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Match Preview: Luton Town vs Leeds United

After four losses on the bounce, Graeme Jones is in desperate need for some points at home to Leeds United.

With the Hatters currently sitting 21st in the table Jones could see his side fall into the relegation places come the final whistle.      

Leeds will be looking to extend their five-game unbeaten run away against Luton. Marcelo Bielsa’s side could go top of the Championship if they get a win at Kenilworth Road.

Luton Town vs Leeds United Match Info

Kick-Off: 15:00[GMT]

Venue: Kenilworth Road

Referee: John Brooks

The Whites

Position: 3rd

Recent Form: WDDWW

Top goalscorer: Patrick Bamford & Eddie Nketiah [5]

Most assists: Jack Harrison [4]

Previous result: Leeds United 2-1 Blackburn Rovers (Bamford, Harrison)

Luton Town vs Leeds United Match Preview

Leeds

Could this be the year that Leeds United make a return to the top flight? It’s been 16 years since the Yorkshire side were in the Premier League. Last year the Peacocks finished third in the Championship but missed out after getting beat by Derby County in the playoffs.

Defensively this season, Marco Bielsa’s side have got the best defensive record in the league, only conceding nine goals in 16 games. It’s in front of goal where Leeds are struggling this season. The majority of United’s wins have been obtained with a margin of 2 goals or more (5 wins), while 4 of their wins had a 1-goal margin.

The man behind the defence for Leeds this season is central defender Ben White on loan from Brighton. He has had a fantastic season so far, he was Pontus Jansson’s replacement in the summer and has now started to become a fan favourite at Elland Road.

A win on Saturday could mean Leeds could go top if West Brom and Preston North End fail to get points on the weekend. Patrick Bamford could be the man to send the Whites top after grabbing a goal against Blackburn before the international break. The Lincolnshire man is on 5 goals for the season but is in need to improve that tally after only getting 9 goals in the league last campaign.

With 31 points so far this season, Leeds have picked up 1 point more than they did last season after 16 matches, and their total in the current season is also 8 points higher than it was two seasons ago at the same stage.

Looking into the future, Pablo Hernandez has signed a two-year-deal. The Spanish midfielder is arguably one of the best midfielders in the Championship with four goal contributions already this season. The Whites will look at their next three games as a huge opportunity to gain 9 points with Luton, Reading and Middlesbrough all being in the bottom half of the table.

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Adam Forshaw – Hip injury (Unknown)
  • Edward Nketiah – Abdominal injury (Unknown)
  • Ezgjan Alioski – Hip injury (Unknown)
  • Jamie Shackleton – Hamstring injury (day to day)
  • Liam Cooper – Groin injury (Unknown)

Marco Bielsa

“It’s all about results in this league, not what you deserve.”

Predicted line-up

(4-1-4-1) Casilla, Ayling, Berardi, White, Dallas, Phillips, Hernandez, Roberts, Klich, Harrison, Bamford.

The Hatters

A 3-0 away loss at Reading marked Luton’s fourth consecutive league loss. The last time they endured a worse run of defeats was back in April 2015, when they registered seven in-a-row.

All but one of Luton’s seven home league games (W2, D2, L3) have produced over 2.5 goals, even though four were 0-0 at half-time.

Despite losing their last home league game, the Hatters haven’t lost two straight home fixtures since April 2016.

With pressure building on Jones, himself and his side are in need for some points on the board. Luton have scored in 86% of their home games this term.

The hosts have found the net in four of their last five in the Championship, they’ve struggled for clean sheets and that has cost them results.

Injuries/suspensions (estimated return)

  • Danny Hylton – Knee injury (December)

Graeme Jones

“You’ve got no greater stimulation than Leeds coming to Kenilworth Road tomorrow and we need to respond.”

Predicted line-up

(4-3-3) Shea, Cranie, Pearson, Bradley, Potts, Tunncliffe, Butterfield, Shinnie, Cornick, Collins, McManaman.

Luton Town vs Leeds United Head-to-head

Last Three Results:

23 Aug 2016 Luton Town 0-1 Leeds United – League Cup

26 Jan 2008 Luton Town 1-1 Leeds United – League One

01 Sep 2007 Leeds United 1-0 Luton Town – League One

Full Head-to-Head Record:

Luton Wins: 14

Leeds Wins: 18

Draws: 15

Matches Played: 47

Players to watch:

Callum McManaman – has scored in two of Luton’s last three home outings. Both goals came in the final 15 minutes.

Jack Harrison – has scored in consecutive matches for Leeds, with his side scoring exactly two goals in both fixtures.

Luton Town vs Leeds United stats

Leeds have lost just one of the last ten H2Hs (W7, D2, L1).

Luton top the over 2.5 goals table with 13 of 16 games seeing such a scenario, while Leeds rank as the division’s worst in that regard, with only four of their games seeing three goals or more.

Luton are yet to score a home goal between the 31st – 50th minute.

What do you think?

Lewis Williams

Written by Lewis Williams

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