Huddersfield captain Tommy Smith wants to give boyhood club Manchester City a bloody nose this weekend.
Pep Guardiola’s runaway leaders are looking to continue their outstanding run at the John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday, when victory would take them onto 37 points – a Premier League record at this stage of the season.
However, Huddersfield will try to end City’s unbeaten start to the campaign, just as they did when Manchester United arrived in West Yorkshire last month.
It is another big day for Town – and a special moment for their captain.
Smith joined City aged 11 and spent almost a decade there before leaving in search of regular first-team football, eventually joining Huddersfield and helping them out of the Championship.
“I could see that the money was coming in and players were getting bought left, right and centre,” Smith said.
“I am sure myself and a lot of the other players were thinking, ‘Is there a place for me here?’
“It wasn’t to be and I’ve moved on, and I am completely happy with the choice I made when I came to this football club.
“I’ve been here five years now and I’ve enjoyed every single minute.”
John Guidetti, the Sweden and Celta Vigo forward, and Olympiacos’ Omar Elabdellaoui, who spent a spell on loan at Hull earlier this year, are the only others from Smith’s age group at City to have forged a top-level career.
The fact they were too were unable able to establish themselves at the Etihad Stadium justifies the defender’s decision to depart, so too the fact that the 25-year-old could be leading Huddersfield out against them on Sunday.
The Town skipper has not played since last month’s 3-0 loss at Liverpool, but Smith is up for the challenge of getting into the side – and securing an upset.
“We will always be confident – that’s just the nature of our squad, the staff and the manager,” he said.
“We’re definitely confident. We know it is going to be tough, but this is the Premier League and this is what we knew we were going to be in for: tough games week in, week out.
“Our home form has been excellent this year so that gives us great confidence going into Sunday and hopefully the crowd will get behind us as they have been doing so far and hopefully we can get a positive result.
“On any given day, anyone can beat anyone. That’s something we’ll be looking to exploit on Sunday.
“No team is unbeatable and why can’t it be us (who beat City)?”
That would undoubtedly upset a number of his City-supporting friends, but surely even they would be pleased about what would be a huge moment in the Cheshire defender’s career.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for seven years now,” added the defender, who came off the bench in March’s heavy FA Cup fifth-round replay defeat at the Etihad Stadium.
“Since I left Man City, when I left the club it was kind of like, ‘Right, I’ll show you’ kind of thing.
“Hopefully if selected on Sunday I’ll be able to put that onto the pitch.”