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Last Updated: 22/02/19 11:19am
Huddersfield boss Jan Siewert may turn to rookie striker Karlan Grant in a bid to halt the club’s Premier League slide.
Grant, a £2m signing from Charlton last month, stepped off the bench to score his first Terriers goal in the recent home defeat to Arsenal and could make his first start on Saturday at Newcastle.
The 21-year-old scored 14 times for Charlton this season and was credited with Huddersfield’s goal against Arsenal after the club successfully appealed against the initial decision to credit it to visiting defender Sead Kolasinac.
“That has definitely given him a lift,” said Siewert, who will take charge of his fourth game since replacing David Wagner.
“He directly came to me after the (Arsenal) game and said ‘boss it was my goal’ and I said ‘I saw it.’
“Now it’s proved that it was his goal, so it has given him a lift and also in training he’s coming on more and more I would say.
“He’s showed already why we bought him and he’s really had an impact. He’s come from League One and it’s a big jump, but he’s proved he was right to make the jump.”
When asked if Grant will make his first start at St James’ Park, Siewert said: “Maybe.”
The Terriers have been cast adrift at the bottom of the table after losing 12 of their last 13 league matches.
They are 14 points adrift of safety with 12 games to go, but Siewert refuses to concede they appear destined for the trapdoor.
“Who writes this?” he said. “I haven’t read this to be fair. You all know it’s a difficult situation, but do you like Huddersfield Town? You want us to stay in the Premier League? Then we will go for it.
“This is how I’m thinking. Of course you all have to write what you think, but I’m positive.
“I know what’s happening at the moment and I know it’s a difficult task for us, I’m not stupid.
“But it’s like we watched Newcastle, we’ve analysed them, and we’ve got to go for points there.”
Newcastle midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has recovered from an ongoing thigh problem and may feature after a seven-week layoff.
Meanwhile, Ki Sung-yueng is also available and record signing Miguel Almiron could make his first start for the club.
Meanwhile, Huddersfield’s Grant is hoping to make his full Premier League debut at St James’.
Goalkeeper Jonas Lossl and defender Chris Lowe are expected to return to the squad after illness, while Isaac Mbenza (calf), Danny Williams (knee) and Abdelhamid Sabiri (collarbone) are still unavailable.
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- Following their 1-0 win in the reverse fixture, Newcastle are looking to do the league double over Huddersfield for the first time since 1964-65
- Huddersfield have won just of their last 11 away league games against Newcastle (D5 L5), beating them 2-1 in August 2016 in the Championship
- Yorkshire sides have won four of their last seven away Premier League games against Newcastle (D1 L2) – more than they had in their first 20 visits in the competition (W3 D4 L13)
- Newcastle are looking to win three consecutive home league games for the first time since a run of four in April 2018 – the third game in which they beat Huddersfield
- Huddersfield have lost 12 of their last 13 Premier League games, drawing the other. They’re without a goal in their last six hours and two minutes of football away from home in all competitions, since Zanka netted against Manchester United in December
- Huddersfield have scored the fewest goals (14) and lost the most league games (19) among all 98 clubs in the top five European leagues this season
- Huddersfield have played more Saturday 3pm games than any other Premier League side this season (17), but they’re yet to win in that timeslot (D5 L12). Their last such victory came against Watford in April 2018.
This is a must-win game for Newcastle.
They have turned a bit of a corner recently but they have been playing games where they haven’t been expected to win and they have got results. Now they have to turn up and win the game, which is a lot harder sometimes. When you are not expected to win, you can try and grind out a draw, but this could be a dangerous game for Newcastle.
But with the run that Huddersfield have been on, I think Newcastle will win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-0 (6/1 with Sky Bet)
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