clear.
CHANCE! Aguero should have his hat-trick. the Argentine plays a one-two with Jesus before drilling a first-time effort wide of the post from around 15 yards out.
Huddersfield are doing their best to get a foot on the ball but as soon as they win possession, City are pressing them. The Terriers are about to make an alteration...
SUBSTITUTION! Diakhaby is being introduced for his second appearance since joining Huddersfield from Monaco. Pritchard has made way.
Huddersfield have had a sustained spell of possession over the past few minutes and are forcing City back into their own final third. Still no more chances but it is a start.
SUBSTITUTION! Guardiola finally acts with his first change as David Silva is replaced by Mahrez.
The break in play has allowed City to regain possession and there is no rush to put anything together in attack. It is all very measured.
Depoitre just attempted a one-man break for Huddersfield and to be fair to the forward, he had a certain degree of success. However, the substitute was eventually crowded out.
YELLOW CARD! Schindler goes into the book for a rather crude challenge on Jesus. A number of City players were justifiably unhappy with that.
CHANCE! Aguero is desperate for his hat-trick. Another low shot is directed towards the near bottom corner, but Hamer gets down well to tip the ball behind.
I'm surprised that Guardiola has not made further changes. A lot of players have spent time at the World Cup over the summer, and the chance is there to rest a couple of them.
GOAL! Manchester City 5-1 Huddersfield Town (Sergio Aguero)
There is the hat-trick! Mendy delivers a perfect cross from the left and Aguero is able to flick the ball into the far corner from close range.
SUBSTITUTION! It's Aguero's last contribution as Sane is brought on in his place.
SHOT! Huddersfield rally to get the ball into City's penalty and although it is half-cleared, Billing gets a shot away with the ball being deflected behind for a corner.
CHANCE! This is what you call a shank. Gundogan plays Jesus in on goal but the Brazilian drags his shot well wide of the far post.
SUBSTITUTION! City's third and final change sees Foden come on for Gundogan.
SUBSTITUTION! Huddersfield follow suit by introducing Sobhi for Mounie.
GOAL! Manchester City 6-1 Huddersfield Town (Terence Kongolo own goal)
This is getting a bit harsh on Huddersfield. Sane is played through on goal and although Hamer blocks the German's effort, the ball ricochets off Kongolo and goes into the net.
SHOT! Mendy is shooting each time that he receives the ball on his left foot in and around the penalty area. On this occasion, his effort is scuffed straight at Hamer.
CHANCE! Huddersfield want the final whistle. Bernardo Silva should add a seventh but Hamer gets down well to his right to claw the shot away.
There will be three minutes of added-on time. Stankovic is down injured on the side of the pitch. Let's hope that it isn't serious.
FULL TIME: Manchester City 6-1 Huddersfield Town
The full-time whistle goes at the Etihad Stadium and City have completed a 6-1 win over Huddersfield, who will count themselves lucky that they did not lose by double figures. The home side dominated from start to finish, with Aguero, Jesus, Silva and an own goal from Kongolo inflicting a heavy defeat on the Terriers.
That will be all from Sports Mole
for this match. Thank you for joining us this afternoon and we hope that you can stick around for the fixture between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United
If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.