Norwich City vs Luton Town match preview: Form, h2h, injury news and score prediction
This evening Luton Town take on Norwich City away from home at Carrow Road. The Canaries are currently third in the table and are one of the favourites to gain promotion after being relegated from the Premier League last time out. Although Norwich tend to take the Championship by storm, they can never seem to find their feet in the top division and have been floating between the two leagues over the last few seasons. During the 2021/22 campaign, they were up against the big boys in the top flight, meaning Norwich haven't faced the Hatters since their Championship winning season in the 2020/21 season, which was widely affected by the pandemic.
The Hatters travel to Norfolk in the hope of taking three points off another playoff-placed opponent after defeating QPR on Saturday. Luton ended their 15-year wait of beating rivals QPR in an outstanding display at the weekend, former Hoops midfielder Luke Freeman was on the score sheet along with Adebayo and an own goal heavily assisted by Cameron Jerome.
Cameron Jerome wheels away in celebration after his shot is deflected into the back of the net against QPR - Photo copyright of David Horn/LTFC'
Norwich however, are going through a bit of a rough patch as of late, they haven't picked up a win in their last three fixtures, recording two consecutive losses along the way. The Canaries' most recent result came against Luton's other opponents this weekend and their massive rivals Watford. The Hornets beat Norwich on home soil 2-1 and despite their best efforts, Norwich left Hertfordshire empty-handed. Although Norwich dropped down a division, manager Dean Smith managed to keep most of his squad together during the summer window whilst even strengthening the core of his team by bringing in Newcastle United midfielder Isaac Hayden along with young Brazilian winger Gabriel Sara. Josh Sargent will certainly be a threat to the Hatters' defence as the young attacker leads the Championship scoring tally, currently on eight league goals, two ahead of Luton striker Carlton Morris.
The hosts will be without centre-back Andrew Omobamidele this evening, as confirmed by Smith whilst in conversation with the club's media, whilst he also indicated that Hayden is not ready to start as of yet.
Luton's head-to-head record against Norwich is nothing short of interesting as the Hatters are the ones who have the advantage. Since 2013, the two sides have battled it out in four competitive games, and Luton have come out victorious three times.
The most recent result saw Norwich smash the Hatters 3-0 at Carrow Road but the most memorable game at that venue was back in 2013 when Luton became the first non-league side to knock out a Premier League team in the FA Cup. Winning the game 1-0, Scott Rendell the goal scorer broke the deadlock in the 80th minute to send Luton fans wild. To put that into perspective, nine years ago non-league Luton beat a Premier League team Norwich to go into the fifth round of the cup, and this evening the Hatters can leapfrog the Canaries in the Championship table with a win. Although the Hatters have always been considered a smaller team than their opponents they have beat them twice since that crazy day, once in the league cup in 2020 and the other coming in the reverse fixture in the Championship in the 20/21 season. Luton beat in form Norwich at Kenilworth Road, but later that season the Canaries would be crowned champions with a tally of 97 points.
Nathan Jones will be expected to name an unchanged side after a dominant 3-1 victory over QPR, however as previously stated, Morris is just one yellow card away from a ban and if he was to pick up a booking tonight, he would miss the derby game at the weekend. Despite that Luton's top scorer will be eager to play against the side that kickstarted his playing career.
Score Prediction: Norwich City 0-2
The Canaries' backline defends best when the attackers are running at them and struggle with long balls over the top, Luton will look to capitalise on this as some of their best goals have come from long balls or set pieces this season. Winning battles in the air will be key and with tall strikers like Morris and Adebayo, the in-form duo will attempt to bully the Norwich defence and if they capitalise they should hit the back of the net. Coming off the back of the win, the Hatters will travel to Norfolk in high hopes of moving into the playoff position giving them energy on the field.
Featured image: Copyright of Gareth Owen/LTFC