March 15, 2018 / 9:55 PM / 2 years ago

Soccer - Huddersfield Town vs Crystal Palace: Fans' View

(Reuters) - Huddersfield Town host Crystal Palace at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday in a crucial battle for Premier League survival.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Chelsea vs Crystal Palace - Stamford Bridge, London, Britain - March 10, 2018 Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson Action Images via Reuters/John Sibley

Former England manager Roy Hodgson’s Palace side are third from bottom, one point below the safety zone, having failed to win in their last seven matches.

Huddersfield are just four points above the relegation places but have been boosted by the return of midfielder Aaron Mooy.

Here is what the fans have to say about their teams:

James Chisem, Huddersfield Town Supporters Association

“Last weekend’s (0-0) draw against a 10-man Swansea team was frustrating because it was a perfect opportunity to put some distance between ourselves and the bottom three.

“Since Crystal Palace are fellow relegation candidates and we’re quickly running out of fixtures that look winnable on paper, I’d say this game is as close to a must-win as is possible at this stage of the season.

“I’d love to say that we’ll repeat our exploits from the opening day (a 3-0 win at Palace), but Roy Hodgson’s teams are notorious for setting up to frustrate the opposition away from home, so it’ll be a tight game. I’m going to plump for a 1-0 win for Huddersfield Town.

“Huddersfield’s most famous son, (former British Prime Minister) Harold Wilson, coined a pithy little phrase that I and many of my compatriots live by: ‘I’m an optimist, but an optimist who carries a raincoat’.

“I believe that we have what it takes to stay up, and I’m convinced that there are three worse teams in the Premier League.

“I think (manager) David Wagner will leave in the summer whether we’re relegated or not. The national media like to portray Town’s recent success as a miracle, but it’s all down to Wagner. He’s destined for bigger and better things, and I don’t begrudge him that for one single second.”

Dominic Burrell, ReadCrystalPalace

“I’m feeling positive about the game against Huddersfield. We’ve been desperately unlucky recently against the top teams in the league, undone by late goals and ravaged by injuries.

“Finally we have a winnable game and, most importantly, we have Wilfried Zaha back. It’s not going to be easy by any means but I reckon we have a good chance.

“I am predicting a 2-1 win on Saturday. I can’t see us keeping a clean sheet. Christian Benteke was taken off against Chelsea at halftime and he needs a break. He’s devoid of confidence and has been a passenger for most of the season.

“With Alexander Sorloth leading the line, I think we could look a lot better going forward.

“Huddersfield’s form doesn’t seem too great but they obliterated us in the reverse fixture. Jonas Lossl was brilliant in goal, as was Aaron Mooy, and if they press us like they did at Selhurst Park, then we could be in for a long afternoon.

“James Tomkins has been excellent in the centre of (the Palace) defence lately and having Mamadou Sakho alongside him will offer more stability in defence.

“It will be interesting to see if (midfielders) Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Yohan Cabaye come straight back into the team after their injuries because James McArthur and Luka Milivojevic have been playing so well.

“The mood amongst the fans is still positive. We’ve been through much worse this decade and prospered. I’m still confident of survival - but if we lose on Saturday I might be less so.”

Reporting by Claire Bloomfield; Editing by Ken Ferris

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