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Premier League | Gameweek 31
Apr 3, 2024 at 7.30pm UK
Emirates Stadium

2 - 0

Odegaard (24'), Hashioka (44' og.)
Havertz (66')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Onyedinma (74')

Preview: Arsenal vs. Luton Town - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Arsenal vs. Luton Town - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Luton Town, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Twenty-four hours at the top of the Premier League table will be Arsenal's prize if they can return to victorious ways at home to Luton Town on Wednesday evening.

Mikel Arteta's gritty men snatched a praiseworthy point away from Manchester City at the weekend, whereas the Hatters failed to cling onto a 1-0 lead versus Tottenham Hotspur, going down 2-1 in North London.

Match preview

Avoiding the customary Etihad embarrassment was priority number one for Arsenal during Easter Sunday's main event, which kicked off moments after Liverpool had risen to the summit by overcoming Brighton & Hove Albion, piling even more pressure on the shoulders of both teams.

While Arteta's charges failed to venture out of their own half for long periods, David Raya was offered magnificent protection from two immovable objects in William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes, whose efforts were pivotal to Arsenal coming away with a creditable goalless draw.

The Gunners arguably had the better chances to steal all the spoils in spite of their significantly inferior possession, but few Gooners would have turned their nose up to four points from six against Man City at the start of the season, even if they are no longer in control of the title fight.

Still one point clear of the current holders in second position, Arsenal now have a two-point disadvantage to make up to Liverpool - who do not play again until Thursday evening - so the Gunners need only follow their perfect pattern against newly-promoted sides to momentarily return to the summit.

Indeed, each of Arsenal's five league games against 2022-23 Championship sides this year has ended in victory, and the hosts have strung together an outstanding 38-match Premier League unbeaten streak against newly-promoted teams at the Emirates since Hull City's 2-1 upset in 2008.

A new Premier League record could also be set by Arteta's title-chasing troops on Wednesday, as they are just two strikes away from scoring the most combined goals against promoted teams in a single top-flight campaign; the current all-time high of 24 was coincidentally set by Arsenal themselves in 2012-13.

Wednesday's hosts were certainly given quite the scare during their Kenilworth Road contest with Luton, though, and Rob Edwards's men also gave Arsenal's bitter adversaries Tottenham Hotspur a brilliant run for their money on Saturday, where Tahith Chong needed just three minutes to draw first blood.

After emerging for the second period with their one-goal lead intact, though, Luton were quickly pegged back by one of their own - Issa Kabore could not sort his feet out and diverted Brennan Johnson's cross into his own net - before a late Son Heung-min strike sailed past Thomas Kaminski via an unfortunate deflection.

While there were numerous positives for Rob Edwards to reflect on - the standout one being an 18th Premier League game in a row that his side have found the back of the net - the grim reality of the situation is that Luton are now without a triumph in 10 matches in all tournaments, falling below the dotted line in the process.

Only goal difference is keeping the 18th-placed Hatters below Nottingham Forest, but second-half collapses are not aiding the visitors' cause, as they have now lost each of their last three Premier League games where they have led at the interval, just the third team in the competition's history to do so.

Edwards's men also arrive at the Emirates without a single away clean sheet all season long, and they came out on the wrong end of December's seven-goal spectacular with Arsenal at their humble home, where Declan Rice's injury-time header broke Hatters hearts and sent Gooners into raptures.

Arsenal Premier League form:

Arsenal form (all competitions):

Luton Town Premier League form:

Luton Town form (all competitions):

Team News

All three of Arsenal's injury question marks - Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Magalhaes - saw the field at the Etihad, although the former struggled to hit his stride and was substituted late on due to fatigue.

With the aforementioned trio shaking off their niggles, though, only ACL victim Jurrien Timber - who is on track to return before the end of the season - should be missing for the Gunners this week, and Arteta should not be averse to switching things up with a near full squad at his disposal.

While neither Martinelli nor Leandro Trossard are famed for their exploits on the right, the pair should battle it out to deputise for the jaded Saka on Wednesday - although Fabio Vieira is another alternative - while Takehiro Tomiyasu, Oleksandr Zinchenko and the injury-riddled Thomas Partey should stick their hands up for starts too.

As for a decimated Luton Town, on-loan Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga will not be eligible to tackle his parent club this weekend, although the Belgian is one of a plethora of stricken players guaranteed to miss out either way.

A 13-strong injury list also includes Tom Lockyer (chest), Amari'i Bell (thigh), Marvelous Nakamba (knee), Elijah Adebayo (thigh), Dan Potts (thigh), Mads Andersen (calf), Chiedozie Ogbene (thigh), Jacob Brown (knee), Gabriel Osho (knee), Reece Burke, Alfie Doughty and Chong, the latter three of whom all suffered knocks in the Tottenham defeat.

As Hatters fans anxiously wait to learn whether the trio will be fit - Edwards only labelled them as doubts in his pre-match press conference - Daiki Hashioka, Cauley Woodrow and Jordan Clark should be waiting in the wings if required, while Fred Onyedinma might come into consideration for his first top-flight start of the season too.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Raya; Tomiyasu, Saliba, Kiwior, Zinchenko; Odegaard, Partey, Rice; Martinelli, Havertz, Trossard

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Kaminski; Kabore, Hashioka, Mengi, Johnson; Mpanzu, Barkley, Clark; Townsend, Morris, Woodrow

We say: Arsenal 3-0 Luton Town

While Luton may have gleaned zero points from their trip to Tottenham, their grit and determination was made all the more impressive due to their eye-watering injury list, which is showing no signs of letting up before another taxing North London trip.

Faced with the best attack and defence in the Premier League, though, the Hatters' prolific run in front of goal should finally come to an end, as the Gunners run riot against their ravaged visitors to ascend to first place.

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

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Premier League Table
1Manchester CityMan City32227376324473
4Aston Villa33196868491963
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs32186865491660
6Newcastle UnitedNewcastle321551269521750
7Manchester UnitedMan Utd32155124748-150
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham33139115258-648
10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton321111105250244
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves32127134651-543
14Crystal Palace3289153754-1733
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3379174258-1626
18Luton TownLuton3367204670-2425
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3237223084-5416
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