Luton v Liverpool – The Premier League Preview

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Previewing Reds’ Clash With Luton

With the most recent midweek EFL Cup game won (securing a place in the tournament’s last eight), Liverpool can now look forward to a trip to Premier League newcomers, Luton Town. West Ham represent the quarter-final hurdle for the Reds, as the East London side travel to Anfield on December 19th. This coming weekend sees Kenilworth Road as the destination for Jürgen Klopp and his Liverpool 2.0, with the 11,500 capacity excitedly awaiting one of Europe’s biggest football clubs. This type of encounter is a fairytale for the small-town club, who will look to make their modest ground an intimidating destination for their visitors.

The Luton Availability

In terms of availability, Mads Andersen, Dan Potts, Albert-Mboyo Sambi Lokonga, Reece Burke, and Jordan Clark, all remain sidelined, whereas a late fitness test will be carried out on Amari’i Bell. In the opening ten games of this campaign, the hatters have taken just five points, by way of seven defeats, two draws, and just the one win. A current league position of 18th is a sign of their long battle to stay in the English top tier, as the relegation favourites struggle to come to terms with elite-level football. Last weekend saw Rob Edwards’ side lose 3-1 away to Aston Villa, after an impressive 2-2 draw on their travels to Nottingham Forest. The match prior to that saw a narrow 0-1 loss at home to table-topping Spurs, which came at the end of a four-game losing streak.

A predicted line-up for the visitors is listed below, in a 3-4-3 formation

GK – Thomas Kaminski RCB – Teden Mengi CB – Tom Lockyer LCB – Gabriel Osho RWB – Issa Kaboré LWB – Ryan Giles CM – Ross Barkley CDM – Marvelous Nakamba RW – Andros Townsend CF – Carlton Morris LW – Chiedozie Ogbene

One name in particular will be very keen to welcome the red half of Merseyside, which is of course former Everton and England international, Ross Barkley. The 29-year-old signed from Ligue 1 side, Nice, in the summer, having arrived on a free transfer.

The Liverpool Availability

The 4th placed Reds will be hoping that Newcastle takes something from Arsenal at St James Park on Saturday evening, whilst putting pressure on Tottenham, who do not play again until Monday night. They will be hosting Chelsea; therefore, Liverpool has the chance to match their tally of 26 points before their kick-off. Manchester City faces Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon, which means a victory for the 19-time champions is more than likely. Liverpool is in the ascendancy and must win almost all their games if they are to be fighting for the Premier League title at the season’s close. The three listed teams seem to be the key contenders this year, therefore I shall start looking closer at how each weekend could affect the current standings. Last week we had comfortably beating Nottingham Forest, as they ran out 3-0 winners at Anfield. A 2-0 home win was recorded against Everton (the weekend prior), whilst gathering wins in both the EFL Cup and Europa League along the way. With 23 points taken from ten games played, it has been a very good start to the 2023/24 season.

In terms of those available, Thiago Alcântara and Stefan Bajčetić are sidelined, whilst Andy Robertson begins his long road back to fitness, after a successful shoulder operation. Luis Díaz is unavailable as he continues to deal with his family issues, however, Curtis Jones is now back in contention for a league start, after his unwarranted three-match suspension.

Below is the team I believe our German manager will start on Sunday afternoon.

GK – Alisson Becker RB – Trent Alexander Arnold RCB – Ibrahima Konaté LCB – Virgil van Dijk (c) LB – Kostas Tsimikas RCM – Dominik Szoboszlai CDM – Alexis Mac Allister LCM – Curtis Jones RF – Mohamed Salah CF – Darwin Núñez LF – Diogo Jota

How Will This Contest Play Out

The 16.30 kick-off time is a nice way to end the traveling supporters’ weekend, though only if a positive result is attained. Luton are a team that will look to play direct football and rattle their more illustrious opponents with long balls aplenty. A combative nature and stubborn resistance will need to be broken down by the away side, therefore, it should make for a fun game of football amidst the swirling wind that is due to stay for the weekend. The visiting side are full of confidence and brimming with attacking intent, which should see them as too good not to win. I cannot see anything other than a solid win for the title challengers, with an early goal to settle the nerves.

Player to watch – Mohamed Salah

Score Prediction; Luton 1 – 4 Liverpool

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