Last season: 5th in the Championship (promoted via the play-offs)
Huddersfield Town’s promotion to the Premier League was as romantic as it was unexpected.
The Terriers secured a return to the top flight for the first time since 1972 with a penalty shoot-out victory over Reading in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.
The result was the climax to a fine season where David Wagner’s side ignored the pre-campaign predictions to maintain their promotion push.
They’ll need to defy expectations again if they are to ensure their stay in the Premier League lasts more than one season, however.
One thing is for sure, they are going to give it a damn good go. The club have broken their transfer record four times already this summer, with Steve Mounié, an £11.5million signing from Montpellier, the most expensive of the lot.
Aaron Mooy, Kasey Palmer and Elias Kachunga, who were all on loan last season, have seen their deals become permanent while Tom Ince should add some much needed flair to the front line.
Glass half full: Huddersfield didn’t win promotion by fielding a star-studded line up but instead benefited from a hard-working group of players with excellent team spirit, traits that will be vital if the going gets tough this season. David Wagner is a hugely respected young manager and has already shown he is capable of getting more than most pundits expect from his players.
Glass half empty: Huddersfield simply don’t have the squad capable of staying in the Premier League. The team struggled for goals in the Championship and will only find it harder this time around, despite bringing in Steve Mounié.
New kids on the block: Steve Mounie – Montpellier, Laurent Depoitre – Porto, Mathias Jorgensen –FC Copenhagen, Jonas Lossl – Mainz (loan), Aaron Mooy – Manchester City, Tom Ince – Derby County, Kasey Palmer – Chelsea (loan), Danny Williams – Reading, Scott Malone – Fulham, Elias Kachunga – Ingolstadt.
Left the building: Ronan Coughlan – released, Kyle Dempsey – Fleetwood, Flo Bojaj – released, Joe Murphy – Bury, Jordy Hiwula – Fleetwood (loan), Tareiq Holmes-Dennis – Portsmouth (loan), Fraser Horsfall – Gateshead (loan), Rekeil Pyke – Port Vale (loan).
The gaffer: David Wagner – Jurgen Klopp’s former right-hand man at Borussia Dortmund, David Wagner has come into his own at Huddersfield Town. The 45-year-old replaced Chris Powell in November 2015 and guided Town to a 19th place finish that year in before masterminding promotion in his first full season in charge via the play-offs.
Star man: Nahki Wells – The Bermudan international gives the Terriers an attacking verve and contributed at key moments during the club’s promotion campaign last season. They’ll need him to show he can make the step up in class if they are to score anywhere near the number of goals they need to stay in the division.
One to watch: Tom Ince – The son of former England international Paul Ince has been tipped for big things since breaking through at Blackpool. The 25-year-old has failed to live up to that early promise but seemed to find some consistency at Derby County over the last two seasons and has the natural attributes required to be a success in the top flight.
Premier League Title Odds: 2000/1
Top Four Odds: 500/1
Relegation Odds: 4/6
Top Goalscorer Odds: Steve Mounie 11/8
Star Bet: David Wagner wasted no time in signing Elias Kachunga and Aaron Mooy to permanent deals after the duo were so influential in last year’s promotion winning season. The Terriers went up via the play-offs and were the only team in the top 11 of the Championship to finish with a negative goal difference so they’ll be looking to new boy Steve Mounie to fire them to safety. They’re 11/10 to stay up in their first year in the Premier League but it looks better value in backing them to finish above the Seagulls. Huddersfield to finish higher than – Brighton 13/8
First five games: Crystal Palace (A), Newcastle United (H), Southampton (H), West Ham United (A), Leicester City (H).