HomeFootball NewsLuton vs Chelsea: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

Luton vs Chelsea: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

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The State of Play

After earning promotion last season, Luton have proven their genuine competitiveness in the battle against relegation. Demonstrating resilience, they secured consecutive hard-fought wins over the festive period, narrowing the gap with Everton just outside the bottom three.

The Hatters triumphed over Newcastle with a 1-0 victory, courtesy of Andros Townsend’s winning goal, and they continued their impressive form by coming from behind to defeat Sheffield United 3-2 at Bramall Lane on Boxing Day.

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Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea recently secured a much-needed 2-1 victory against Crystal Palace, marked by a crucial 89th-minute penalty scored by Noni Madueke. With just seven victories in 19 Premier League matches this season, however, Chelsea find themselves firmly in the middle of the table.

The west London team has struggled to maintain consistency and cohesion, with early signs in August and September hinting at potential attacking prowess. However, their performance has since been marred by underwhelming results, attributed to off-field management and strategies that have seeped into unconvincing on-field displays.

Team News

Rob Edwards and his Luton team will continue to be without club captain Tom Lockyer, who suffered a cardiac arrest in a recent match against Bournemouth. In addition to Lockyer, several other key first-team players will be absent for Saturday’s clash against Chelsea.

Issa Kabore is sidelined with an injury but is expected to make a return in early 2024. Marvelous Nakamba, Reece Burke, and Dan Potts are also on a similar timeline as they recover from their respective injuries, but Jordan Clark has a strong chance of inclusion.

Mauricio Pochettino has grappled with a significant injury list this season, but he is gradually welcoming players back. Raheem Sterling and Cole Palmer return after serving their respective suspensions, but Mykhaylo Mudryk and Romeo Lavia will undergo late fitness tests.

Chelsea continue to be without several key first-team players, particularly in defence. Robert Sanchez, Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella and Ben Chilwell all remain unavailable for the upcoming visit to Luton on Saturday, amongst others.

Expected Line-ups

Luton: Kaminski; Mengi, Osho, Bell; Doughty, Lokonga, Barkley, Giles; Townsend, Brown; Adebayo

Chelsea: Petrovic; Gusto, Disasi, Silva, Colwill; Gallagher, Caicedo; Palmer, Nkunku, Sterling; Jackson

What they Said

Rob Edwards on Marvelous Nakamba’s condition:

“It’s not great news. It was an innocuous one where he’s passed the ball in training, and he’s had to have an operation on his meniscus. I don’t want to put a timeframe on it at the moment, but it’s not good news. He’ll see a specialist again in a few weeks’ time, and then we’ll probably have a little bit more information.”

Maurizio Pochettino on Romeo Lavia’s injury:

“Lavia felt something and we need to check and hope it’s not too bad. We will see what is going on. We hope it’s not a big issue and he can be with us again. He’s an important player that we recovered, and it’s going to be a shame if we cannot use him in the next few games.”

When and How to Watch

The match at Kenilworth Road will be televised on TNT Sports, and can be streamed live on discovery+.

Prediction

At Kenilworth Road this season, Luton have produced promising moments, taking leads against both Arsenal and Man City before experiencing dramatic turnarounds. They also secured a point against Liverpool, with The Reds needing a 90th-minute Luis Diaz equalizer. While they have defeated Newcastle and challenged Tottenham, they are yet to secure a standout three points against top-tier opponents. On the other hand, Chelsea, despite two wins in three matches, has shown inconsistency and appears poised for another mid-table finish. Therefore, we think the hosts can manage at least a draw here.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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