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Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Luton Town

Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Luton Town

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Premier League clash between Tottenham Hotspur and Luton Town, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

A Tottenham Hotspur side intending to rise above a desired dotted line host a Luton Town outfit bidding to steer clear of dreaded dotted line in Saturday’s Premier League showdown in North London.

Ange Postecoglou‘s men produced one of their worst displays of the season in a 3-0 loss to Fulham two weekends ago, while the Hatters snatched a 1-1 draw versus Nottingham Forest.

Match preview

Tottenham Hotspur's Cristian Romero and James Maddison look dejected after Fulham's Rodrigo Muniz scores their third goal on March 16, 2024© Reuters

Hitting Champions League rivals Aston Villa for four was not a sign of things to come for Tottenham Hotspur, who may have torn the 10-man Lions to shreds, but an 11-man Fulham crop outfought, out-witted and outclassed a below-par Spurs six days later.

Two strikes from Rodrigo Muniz either side of an improvised Sasa Lukic finish condemned Tottenham to their seventh Premier League loss to the season, and that three-goal defeat also brought an end to their magnificent 39-game scoring run in the English top flight, the second-longest scoring streak in Premier League history.

Victory at Craven Cottage by two or more goals would have been enough to propel the Lilywhites into the top four of the rankings, but on account of their joint-heaviest defeat of the Postecoglou era so far, Saturday’s hosts still reside in fifth, three points below Aston Villa with a game in hand.

While a spot in the revamped Champions League therefore remains in Spurs’ hands, Postecoglou has repeatedly professed that finishing in the top four is not the overriding goal for his Tottenham team, who at least have six wins from their last seven Premier League home games under their belts.

The Lilywhites are also on a 23-game scoring sequence in front of their own fans in the top flight but have been found wanting defensively for a while now; Postecoglou’s men have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 10 Premier League home games since a 2-0 October over recent conquerors Fulham.

Luton Town manager Rob Edwards on February 27, 2024© Reuters

Rob Edwards‘s Luton Town side cannot offer Tottenham any pointers when it comes to defensive discipline, having conceded for the ninth game in a row during their March 16 showdown with Nottingham Forest, who took the lead at Kenilworth Road through Chris Wood‘s opener.

However, the Hatters refused to surrender waving the white flag, and just four minutes after being introduced as a late substitute, former Cambridge United and Barnsley midfielder Luke Berry scored his maiden Premier League goal to salvage a dramatic point for the newly-promoted outfit.

Luton’s failure to sink the Tricky Trees saw them squander the chance to climb out of the relegation zone, but thanks to Forest’s recent four-point penalty for breaching Profit and Sustainability rules, Edwards’s men have shot up to 17th place and are one point better off than Nuno Espirito Santo‘s side.

Both Luton and Forest fans will be waiting with bated breath to hear the outcome of the Tricky Trees’ appeal, though, and it is now nine games without a win for this weekend’s visitors to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, despite scoring in all of those encounters.

In fact, the Hatters have made the net bulge in all but four of their 29 Premier League games so far, although one of those scoreless outings was October’s 1-0 home defeat to a 10-man Tottenham, leaving them without a win against their more esteemed opponents since November 1987.

Tottenham Hotspur Premier League form:

Luton Town Premier League form:

Luton Town form (all competitions):

Tottenham Hotspur's Micky van de Ven walks off the pitch after sustaining an injury on March 10, 2024© Reuters

After picking up a thigh injury during the four-goal success at Villa Park, Micky van de Ven was unavailable for Spurs’ loss to Fulham or the Netherlands’ international fixtures, but Postecoglou is keeping his fingers crossed that the centre-back will shake off his concern in time for Saturday.

However, Fraser Forster (foot), Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring) and Manor Solomon (knee) are still on the sidelines for the long-term – the latter has been forced to undergo yet another operation following complications.

Richarlison, who recently lifted the lid on dealing with depression after the World Cup, did not earn any minutes for Brazil over the international break following his recent knee injury, but he was brought off the bench against Fulham and should now come back into contention for a starting role.

As for a ravaged Luton Town, Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu came off with a knock on the hour mark against Nottingham Forest and is now on Edwards’s touch-and-go list, as is Alfie Doughty, a half-time casualty of that fixture with a tight hamstring.

The Hatters’ injury crisis worsened further during the international break, as Republic of Ireland winger Chiedozie Ogbene missed his nation’s loss to Switzerland due to an unspecified injury, which Edwards should shed more light on later in the week.

The fitness levels of Mads Andersen (calf), Albert Sambi Lokonga (thigh) and Gabriel Osho (knee) must also be monitored, but Marvelous Nakamba (knee), Jacob Brown (knee), Tom Lockyer (heart), Joe Johnson (illness), Elijah Adebayo (thigh), Dan Potts (thigh) and Amari’i Bell (thigh) are all out.

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Vicario; Porro, Romero, Van de Ven, Udogie; Sarr, Bentancur; Kulusevski, Maddison, Son; Richarlison

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Kaminski; Hashioka, Mengi, Burke; Kabore, Barkley, Berry, Townsend; Chong, Clark; Morris

SM words green background

We say: Tottenham Hotspur 4-1 Luton Town

Luton’s penchant for goals has not evaporated in spite of their devastating injury catastrophe, and faced with a Spurs crop who lack the recipe for defensive success at home, the visitors ought to give the away end something to cheer.

However, the odd consolation goal will likely prove meaningless in the grand scheme of things, as a Tottenham side fresh from a much-needed two-week reset should bounce back from their Fulham humiliation with a resounding triumph, one which would be enough to take them into the top four for at least a couple of hours.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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