Search for Premier League points moves to Luton
Tonight sees us travel to Kenilworth Road to face Luton Town in a game that was originally scheduled to be played on Saturday, 19th August and our first away league game of the season.
The game was put back because of all the work going on at the ground to bring it into line with the requirements of the Premier League but it’s hardly been modernised and we’ll still be going through someone’s house tonight to get in through the turnstiles.
With Luton having won for the first time last Saturday, it leaves just us and Sheffield United as the only winless clubs and although it isn’t anything like a crisis, we really could do with getting some points on the board very quickly to add to the one we picked up at Nottingham Forest just over two weeks ago.
It really has been a tough start to the season and if you look at the six teams we’ve played three teams currently in the top five with Forest the lowest placed of all six teams and they are twelfth. We do need to start moving soon although even a win tonight is unlikely to lift us out of the bottom three. I know it is early season but we’ve learned from previous seasons how difficult it can be to crawl away from the bottom places.
Josh Brownhill, who has been captaining the team since winning back his place, said ahead of the trip: “It’s the games that we’ve got to win. We played Forest a few weeks ago and we put out a really good performance, probably should have come away with the three points if that goal counted.
If we could win the game, it would lift us above Bournemouth and bring us level on points with both Everton and Luton; a two goal win would take us above Luton too. But it’s points needed right now and the league position will hopefully take care of itself, the more points we get.
I can’t see there being many changes to the team beaten at Newcastle but Vincent Kompany does have Lyle Foster to come back in with having now served his three match ban following the dismissal at Nottingham Forest. He’d started the season well too with two goals in the opening three games. I’d be surprised if he didn’t come straight back in.
The team at Newcastle was: James Trafford, Connor Roberts, Ameen Al-Dakhi, Jordan Beyer, Charlie Taylor, Sander Berge, Josh Cullen, Josh Brownhill, Luca Koleosho, Zeki Amdouni, Aaron Ramsey. Subs: Arijanet Muric, Vitinho, Dara O’Shea, Jack Cork, Mike Trésor, Jacob Bruun Larsen, Anass Zaroury, Wilson Odobert, Jay Rodriguez.
Luton are enjoying a first ever Premier League season although they consider themselves somewhat unfortunate not to have been one of the league’s pioneers. In the final season before the league kicked off, Luton were one of the three teams relegated from the old First Division, going down with Notts County and West Ham who all finished below them.
It’s been a long journey which has included points deductions and five years in the National League from 2009 until 2014. Incredibly, with last season’s play-off victory against Coventry, the team who would have dropped out of that 1991/92 league had Luton won one more game, they’ve moved from that National League title to Premier League in nine years.
Lockyer (pictured above) has made a remarkable recovery having been forced off early in that play-off final with a heart issue. He was forced off at Everton having taken a blow to the eye, but he’s reported fit as has Reece Burke, who also came off in that match which gives Rob Edwards an unchanged squad to choose from.
Their Everton line-up was: Thomas Kaminiski, Reece Burke, Tom Lockyer, Amari’i Bell, Issa Kaboré, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu, Marvelous Nakamba, Alfie Doughty, Jacob Brown, Chiedozie Ogbene, Carlton Morris. Subs: Tim Krul, Mads Anderson, Luke Berry, Cauley Woodrow, Elijah Adebayo, Tahith Chong, Teden Mengi, Ryan Giles, Joseph Johnson.
LAST TIME WE WERE THERE
It was as recent as February this year. We’d just drawn at home to Watford four days earlier, a game that had brought an end to our ten game winning streak in the Championship. With both central defenders, Taylor Harwood-Bellis and now Jordan Beyer out with injury, recent recruit Hjalmar Ekdal lined up again and this time alongside Charlie Taylor and the two of them had outstanding games in what was a real battle for us.
It was a tough game for long periods but we always looked in control although it took a handball by Gabriel Osho, well spotted by referee Jeremy Simpson, to win us the penalty that proved to be the difference between the teams. It was a clear handball but before Ashley Barnes could step up and take it, Luton captain Tom Lockyer decided to have his say for a second time and received a second yellow card.
The teams were;
Luton: Ethan Horvath, Reece Burke, Tom Lockyer, Gabriel Osho, Cody Drameh (Alfie Doughty 32), Marvelous Nakamba (Allan Campbell 68), Pelly Ruddock Mpanza, Amari’i Bell, Jordan Clark, Carlton Morris (Cauley Woodrow 57), Elijah Adebayo. Subs not used: James Shea, Dan Potts, Luke Berry, Joe Taylor.
Burnley: Arijanet Muric, Connor Roberts, Hjalmar Ekdal, Charlie Taylor, Ian Maatsen, Josh Cullen, Jack Cork, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson (Anass Zaroury 54, Lyle Foster 90+2), Josh Brownhill, Nathan Tella (Vitinho 61), Ashley Barnes. Subs not used: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Ameen Al-Dakhil, Scott Twine, Michael Obafemi.Follow UpTheClarets:
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