West Brom vs Luton Town match preview: Form, h2h, injury news and score prediction
Following their midweek 3-3 draw against struggling Huddersfield Town, Luton Town travel away to the Midlands to take on another relegation-fighting opponent. After frustratingly sharing the points with twenty-third-placed Huddersfield, the Hatters will hope for a better result against the Baggies at the Hawthorns.
With Steve Bruce's job on the line, Luton will hope to capitalise and gain three points on their travel, however, the Hatters have certainly struggled to find form when facing the Baggies away from home in recent fixtures. Since their return to the football league, Luton have lost four out of six of their meetings against the Baggies, three coming in the Championship and one in the league cup when Luton were a division below their opponents.
Luton's first game against West Brom in the Championship in over thirteen years, a void from 2006 until 2019, ended in a narrow defeat as West Brom came out 2-1 winners. The Hatters took the lead in the early stages of the game as Harry Cornick netted in just the sixteenth minute. However, they could not capitalise on this goal and the substitution of Diangana proved crucial as the debutant scored a brace in just three minutes to ensure a West Brom victory, leaving Luton still searching for their first three points in the league.
Since then, West Brom have won another two ties against the Hatters on their own turf, results finishing 2-0 and 3-2. But the most recent fixture between the sides ended in a 2-0 win for the Hatters, playing at home Luton had brilliant form on their own turf and ended the season in their highest league position in the EFL since 2005. In the match, both Allan Campbell and Cameron Jerome scored, meaning Luton would leapfrog West Brom at the time to go above them in the league.
Cameron Jerome celebrates after netting against the Baggies last time out | Photo copyright of Gareth Owen/LTFC
Although Luton's most recent win against the Baggies was down to home form, the recent successes at Kenilworth Road have started to fade away this season as the Hatters have won just one game from seven when hosting. In comparison, on the road, the Hatters have picked up ten points in five games, which is joint fifth for the best record in the league. Two victories in Wales against Swansea and Cardiff, and another against Hull City, has boosted their momentum away from home.
With West Brom sat one place from rock bottom, and with a gaffer with his job on the line, the game could go either way as it is so crucial that they pick up a win, but at the same time vital a defeat could be the final nail in Bruce's coffin at The Hawthorns because of this Bruce is expected to make a number of changes to his starting eleven.
West Brom's poor form and defensive worries are something Hatters strike duo Elijah Adebayo and Carlton Morris will hope to pounce on this afternoon. Coming off the back of a draw against Swansea, Adebayo opened his count for the season as he put two past Lee Nicholls, to the delight of Hatters fans. His strike partner Morris yesterday was awarded the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Month, after netting four goals in September. Both strikers will hope to add to their tally's tomorrow as Adebayo stated they are competing with one another to be Luton's top scorer this season. As far as Hatters fans are cornered, they will mind who is winning that battle as long as the ball is going in the back of the net.
Luton will have to be wary of the Baggies taking the game to them as Steve Bruce will certainly be hungry for his side to score goals as he knows he needs a win to keep his job for at least another week, and with the Hatters recent defensive troubles that is something Jones will have to be prepared for. The Luton boss has already come out and spoken of these issues and claims he is addressing them. Although Reece Burke has been confirmed to miss the fixture, the gaffer has stated Lansbury should be fit to travel to the Hawthorns.
Even though the game could go either way, with Luton's impressive record away from home and Steve Bruce with so much pressure on to win the tie, it would be no surprise if West Brom struggle to cope with the pressure and Luton will take advantage of this, allowing them to take the three points home from the Midlands. But with both teams with below-par defensive records of late and strong attacking options, it has every chance of being a high-scoring scoring affair.
Prediction: 4-2 Luton
Featured image: Copyright of Gareth Owen/LTFC