Still undefeated since the new year began, a rejuvenated Luton Town team invites the Premier League newcomers Sheffield United to Kenilworth Road for an important match at the table’s lower end this Saturday afternoon.
Last weekend, Luton and Newcastle United ended in an eight-goal thriller, while Chris Wilder’s squad faced a humiliating 5-0 defeat at home to Sheffield United.
Despite their impressive 4-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion in their last January game, Luton’s perfect start in 2024 seemed likely to end at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park, where Sean Longstaff scored early, just seven minutes in.
But, the game turned into a goal fest with eight goals in total, featuring scores from Elijah Adebayo, Ross Barkley, Carlton Morris, and Gabriel Osho causing chaos among the visiting fans, though the draw left some feeling disappointed.
Adebayo’s 62nd-minute goal gave Luton a two-goal lead, but Kieran Trippier and Harvey Barnes quickly scored to earn a draw for the hosts, leaving Rob Edwards’s team just one point above Everton in 17th place, but with a game in hand.
Luton hasn’t lost since a 3-2 defeat at home to Chelsea on December 30, and having scored in their last 10 Premier League games, only Tottenham Hotspur has a longer scoring streak in the top division.
This week, Edwards’s team could break a nearly 47-year-old record if they score four or more goals against their struggling visitors, becoming the first promoted team since Sunderland in March 1977 to achieve at least four goals in three consecutive top-flight games.
Sheffield United’s recent performance suggests that making Premier League history at Kenilworth Road is possible, as they were overwhelmingly defeated by Aston Villa last weekend.
Aston Villa scored four goals before the half-hour mark, leading to many home fans leaving early, and those who stayed saw Alex Moreno complete a dominant performance.
Wilder apologized to the fans after the defeat, which leaves them last in the Premier League, and a loss at Kenilworth Road would put them 13 points behind Luton with an extra game played.
Wilder needs a miracle to keep Sheffield United in the Premier League, especially as they’ve conceded 15 goals in their last five matches and haven’t won away this season.
An own goal disaster contributed to Sheffield United’s 3-2 loss to Luton on Boxing Day, but the last three games at Luton have been draws, including a 1-1 result last season.
Luton Town Premier League form: W W L D W D
Luton Town form (all competitions): D D W W W D
Sheffield United Premier League form: D L L D L L
Sheffield United form (all competitions): L W D L L L
Luton’s injury list is short, with only Marvelous Nakamba and Tom Lockyer definitely missing Saturday’s match.
Mads Andersen might return from a calf injury to play on Saturday, but Edwards is likely to keep changes minimal for his consistent team.
Jordan Clark, having started the last three Premier League games without scoring or assisting, competes with Andros Townsend and Jacob Brown for his spot.
For Sheffield United, Rhian Brewster returns from suspension, and Oli McBurnie might come back from injury. The availability of Max Lowe and Ivo Grbic is uncertain, while John Egan, Chris Basham, George Baldock, and Daniel Jebbison are sidelined.
After last weekend’s poor performance, Wilder is expected to make several changes, possibly including Robinson, Gustavo Hamer, Tom Davies, Yasser Larouci, and Cameron Archer in his plans.
Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Bell, Osho, Mengi;
Ogbene, Barkley, Lokonga, Doughty;
Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Ahmedhodzic, Trusty, Robinson;
Bogle, Hamer, Souza, Larouci;
McAtee, Archer, Brereton Diaz
Prediction: Luton Town 3-1 Sheffield United
With confidence levels vastly different between the two teams, and despite morale not being everything – as seen in Chelsea’s 3-1 FA Cup win over Aston Villa – it’s hard to see Sheffield United pulling off a surprise on Saturday.
Luton may not become the first newly-promoted team to score four in three straight Premier League games, but they should enjoy another significant victory this weekend as Sheffield United’s relegation troubles worsen.