Marcus Braddock previews the weekends visit of Luto
This weekend, we welcome Luton Town to Montgomery Waters Meadow. The Hatters have had a pretty good season so far and find themselves top of the division by five points. The chasing pack do have games in hand on them and Sunderland have three but would only draw level on points if they won all three games. Their start to the season didn't suggest the sort of form that was to come, they lost two and drew one of their first three league games, but they were pretty tough games against Portsmouth, Sunderland and Peterborough United. Since then though they've only lost twice in the league and their current unbeaten league run goes back to mid October. Even losing their manager to Stoke hasn't interrupted their march on the top of the division with three wins and a draw in League One since new boss Mick Harford took over.
Top Scorers (league goals)
James Collins 16
Elliot Lee 10
Harry Cornick 5
James Justin 4
Jack Stacey 4
James Collins 3
Harry Cornick 3
Jorge Grant 3
Kazenga Lualua 3
Andrew Shinnie 3
Fourteen, five of which came from away games.
Luton have scored an incredible amount of goals this season, particularly at home where they've scored 38 times, 12 more than any other team at home. In away games they've a relatively normal scoring rate for a team in their position with 20 scored and 16 conceded. They score 70% of their away goals in the second half and also concede less, with 38% which amounts to six goals all season. Luton score 1.3 goals per away game so we're likely to need more than that to beat them unless we can keep things particularly tight.
Referee - Graham Salisbury from Lancashire. Games this season:23. Yellow cards: 84.
Red cards: 3.
Assistants: Ian Clayton and Will Smith.
Fourth official: Darren Wilding.
Luton are likely to do without Elliot Lee and Harry Cornick. In the transfer window Luton brought in experienced defender Alex Baptiste from Rangers. They've also loaned in forwards Aaron Connolly (Brighton) and Jason Cummings (Notts Forest).
We've brought in a few players in a range of positions so there may well be a change or two.
I was surprised to see that Luton haven't beaten us at home since 2002 but that only amounts to a couple of games which is surprising in itself, we've only played five times this century. Given our recent inconsistent form I wouldn't want to be deciding on the odds for a home win. We've done well against some of the better teams we've faced but it's difficult to see the team that lost to Bradford beating the top team in the division. Fortunately that team can be changed if need be, we have some very promising looking players who have just arrived and all want to play. Hopefully this competition for places will improve performances across the board and add higher quality where it's required. It's what needs to happen if we're to have any chance of equalling or beating a team like Luton.