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Match preview: United v Huddersfield Town

Manchester United will respond to the midweek defeat at Tottenham Hotspur when welcoming Huddersfield Town to Old Trafford, where the 60-year anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster will be marked.

Setting the scene: The disappointing loss at Wembley Stadium in midweek ended our unbeaten run of eight games in the top flight and was only our fourth defeat of the campaign in all competitions. After a run of three successive away games, Jose Mourinho’s men are back on home soil for the first time since the 3-0 win over Stoke City on 15 January and will be determined to begin February with three points.

The plans to mark Munich... As this is the closest home match to the anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster, the club will mark the 60-year anniversary of the tragedy with a minute's silence before kick-off. The players will also wear black armbands and supporters will receive a special commemorative pack, which will include a copy of United Review and a commemorative book.

How can I follow the game? Saturday’s game will kick off at 15:00 GMT and will therefore not be broadcast live on TV in the UK. However, subscribers to MUTV can watch the build-up from 13:00 GMT on the Match Day show. Radio commentary of the game is also available, and the full game will be shown at midnight on Sunday.  

The players wearing black armbands to mark the anniversary of the 1958 Munich Air Disaster
The players will wear black armbands to mark the anniversary of the 1958 Munich Air Disaster

What’s the team news? Marouane Fellaini must be considered a doubt after being substituted eight minutes after coming on against Spurs with what Jose Mourinho confirmed as another knee ligament injury. Otherwise, Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are expected to be the only other absentees. Alexis Sanchez is set to make his home debut for the Reds, after featuring in the FA Cup win at Yeovil Town and Wednesday’s defeat at Spurs, while David De Gea is set to make his 300th appearance for the Reds in goal. The boss could provide a further update on his squad in his pre-match press conference on Friday. For Huddersfield, Congolese forward Elias Kachunga remains the only long-term injury absentee.

How have Huddersfield fared recently? After a great start to their first ever Premier League season, the Terriers have struggled of late and are without a win in their last seven league games since beating Watford 4-1 at Vicarage Road on 16 December. The only victory David Wagner’s men have enjoyed in their last nine games in all competitions was a 2-1 win at Championship side Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup third round, and they come into this weekend’s game on the back of a 3-0 home defeat against Liverpool on Tuesday night. They currently sit just one point and one place above the bottom three with 13 league games left to play.

Marouane Fellaini is withdrawn during Wednesday's 2-0 defeat at Tottenham.
It remains to be seen whether Marouane Fellaini will be involved after coming off injured on Wednesday night

We could meet again soon… Yes, the Reds could travel to West Yorkshire to face Huddersfield again on Saturday 17 February at 17:30 GMT in the fifth round of the FA Cup, if the Terriers beat Birmingham City away from home in a fourth-round replay next Tuesday. 

What happened earlier in the season? The Reds will be hoping to avenge the 2-1 defeat at the John Smith’s Stadium in the reverse fixture on 21 October, which ended our impressive unbeaten start to the campaign. Goals from Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre in the first half sealed a surprise victory for the Premier League newcomers, with Marcus Rashford’s fine header from a Romelu Lukaku cross late on proving only to be a consolation.

Romelu Lukaku in action against Huddersfield Town.
Romelu Lukaku hopes to add to his 18 goals in all competitions this season against the Terriers

What's our record against them? United hold a slight historical edge going into this clash, having won 20 of the previous 46 encounters between the sides, with 15 draws and 11 Huddersfield victories. The defeat in Yorkshire earlier in the season came in our first meeting in more than 45 years – with the previous encounters between the teams coming in the 1971/72 campaign, when the Reds ran out 2-0 winners in the last Old Trafford clash courtesy of goals from George Best and Ian Storey-Moore.

Did you know? United have won 60 of the previous 76 Premier League games against newly-promoted teams at Old Trafford, drawing 11 and losing just five. The Reds have already beaten Newcastle 4-1 and Brighton 2-0 this season.

One to watch: Described as the ‘heartbeat’ of the Huddersfield side by his manager, Aaron Mooy has been a consistent performer for the Terriers and shown he has adapted to the rigours of the Premier League. The Australian midfielder has been an ever-present in the engine room, chipping in with four goals and two assists – including the opening goal in the victory over the Reds earlier in the season. The United midfield will have to keep close tabs on the 27-year-old, whose tigerish approach has earned him plenty of admirers this season.

Aaron Mooy in action for Huddersfield Town.
Aaron Mooy has been the shining light in the Huddersfield team this season with some vital contributions.

Who’s the referee? Stuart Attwell will take charge of his fourth United match this weekend and his first since the Reds’ 3-1 League Cup win at Northampton in September 2016. The 35-year-old whistler from Warwickshire will oversee his 10th Premier League game of the season and will be assisted by Simon Long and Harry Lennard, while Mike Dean will be the fourth official.

Rivals Watch: There’s a full Premier League programme spread across three days this weekend. Here’s the full fixture list…

Saturday 3 February (15:00 GMT unless stated)
Burnley v Manchester City (12:30 GMT)
Bournemouth v Stoke City
Brighton v West Ham United
Leicester City v Swansea City
Manchester United v Huddersfield Town
West Bromwich Albion v Southampton
Arsenal v Everton (17:30 GMT)

Sunday 4 February
Crystal Palace v Newcastle United (14:15 GMT)
Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur (16:30 GMT)

Monday 5 February
Watford v Chelsea (20:00 GMT)