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Premier League | Gameweek 29
Mar 16, 2024 at 3pm UK
Kenilworth Road Stadium
NF

Luton
1 - 1
Nott'm Forest

Berry (89')
Kabore (30')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Wood (34')
Toffolo (84'), Sels (90')

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

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

Dumbstruck and despondent following the unforgettable events of Wednesday night, Luton Town return to Kenilworth Road on Saturday, hosting Nottingham Forest in a pivotal Premier League relegation scrap.

Rob Edwards's charges blew a 3-0 lead in an astounding 4-3 loss to Bournemouth in midweek, while Nuno Espirito Santo's side are also reeling from a one-goal defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion.


Match preview

Three months on from Tom Lockyer's traumatic cardiac arrest on the field - leading to the postponement of Bournemouth's clash with Luton Town at the Vitality Stadium - the two clubs renewed acquaintances on Wednesday evening in front of the recovering Hatters captain, whose presence was warmly received by both sets of fans.

Lockyer witnessed a scarcely believable first-half performance from his side, who went into the break three goals to the good thanks to Ross Barkley, Chiedozie Ogbene and Tahith Chong, but Rob Edwards's men would subsequently become the victims of a type of Premier League comeback not seen in 20 years.

Dominic Solanke's strike, Ilya Zabarnyi's header and Antoine Semenyo's brace saw Bournemouth become just the fifth team in the history of the competition to win a game after falling three goals down, and as much as the Cherries' incredible turnaround warranted the plaudits, Luton's catastrophic collapse was as much to blame.

Defeat at the Vitality crucially meant that the Hatters wasted their opportunity to climb out of the relegation zone with their game in hand, but with a three-point gap to make up to upcoming foes Forest, they have been gifted a second bite at the safety cherry and will rise to 17th with a win by any margin this weekend.

However, after ending January with a trio of successive victories, Luton are now winless in eight straight fixtures - conceding at least three goals in six of those contests - although their 16-game scoring run in the top flight is the best for a newly-promoted side since the Newcastle United crop of 1993-94 registered in 20 matches in a row.

While putting the ball in the back of the net is seldom an issue for Edwards's troops, Nottingham Forest failed to fire for the second top-flight game running - and third in all tournaments - at the Amex Stadium, where there were shades of their crushing and controversial 1-0 loss to Liverpool in an identical defeat.

Andrew Omobamidele's own goal settled the match in the Seagulls' favour, although Santo was left seething after Jakub Moder escaped a red card for an ugly tackle on Neco Williams, and the ex-Tottenham Hotspur boss felt that his side's performance warranted more than a defeat.

However, the Tricky Trees once again found it tricky to find a killer instinct in front of goal, and as well as running the risk of going three Premier League games without scoring for the first time since 1999, Santo's side will end the weekend in the relegation zone if they lose at Kenilworth Road.

Forest's declining form can be partially attributed to an anxious wait over a potential points deduction, but the visitors have done themselves no favours against newly-promoted sides either, only winning one of their last 18 such games in the Premier League and drawing eight of their most recent nine on the road.

Furthermore, not since October 7 have the Garibaldi kept a clean sheet away from home in the top flight - conceding in their last nine on rival turf - and a 2-2 draw with Luton at the City Ground in October extended their winless run against the Hatters to five matches.

Luton Town Premier League form:


Luton Town form (all competitions):


Nottingham Forest Premier League form:


Nottingham Forest form (all competitions):


Team News

Amid all the goalmouth chaos in the second half of Wednesday's seven-goal spectacular, deadlock-breaker Chong came off with an arm injury, but he has been passed fit here; Andros Townsend and Cauley Woodrow should therefore stand down.

However, there are still 10 absentees for the decimated Hatters, who are guaranteed to be missing Joe Johnson (glandular fever), Gabriel Osho (knee), Mads Andersen (calf), Jacob Brown (knee), Albert Sambi Lokonga (thigh), Elijah Adebayo (thigh), Dan Potts (thigh), Marvelous Nakamba (knee), Amari'i Bell (thigh) and Lockyer.

With so few senior options for change, most of Edwards's starters from Wednesday night should reprise their roles at Kenilworth Road, but Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu might be preferred as a makeshift defender to Daiki Hashioka, who was given a rough ride by Semenyo in midweek.

In contrast, Nottingham Forest only have a quartet of stricken players taking up beds in the infirmary, two of whom - Giovanni Reyna and Ola Aina - are believed to be on the cusp of comebacks.

However, Gonzalo Montiel (muscle) and Arsenal loanee Nuno Tavares (unspecified) are not expected to make the cut, but Santo should not shy away from making a handful of alterations in the final third.

All of Taiwo Awoniyi, Anthony Elanga and Callum Hudson-Odoi were benched for the trip to the Amex, but at least two of the trio should now be in consideration to take the places of Chris Wood and Divock Origi after another toothless attacking display.


Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Kaminski; Mpanzu, Mengi, Burke; Kabore, Barkley, Clark, Doughty; Chong, Ogbene; Morris

Nottingham Forest possible starting lineup:
Sels; Williams, Omobamidele, Murillo, Toffolo; Dominguez, Yates; Elanga, Gibbs-White, Hudson-Odoi; Awoniyi


We say: Luton Town 2-2 Nottingham Forest

As poor as Forest have been in the attacking third recently, the fresh legs of Awoniyi, Elanga and Hudson-Odoi should be backed to trouble a leaky Luton backline, especially one working with minimal rest after Wednesday's extraordinary affair.

Edwards's men - for all of their defensive concerns - can always be relied upon to breach the opposition's backline themselves, but with injuries and fatigue catching up to them, a draw may be the best that the Hatters can hope for as Forest keep their heads above water heading into the international break.


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


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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
2Arsenal38285591296289
3Liverpool382410486414582
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
6Chelsea381891177631463
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
12Bournemouth38139165467-1348
13Fulham38138175561-647
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
15Everton38139164051-1140
16Brentford38109195665-939
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RBurnley3859244178-3724
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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