Luton Town vs Norwich City match preview: Form, h2h and score prediction
Rob Edwards prepares for his second game in charge, with the latest clash coming against promotion-hopefuls Norwich City, on the annual boxing day fixture. Unfortunately, us Luton fans have had to wait an extra week for Rob Edwards' home debut game as Millwall was called off due to a frozen pitch.
The town face a struggling Norwich, who we have beaten in four of the last five encounters. It looks like Dan Potts will be back for this game, considering his appearance in the Hatters 0-0 draw to Arsenal behind closed doors, which is a huge boost for Luton's injury hit defence.
Norwich have had an unusually poor start to this Championship season for their standards, sitting in 5th and pressure is building on Dean Smith. Normally at this stage of the season, the Canaries are running away with the league with Teemu Pukki the top scorer. Admittedly he does have seven goals and four assists so far but he is far away from being top scorer and Norwich are far from the promotion places, being nine points away from the top two. You could say it's healthy for the competitiveness of the Championship that Norwich are not dominating the league like they always do whenever they come back down.
The first game back from the World Cup saw Norwich beat Swansea away, but they fell 2-0 to Blackburn at home, which really aggravated Norwich fans with some chanting 'Smith out.' It appears Dean Smith is falling out with the Norwich fanbase as you can conclude from his frustrated comments after the game when he said "A narrative's been set about it not being good football, despite us having the second or third highest shots in the league."
It is important not to underestimate Norwich, especially taking into account Luton's poor form. They still possess huge attacking quality with Josh Sargent and Teemu Pukki causing a lot of problems for defences, with the two of them contributing 16 goals put together. Norwich are likely to line up in a 4-2-3-1, although they have used many formations this season, most of them utilise a 4 at the back.
Players to watch out for
Teemu Pukki- A Championship veteran and Premier League quality striker, Pukki has always been Norwich's biggest threat for the past 5 seasons. The 32 year old is far from finished, although he is Finnish. 7 goals and 4 assists so far this season is slightly below his usual standards (last time he was in the league he scored 26) but Luton still need to be wary of his goalscoring ability.
Josh Sargent- The American international was subbed after 45 minutes the last time Luton played Norwich but he has still been one of the best attackers in the league, scoring 9 goals so far. He prefers to play up front but has been shifted to the wings due to Pukki occupying his position. Sargent started two of the USA's World Cup matches, both at striker, although he didn't score.
Prediction- This is a game Luton should be aiming to win, Norwich possess a lot of attacking quality but in recent history Luton have proved too much for them and it would be disappointing if Rob Edwards tenure starts with 2 games without a win. A positive for Luton is Dan Potts is back fit, and we have also had an extra week's rest. However, don't expect this to be an easy game for Luton as the town have only won one of out of seven league games, and Norwich still possess Premier League quality players in Teemu Pukki and Max Aarons. Let's hope we see something different in the first game back at the Kenny after the World Cup break.
Luton 2-1 Norwich
Osho Lockyer Potts
Bree Campbell Pelly Clark Doughty
Date- Sunday 26th December
Venue- Kenilworth Road
Head to head record: (previous 8 matches)
19 Nov 2005 Norwich City v Luton Town L 2-0 League Championship
12 Aug 2006 Norwich City v Luton Town L 3-2 League Championship
27 Feb 2007 Luton Town v Norwich City L 2-3 League Championship
26 Jan 2013 Norwich City v Luton Town W 0-1 FA Cup
05 Sep 2020 Luton Town v Norwich City W 3-1 League Cup
02 Dec 2020 Luton Town v Norwich City W 3-1 League Championship
06 Mar 2021 Norwich City v Luton Town L 3-0 League Championship
18 Oct 2022 Norwich City v Luton Town W 0-1 League Championship