Luton Town VS Sunderland match preview: Form, h2h, injury news and score prediction
Luton Town take on Sunderland this weekend at Kenilworth Road. After recently suffering heavy defeats, it's important that both teams walk away from the tie with three points, however, we all know that's not possible. Despite a shock 4-0 nightmare defeat to their rivals Watford on Sunday, a win could still take Luton into the playoff positions. Luton needs to bounce back from that loss and give the fans a reason to cheer again after losing so heavily in such an important game.
Luton fans at Vicarage Road on Sunday/Copyright Gareth Owen Photography LTFC
Sunderland come into the tie off the back of a 4-2 defeat to recently relegated Burnley. Although Sunderland started the game well and ended the first half 2-0 up, they ultimately suffered in the long run as Burnley pumped four past their keeper in the second period. The win took Burnley to the top of the table whilst Sunderland sit comfortably mid-table. After spending four seasons in league one, Sunderland eventually got promoted back to the Championship at the end of the last season, many would say the black cats deserve to be in this division. After their long-awaited promotion, their fans had mixed opinions on how their season would unfold, more optimistic fans believed they'd challenge to get back into the Premier League where once were. However many supporters stated they thought they'd struggle this season, but this season has seen them placed somewhere nicely in the middle. With lots of games to go, it could end either way for them. Jack Clarke, the young midfielder is a player the Hatters will be wary of as the ex-Spurs academy player has already contributed to a combined 9 goals and assists, 5 being assists.
Luton are winless in seven league games against Sunderland with three draws and four losses since their last victory which came in 1994 under David Pleat, a 3-0 home win at Kenilworth Road. Despite this, Luton have won most recently when the two teams faced one another, a 3-0 league cup win in 2007 saw Luton progress and Sunderland knocked out of the competition. The most recent league encounter back in 2019 ended in a 1-1 draw as Luton made the trip up north to the Stadium of Light under the management of interim manager and club legend Mick Harford, who filled in the role for Nathan Jones after he left the Hatters mid-season when Stoke City came calling. Despite going a goal down, Harford managed to mastermind a victory against his boyhood club and take Luton's unbeaten game run to 17 matches. Even under the trickiest circumstances, Danny Hylton made things even harder for the Hatters after he was given his marching orders in the seventh minute. After leaving the Hatters down to ten men until the extra time interval, Luton kept the score level and then Sunderland had a man sent off themselves. The important point at the stadium of light helped Luton continue their unbeaten run and push on to eventually win the title as they sat second at the time of this game. The reverse fixture at the start of the season also ended 1-1 at Kenilworth Road, this was the last time Sunderland faced Luton away from home. The tie on Saturday is Sunderland's first visit to Kenilworth Road as a Championship side since the final day of the 2006/07 season when they beat the Hatters 5-0 under Roy Keane.
Luton will once again be without Reece Burke as he is still absent due to a hamstring injury, along with that, their defensive reinforcement has been weakened as Gabe Osho has picked up a three-match ban for a straight red card against rivals Watford straight after returning from injury. Nathan Jones stated there was an 'illness bug' in his camp last week, hopefully, that has cleared by now as it side-lined both Dan Potts to the bench and Lansbury from the squad in the important derby tie vs the Hornets.
Sunderland's injury list has racked up over the last few weeks including; Roberts, Ballard, Stewart, and Alese, however, Elliot Simms could potentially make a return after being sidelined for the last seven games.
Luton Town 3-1 Sunderland
After a blip in form, the Hatters will want to get back on track in the hope of reaching the playoff spots, the game against Sunderland is a brilliant opportunity for them to bounce back and re-find their feet, plus they owe it to the fans after the humiliating defeat on Sunday.