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

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Championship clash between Leeds United and Luton Town, including team news and predicted lineups.

Two sides in desperate need of all the points that they can accumulate will lock horns in the Championship on Tuesday as Leeds United welcome Luton Town to Elland Road.

Leeds are currently three points clear atop the rankings after 39 matches, whereas Luton are embroiled in a relegation dogfight with seven games remaining.

Match preview

Leeds United's Ezgjan Alioski celebrates scoring against Fulham on June 27, 2020© Reuters

Leeds took another giant stride towards the Championship title as they moved back to the top of the table following a dominant display against promotion-chasing Fulham at the weekend.

Goals from Patrick Bamford, Ezgjan Alioski and Jack Harrison set the Whites on their way to a 3-0 victory on home soil, and Marcelo Bielsa's side are now three points clear of second-placed West Bromwich Albion following their slip-up against Brentford.

Leeds managed to recover from their dismal 2-0 defeat against Cardiff City in impressive fashion against Scott Parker's men – although Bielsa himself admitted that his team were riding their luck in the opening exchanges at Elland Road.

Nevertheless, six wins and six clean sheets from their last seven Championship outings means that the Whites are firmly on course for a return to the big time with seven games remaining.

Leeds will now be aiming to win their fifth league game on the bounce on familiar territory, and they can temporarily extend their lead over West Brom to six points with a victory before the Baggies face off against Sheffield Wednesday a day later.

Luton manager Nathan Jones pictured on June 27, 2020© Reuters

Meanwhile, Luton kept their slim hopes of Championship survival alive as James Collins' second-half header was enough to see off playoff hopefuls Swansea City on Saturday.

Despite Luton's impressive victory in South Wales, Nathan Jones's men still occupy a spot in the bottom three with 39 points to show from as many matches - although they are only three points adrift of Huddersfield Town and Hull City who both failed to pick up wins last time out.

Nevertheless, the Hatters are one of only two sides in the second tier to have not suffered defeat in their last five games – the other being Wigan Athletic – but Luton are now facing a mammoth task against the Championship leaders as they look to avoid an immediate return to League One.

However, the weekend victory at the Liberty Stadium means that Luton have lost just one of their last four away matches in the Championship – despite enduring an 11-game losing streak on their travels from October to February.

Leeds took the spoils when the sides last locked horns in November, but the Whites had a late Matty Pearson own goal to thank for their 2-1 victory at Kenilworth Road.

Leeds United Championship form: WWWWLW

Luton Town Championship form: LWDDDW

Team News

Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Illan Meslier will continue to deputise between the sticks for Leeds in the absence of the suspended Kiko Casilla, while Adam Forshaw is not expected to play a part before the season is over.

Pablo Hernandez made his return to action off the bench against Fulham and is in line for a start, and Barry Douglas also made his first appearance since January last time out.

Bielsa hauled Bamford and Helder Costa off at half time on Saturday, but both players should keep their spots in the starting lineup for Tuesday's fixture.

With regards to Luton, Eunan O'Kane will not be available for the remainder of the campaign with a broken leg, and Brendan Galloway is not expected to feature either.

Chelsea loanee Isaiah Brown provided the assist for Collins's winner against Swansea, and that contribution may be enough for the 23-year-old to earn a spot in the starting lineup for the trip to Elland Road.

Leeds United possible starting lineup:
Meslier; Ayling, Cooper, White, Dallas; Phillips; Costa, Hernandez, Klich, Harrison; Bamford

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Sluga; Pearson, Carter-Vickers, Bradley, Potts; Rea, Mpanzu, Tunnicliffe; Brown; Cornick, Collins

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We say: Leeds United 4-0 Luton Town

Luton will certainly feel that they are capable of causing this Leeds side a few problems in midweek, but the only way is up for Bielsa's men at the moment and we expect the Championship leaders to record a straightforward victory over the Hatters on Tuesday.

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Leeds United's Ezgjan Alioski celebrates scoring against Fulham on June 27, 2020
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