Hatters visit St Andrews

Blues come into the Luton game off the back of two consecutive home victories and sitting three points off the playoffs, which is a nice position to be in. Maxime Colin’s first goal for well over a year was enough to see off Blackburn, as he put the finishing touches on an excellent Blues move. Luton don’t really do 1-0 losses, though, as they have scored and conceded quite a few goals already this season. Their last game was a 2-3 loss, after a 3-0 win. They’ve scored 20 and conceded 23 – for comparison, Blues have 12 and 15 respectively.

Whilst Blues can’t really get into the playoffs spots with a win this weekend, a third home win on the bounce would put them in a great spot to break in there eventually. Luton need a win to get away from the relegation spots which they’re flirting with – both teams are on opposite sides of the mid-table coin.

BUILD UP

Ivan Sunjic should be back for Blues to hold down the midfield, while Josh McEachran got some game time and may be able to slot in if Jude Bellingham needs a rest. Whilst Mrabti had an excellent game on Tuesday night, he looked exhausted by the end, and Jacques Maghoma or Alvaro Gimenez may deputise for him. Lee Camp kept a clean sheet in midweek, so despite some calls to drop him, it seems unlikely he will not play.

THE STATS

It’s been so long since Blues last played Luton, that Rowan Vine scored last time out. For Luton. He bagged two at Kenilworth Road, and once at St Andrews, as Blues drew 2-2 at home thanks to a last minute Neil Danns equaliser. Danns also scored in the away fixture, as Blues lost 2-3. DJ Campbell got their other goal that day.

LINEUP

As mentioned, we think Mrabti might miss out for a bit of a rest and be an option off the bench. Sunjic is nailed on to start, and as much as we would like to see Bellingham next to him, three games a week is a lot for a young player especially in the centre of midfield. We might see McEachran start in midfield to have a playmaking option from deep.

PREMATCH QUOTES

Pep Clotet spoke on Luton and how Blues can improve:

“I want our team to have a little bit more control with the possession for us to attack. We’re not a team that looks for 60 per cent possession for the sake of having 60 per cent possession. I want them to confident and brave enough to make mistakes. We need to break that fear and we need to try and impose ourselves. Obviously, it’s demanding for a team, but this is what we want to do, and we’ve got to work very hard. This season if we manage to develop this style of play that we all want and owners are so keen on having, we’ll be very satisfied.”

“I think Graeme Jones is doing a really good job with them, they are a positive club on the way up from League Two. They had a really good season last season in League One, they are a very untouched squad that has played together for a lot of years and with a positive attitude. They are trying to do positive football. I know Graeme Jones a lot, he was working at West Brom last season, so we spoke a lot when we were playing them.”

“Before he was at Swansea and we have a lot of friends in common and he was working with Roberto (Martinez). Graeme loves the kind of football that I like as well, so I do respect that. He has a side that is taking a few risks and he manages them very well and they are getting a lot of points. It was tough for them at the beginning of the league, but I think it has settled, the side has improved, and they are in for a very good season in the Championship, which is unbelievable for the club. I do respect what Graeme is doing there.”

Luton boss Graeme Jones hopes his team isn’t too tired for this weekend’s game: “There’s only us and Charlton that are going to play two away games on the trot in 60 hours, when the opposition have played on a Tuesday night, so little Luton and little Charlton aren’t getting treated very fairly. We will recover and we will be competitive I can assure you, we will be going there to win.”

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