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Monday, 10 December, 2018

Huddersfield show they are up for a scrap but Potters in desperate trouble

Five things we learned from the weekend...

Steve Mounie scored twice in Huddersfield's 4-1 win over Bournemouth
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1 Tenacious Terriers can survive
It was looking bleak for Huddersfield when they started the weekend in the relegation zone but their 4-1 victory over Bournemouth has breathed life into their survival hopes.

The three points, which lifted them out of the bottom three, were massive but the manner of the victory will have been equally pleasing for Huddersfield fans.

They played at an intensity which Bournemouth could not match and were thoroughly deserving winners after winning the shot count 15 to seven.

Huddersfield had a scare late on when key midfielder Aaron Mooy went off on a stretcher with a badly cut knee.

They will hope the Australian can recover quickly but his replacement, 21-year-old Dane Philip Billing, has a lot of ability and can play a major part in keeping Huddersfield's heads above water.

2 Stoke look relegation-bound
Stoke remained in the drop zone after a 1-1 draw at home to Brighton and are running out of winnable games to save themselves.

Potters midfielder Charlie Adam had the chance to win the game with an injury-time penalty but his effort was saved by Brighton goalkeeper Matt Ryan.

Paul Lambert has a job on to save Stoke from the drop

However, a point was the most that Stoke deserved after another unconvincing display and it leaves them in a precarious position, given the tough schedule they face.

Four of Stoke's remaining eleven games are against big six teams and only one of their outstanding five home matches is against a bottom-half side.

They have struggled for goals all season and appear to be in desperate trouble.

3 Magic Mousa the key for Spurs
Harry Kane was lauded for his match-winning goal against Arsenal on Saturday but the standout player on the day was Mousa Dembele, who dominated the midfield.

It was the third outstanding performance in a row for the muscular Belgian, who was hugely impressive in the 2-0 win at home to Manchester United and the 2-2 draw at Liverpool.

But Mauricio Pochettino will have to handle Dembele carefully as he has had ongoing injury problems in recent seasons and could suffer again if pressed into service too often.

With Dembele at his best Spurs can compete against some of the best teams in England and Europe.

Without him they are nowhere near the same force.

4 Don't write off Burton

Burton have been roundly written off in the Sky Bet Championship relegation battle but may not be without hope of surviving for a second successive season.

Nigel Clough's team were the better side in Saturday's 0-0 draw at Ipswich and are only four points from safety.

The Brewers are the second lowest scorers in the division but might show more potency in their remaining 15 games.

Loan signing Darren Bent could make an impact once his match sharpness improves and the same could be said of club record signing Liam Boyce, who has just returned from a long-term injury.

5 Keep Crawley on-side
Harry Kewell's Crawley are closing in on the Sky Bet League Two playoffs and their recent revival - seven wins in eight games - may continue.

Confidence is flowing through the side and Crawley are up to tenth, just four points outside the top seven.

Talented Charlton loanee Karlan Ahearne-Grant has scored on his first two appearances for Crawley and his finishing skills will be key as the Red Devils push for promotion.

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Four of Stoke's remaining eleven games are against big six teams and only one of their outstanding five home matches is against a bottom-half side
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