Opposition view: Luton Town prepare for Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League opener
Luton Town begin their Premier League campaign with a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
The Hatters have enjoyed a productive summer of recruitment thus far and pre-season seemingly ran rather smoothly as Rob Edwards now ponders over what will be the starting XI at the Amex Stadium.
Providing a Brighton perspective ahead of this opening fixture this weekend, TogetherBHA spoke to ORH...
Q: Are you happy with the business that Brighton have conducted so far?
A: Yes! Very happy! We have been busy this window and made some really exciting signings. Joao Pedro from Watford is a player that we've been talking about on the podcast since he got relegated with Watford, so to get him when it looked like he was going to Newcastle a year or so ago. It isn't the most exciting signing but the experience and calming presence of James Milner is probably going to be one of our most astute signings, with a LOT of young players about to play in Europe for the first time having someone who has done it all before is going to be amazing for them. Verbruggen is one of the most exciting young keepers in football and Dahoud and Igor are players we needed to fill spots left open by MacAllister and Colwill.
What would represent a good 2023/24 season for Brighton?
A: We've never played in Europe before, so managing this will be crucial, De Zerbi has also never done this before so its going to be a first time for everyone. Getting out of the Europa League group stage and a top half finish would be incredible, because we've seen so many teams before us spend a LOT more money than we have and still sink into the bottom 6. Short answer, good cup runs and a top half finish would be amazing.
Tell us about the man in charge, Roberto De Zerbi!
A: What a guy! When we lost Potter at the time we did I think we all thought we were doomed, no real managers were available, right before a World Cup etc. but due to the awful war in the Ukraine RDZ was left jobless due to the league essentially disbanding. What an exciting manager. Wow. He is a generational talent and will not find his ceiling at Brighton, when Pep leaves City I'd be unsurprised to see him well in the frame, he is that good. His style of football is unique, beautiful to watch and scores LOTS of goals! He's also incredibly animated and passionate on the touchline and honestly, the fans love him for it.
Who are the Brighton threats that Luton Town need to be wary of?
A: Joao Pedro, easily had the best preseason in the side and looks an insanely talented young man, he will start this weekend and cause issues for any team this season if he carries his form in. Estupinan is for me (biased obviously) one of the best LBs in the league and partnering up with Mitoma on the left can devastate teams, your right side will know they have had a game this weekend that's for sure!
What have you made of Luton Town’s rise to the Premier League?
A: I love it! I've always kept an eye on Luton due to one of my favourite Brighton players ever Kazenga Lualua ending up there, and then of course the rise and eventual fall of Nathan Jones and his Brighton affiliation. I remember attending games at both the Withdean and Kenilworth Road watching us two scrap for points in the lower league so I am delighted to have you join us in the top flight! I know the odds are stacked hugely against you but I truly wish you all the very best of luck and hope you surprise teams and scrape enough points to survive, just not against us!
What is your score prediction?
A: 3-1 to Brighton, it'll be a rare occasion where we keep a clean sheet this year, such is our style of play, but I think we'll score a few. I do however see this as a MASSIVE banana skin just waiting to be slipped up on.