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Luton Town 2023/24 Premier League predictions: Part 1

Football is BACK! This coming weekend little old Luton Town play their first game in England’s elite division since May 1992. Our 31-year exile from the top flight is finally over. Oh, and it’s called the ‘Premier League’ now – you might have heard!


To get you in the mood for the campaign ahead, Oak Road Hatter has decided to preview the season with a series of predictions spread across two articles.


Part One focusses on Luton’s fate. Will we stay up? Who will deliver the goods for us? And which of the league’s giants could we topple? We asked four of our writers these questions and many more.


So, without further ado, let’s get into our predictions.



LUTON’S FINAL LEAGUE POSITION AND POINTS TOTAL



Matt Aquino (@MattAquino_): 17th - 32pts My heart is telling me we’ll stay up. My head is telling me it’ll have to be among of the lowest points tallies for survival in Premier League history for that to occur. In 2020/21, 29pts would have been enough for the 17th-placed team to ensure safety, I think we might require something like that to happen again.

We didn’t need much of the ball last year to thrive, so we won’t need to reinvent – that’s a big advantage. We’ll have even less possession in this campaign but with our energy, athleticism, attitude and direct approach, we’ll definitely cause problems for plenty of teams. Hard-fought 1-0 wins will be critical to our survival.


Jamie Castle (@jamie_castle96): 16th - 34pts There’s no getting away from the fact that next season will be difficult. As a side that’s gone all the way from non-league to the Premier League, our win percentage over such a long period will be relatively high, so as fans we’ll need to acclimatise to possibly only winning 20-25% of our games.

But, we’re Luton Town, and whilst we won’t make it easy for ourselves, we’ve got so many intangible assets that other teams would love to be able to throw their Premier League bucks at. Our last five fixtures are kind - should we be scraping for points - so I back us to secure survival either away at West Ham (cue scenes in London) or back at the Kenny against Fulham.


Kieren Robertson (@ltfckieren): 17th - 35pts We are in a big scrap. One that will be a true Luton Town rollercoaster full of thrills, spills and no doubt a 7-0 drubbing in there somewhere. Whether our squad is fully ready for the Premier League remains to be seen. However, I firmly believe there will be three teams worse off than us.

Our football is going to stay the same. Compact at the back, countering, not seeing an abundance of the ball and being a nuisance to the bigger teams - where perhaps one or two will take a humbling as a result of us nicking 3 points.


Billy Mulley (@billymulley11): 17th – 36pts Seeing Luton dismissed and labelled ‘destined for relegation’ has made me even more excited for the season to start. There will be tough times that we’ll have to endure this season, of course, but the character and belief we have in the squad will push us to safety.  

We have mastered how to cause chaos for teams out of possession and we’ve now added technical quality to the squad, so I am excited to see how the two come together. The Premier League is a completely different beast to what we’re used to, but there are so many more factors that can determine our success ahead of simply budget.  




PLAYER OF THE YEAR


Jamie: ALFIE DOUGHTY

A vital part of a Rob Edwards’ system who will be so important for us next season. Strong both going forward and defensively, and even showing his versatility by operating on both sides, I think Alfie will have a truly memorable season. Who knows, with the Euros coming next year and England not exactly having a wealth of left back options, he may even be brought into the England conversation.


Kieren: TOM LOCKYER In a season where not many goals will be scored, it’s the other end of the pitch that becomes a greater focus for me. Tom Lockyer, fits the bill as the man who will make the biggest step up to Premier League Football. Already a trusted leader at the back, he’ll continue to do what he does best – being tough to beat, keeping the Luton backline tight and ensuring we’re in shape for any attack that comes our way.


Billy: TAHITH CHONG I was going to go more outlandish and land on Reece Burke because I do think, when considering out defenders, he has the potential to step up to Premier League football the best. However, yet another injury has stopped that thought in its tracks. 


I’m going for Chong who has shown glimpses of his technical quality during the limited minutes we’ve seen of him in pre-season thus far. Not only is his ball-carrying ability and combination play mightily impressive, he has impressed me out of possession.  


Matt: AMARI’I BELL I'm going for the ever-reliable and indefatigable Amari'i Bell. He's already shown his adaptability in being re-tooled as a left-sided centre-back last year, so I back him to learn quickly and step up to the demands of Premier League football. Bell's recovery pace, timing on interceptions and ability to delay opponents when we’re outnumbered make him defensively sound. Going the other way, his composure in possession and ability to drive forward with the ball will be vital in launching counters for us. Hopefully we'll see plenty of those signature underlapping runs too!


SIGNING OF THE YEAR


Kieren: TAHITH CHONG A player who still has such a high ceiling, Chong at 24 years of age is, in my opinion, ready for a shot at the big time. I expect Chong to really come into his stride with this signing being one where Rob Edwards sees him potentially as the next step in that ‘Clark role’ in the midfield three. Expect skills to pay the bills, raw talent and a banger or 3 this season.


Billy: ISSA KABORE For the sake of not saying the same name twice, I am excited by Issa Kabore. He dominates his 1v1 defensive duels, he has excellent levels of physicality and athleticism, and I am hoping that he can contribute in the final third.  


Matt: RYAN GILES While I think Tahith Chong will be up there, I expect he’ll both dazzle and frustrate in equal measure at times, so I’m going for Ryan Giles. We’ve already seen the quality of his deliveries in just a couple of pre-season games and it’s really exciting. I’m confident he’ll record the most assists in our squad and that there’ll be plenty of games decided by a single goal set up by a whipped-in cross from Giles. The reported £5m fee is already a bargain, but only a few months into the season it’ll look like daylight robbery.


Jamie: TAHITH CHONG We’ve missed someone who can provide a bit of magic, so I think the signing of Chong is a wonderful bit of business. At times we’ll find it difficult to get the ball up the pitch and keep it there, so his ability to drive with the ball and go past players will be vital. If he can show his passing ability then he may even reach double figures for assists too.



TOP SCORER


Billy: CARLTON MORRIS – 11 GOALS Morris stepped up last season to hit the 20-goal mark and whilst the quality of defences will rise, I am more than confident that the creative additions of Ryan Giles and Tahith Chong will only benefit our talisman. 


Matt: CARLTON MORRIS – 9 GOALS Morris clearly can’t be expected to hit the heights of last year. This is a BIG step up and I predict, as a team, we’ll only score 30-35 goals max. But Carlton is a killer in front of goal and can make the most of the limited chances we’ll create for him. If he nets around 30% of all our goals, that will be some season for our number 9.


Jamie: CARLTON MORRIS - 11 GOALS

With no marquee forward signing at the time of writing, it’s difficult to look past last season’s top goalscorer repeating that again this season. Physically, I think he’s a ready-made Premier League player and his ability to score with both feet (and his head) will be the difference in some very important wins for us.


Kieren: CARLTON MORRIS - 10 GOALS It would always be incredibly tough for Morris to get close to his tally from our promotion campaign, however I still believe he will be an issue in the Premier League for a lot of keepers. Positioning is always good, and whilst there may be certain elements of his game he may have to be smarter with, again - he is another who I believe is ready to step up.


WHEN WILL OUR FIRST WIN COME?


Matt: WOLVES (H) - 23rd SEP At the Kenny, of course. Against Wolves - a side I fully expect to be in the relegation battle with us for large parts of the season. I think we’ll have a point or two on the board before then, but a win in this one will ignite our season ahead of a huge 6-pointer away at Everton the following week.


Jamie: BRIGHTON (A) - 12TH AUG Perhaps I’m fantasising about us entering the Premier League with a bang, but I’ve got a feeling the 3,000 Hatters heading to the Amex may just leave in a jubilant mood. Brighton are a fantastic side and I back them to do well again this season, but they’ve lost Mac Allister, could lose Caicedo, and will be going through a transitional phase early on. We’re also unbeaten against the Seagulls in the top flight!


Kieren: CHELSEA (A) - 25TH AUG There is something about Chelsea away that, to me, screams us s**t-housing a 1-0 win. I think whilst they’re early into a transitional phase with new players and a new coach – it’s the perfect time for us to strike and hit them when they least expect it. Shock the league, big three points and a huge confidence boost to start the season - all before a busy September.

Billy: WEST HAM (H) - 1ST SEPT Our first Premier League game at Kenilworth Road is an occasion that has the potential to emerge as one of the greatest fixtures in our history. The atmosphere will be absolutely electric and, should we respond like we did against Watford and Sunderland last season, I back us to deliver an excellent performance and get the 3 points. 



BIGGEST/ BEST SURPRISE VICTORY


Jamie: 1-0 vs MANCHESTER UNITED (A) - 11TH NOV The Theatre of Dreams. Where my dream is Tom Lockyer heading it into the onion bag and running to the corner flag where the Hatters faithful are housed.

But there’s some thought behind this prediction too. The game comes the weekend after a Champions League group game and, currently, I don’t think they have great squad depth. If they have to go away to a European giant and then head back to Old Trafford to face a stubborn Luton side, they may just be caught by surprise.


Kieren: 2-1 vs TOTTENHAM (A) -30TH MAR Again, I am going for an away win. Another ‘Big 6’ team who are in a transitional season under Ange - and one where we will be well up for it. By the time this game comes around, we will be needing every point we can get, and there are always some shocks when teams are desperate for points in a relegation fight. Bournemouth did them at home last season - why not us too?


Billy: 2-0 vs TOTTENHAM (A) – 30TH MARCH Naturally, we are being completely written-off away from home and I do anticipate us to struggle on the road, however, wouldn’t it be great if Tottenham get all ‘Spursy’ against us? 

I think Ange could work at Spurs but I can also see them pulling the trigger early on, and in my mind, that will help carve out another chaotic season for the North London club.  An Eric Dier own goal and a trademark Luke Berry late sealer will do for me. 


Matt: 1-0 vs MANCHESTER UNITED (H) – 17th FEB Why not? It’s going to be dark, cold, horrible and hostile at KR. United won’t fancy it one bit. I can picture it now: Bruno Fernandes flapping his arms about in disbelief at the rough treatment he’s been getting all game. Casemiro seeing red. And us bundling one in late on after the most chaotic 6-yard-box melee the Premier League has ever seen. 1-0 Town. History made.


HEAVIEST DEFEAT


Kieren: 7-0 vs MAN CITY (A) – 13th APRIL I said already a 7-0 drubbing is coming, and every few years Luton love a capitulation of some sort. Doesn’t need too much explaining I’m sure, but with KDB and his pet robot up top up to their usual behaviours, this will be a tough watch.


Billy: 5-1 VS MANCHESTER CITY (A) – 13th APRIL

When looking at Manchester City, we are not just talking about the best team in English football, we are talking about the best team in world football, and in my mind, there is a sizeable gap between them and any other side.

If you press, they will play around and through you. If you hold off, they will carve you open - and they do this to even the most resilient of defences.  


Matt: 6-1 vs LIVERPOOL (A) – 24th FEBRUARY This game comes straight after the Manchester United fixture in which I predicted we’d deliver a stunning upset. And this game will bring us crashing back down to earth.

Liverpool have so much firepower this season and I expect them to be back to their best going forward – that means blowing opposition away early. We’ll be mentally exhausted from the euphoric win the week before and not start well. It’ll be 4- or 5-0 by half time and Liverpool will add one or two more in the second half, but we’ll nick a goal to give our travelling fans something to (ironically) cheer about.


Jamie: 6-1 vs MANCHESTER CITY (A) – 13th APRIL I think this pretty straightforward. The Etihad has become one of the most daunting places to visit for any of the Premier League’s bottom half sides. Haaland will be my Triple Captain that day - my very own emotional hedge. Having said that, I back us to catch them on the break and get a goal, could you imagine if it was the opener? Ha!




LONGEST WINLESS STREAK


Billy: 7 GAMES  There are definitely going to be times next season where it may seem difficult to pick out where our next win will come from. However, I have so much belief in the character we have in the squad – and when you have good people in and around your club, tough times won't last. I back the likes of Pelly, Mick, Rob and Locks to pick up the more youthful players in the squad and magic up a result out of nowhere. 


Matt: 9 GAMES The run of fixtures from early October to mid-December jumps out at me. We face Tottenham, Villa, Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and City during that period. And when confidence is really low, the ‘winnable’ games nestled in between those against the likes of Forest, Palace and Brentford won’t be easy either.


Jamie: 5 GAMES After getting back-to-back wins, away at Man Utd and at home to Crystal Palace, we’ll have an extremely tough December. Arsenal, Man City and Newcastle at home, with Brentford and Bournemouth (who I think have signed really well) away posing difficult tests too. Those braving the snowy Sheffield conditions on Boxing Day see us end this run and will be treated to our second successive win at Bramall Lane.


Kieren: 10 GAMES Similar to Matt, we have a couple of tough run-ins throughout the season - and we saw under Graeme Jones in the Championship losing 11 aways in a row, that when confidence is low NOTHING comes out on the pitch. Whilst I don’t quite expect that level of boredom on the pitch, or lack of quality, I do expect a rut of some sort - and I would rather have it this side of Christmas to then get it right in the back end.


WHICH OPPOSING PLAYER WILL BE THE BIGGEST VILLAIN AT KENILWORTH ROAD?


Matt: RICHARLISON I can keep this one nice and brief. Richarlison – master of sh**housery, fully-certified Premier League villain and ex-Watford. Simple.


Jamie: JOAO PEDRO Now, hear me out… despite the obvious links to that club we daren’t speak about, he’s actually a very good player and will do well in a much stronger Brighton side. By January, when the Seagulls visit the Kenny, he’ll have had time to settle in and really hit his stride. If he bags one or two in front of our home crowd you’ll really hear the Luton support’s feeling towards him.


Kieren: ERLING HAALAND Whilst his quality is never undermined, Luton fans will do all they can to jeer this man and put him off his game. However, he is a robot. He is a freak of nature. You will not see a striker like this for another generation. He’ll put it to the side, score 3 or 4 and probably “sshhh” a few of us (literally). Not quite Danny Hylton though, is he?


Billy: RICHARLISON As much as I do not want to see it, Richarlison is exactly the kind of player who would thrive at Kenilworth Road. He has endured a difficult start to life at Tottenham but has a knack of winding players and fans up. 

What are YOU predicting for the season ahead? Let us know how you think the Mighty Hatters will get on in the comments and join in the debate on social media.

Keep your eyes peeled for Part Two where we cast our minds towards the wider Premier League and aim to predict everything from the winners to the relegated sides and the Player of the Season to the first manager to be sacked.

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