Luton Town F.C. vs Aston Villa– Pre-game Assessment

Saturday, March 2nd, 17:30 – Kenilworth Road

Referee: Michael Oliver

It does not seem that long ago that pundits were suggesting that our Villans’ failure to win away from Villa Park was the team’s Achilles heel.  Of course, winning 15 consecutive games at home was a standard that made everything else appear puny. 

When those same pundits saw as stumble at home coincidental with us suffering injuries to key players, they foresaw a slide down the table.  What they did not take into account was Unai Emery’s experience, foresight, and ability to overcome obstacles.  Few expected the acquisition of Lenglet to be so pivotal or that Bailey would flourish to be a leading factor in the Premier League race to the top (it was his brilliant goal that saw us beat Man City 1-0).

So, now we find ourselves in a comfortable 4th spot, a little behind the elite top three (Liverpool, Manchester City, and Arsenal) and five points ahead of Spurs and eight ahead of Manchester United.  Meanwhile, we have two games with Ajax upcoming and success there will set us on the way in the Europa Conference League.

As for our injury status, we have Torres and Digne back from their injuries and Konsa in-training, and we are able to put out the starting eleven who won at Fulham and dominated Nottingham Forest in the first half at home.  Reassuringly, when the very influential Torres was held back from playing the second half against Forest, the very experienced Chambers, who Emery knew from Arsenal, was a more than adequate substitute.

As for Luton, they have a number of players unavailable with none more crucial than Elijah Adebayo.  Carlton Morris is an adequate replacement but, I expect, Luton will need more to hold our Villans who have not lost away since being beaten by Man U. on Boxing Day at Old Trafford.

Certainly, Ross Barkley will show well against his old teammates, but it appears inevitable that the Claret and Blues will extend their away winning streak to three games.

Result Prediction:

Prediction:  Luton Town 1, Aston Villa 3

Predicted Villa Line-Up:

I anticipate that Emery will select the same eleven who started against Nottingham Forest and Fulham.

Aston Villa: (4, 3, 2, 1) Martínez, Cash, Lenglet, Torres, Moreno, McGinn, Luiz, Tielemans, Bailey, Ramsey, Watkins.

Subs: Marschall, Diaby, Chambers, Iroegbunam, Rogers, Kellyman

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