MX23RW : Sunday, May 16 01:15:40| >> :600:639170:639170:
Apr 17, 2021 at 12.30pm UK at Kenilworth Road Stadium
LutonLuton Town
1-0
WatfordWatford
Collins (78' pen.)
Bradley (28'), Berry (80')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Femenia (72'), Troost-Ekong (75'), Sierralta (76')
Femenia (88')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Championship clash between Luton Town and Watford, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Watford can move a step closer to securing an instant return to the Premier League when they travel to local rivals Luton Town on Saturday afternoon.

The Hornets have won seven of their last eight games to open up a seven-point gap on third place, while Luton are 13th after returning to winning ways last time out.


Match preview

Watford's Ismaila Sarr celebrates scoring their second goal against Reading in the Championship on April 9, 2021© Reuters

Promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking was the aim for Watford this term and, with just five games left to navigate, they are on course to achieving that.

However, with games against Norwich City, Brentford and Swansea City still to play, any sort of slip-up this weekend could open the door for one of Brentford or Swansea to pounce.

Xisco's side have not really showed any signs of collapsing, though, with a recent 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough the only time they have dropped points since February 27.

Indeed, going further back, the Hornets have won 11 of their last 13 games and are the most in-form side in the second tier, followed by league leaders Norwich.

Xisco has challenged his players to make up the eight-point gap on Norwich, but nailing down second place is the main priority right now.

Luton will attempt to make life as difficult as possible for their high-flying opponents as they look to make it back-to-back wins, having defeated Wycombe Wanderers 3-1 last week.

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones pictured in December 2020© Reuters

This game will have an extra edge to it, too, given that these sides do not like each other - a rivalry that is said to date back to their formations in the late 19th century.

It is not just bragging rights on the line, of course, with Luton after the three points that may lift them above Stoke City into the top half of the division.

Four of Town's remaining five games are at home, but they have a very mixed record at Kenilworth Road this season, winning seven, drawing six and losing six.

That gives Nathan Jones's side a return of 27 points from 19 home matches, compared to 29 points from 20 away games for Watford.

This will be the first league meeting between Luton and Watford at Kenilworth Road since January 2006 - a 2-1 win for the Hornets in the Championship.

The Hatters have not beaten Watford at home in the league since August 1993, and they were defeated 1-0 at Vicarage Road in September's reverse fixture.

Luton Town Championship form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Watford Championship form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W



Team News

Watford's Nathaniel Chalobah celebrates scoring their second goal on January 4, 2020© Reuters

It took a quartet of substitutions before Luton got going against Wycombe, with George Moncur scoring from the bench to put himself in contention for a starting spot here.

Moncur also assisted a goal for Kazenga LuaLua, who is pushing for a rare inclusion in the starting XI this weekend.

Eunan O'Kane and Tom Lockyer are the home side's only known injury absentees for the visit of Watford.

The Hornets remain without skipper Troy Deeney and Tom Dele-Bashiru through injury, while a trio of other players are set to undergo late fitness tests.

Nathaniel Chalobah and William Troost-Ekong sustained knocks in the win over Reading and are touch-and-go for this game.

Midfielder Tom Cleverley is less likely to feature after suffering a couple of setbacks on his return from injury.

One man who is fit and firing is Ismaila Sarr, who has been directly involved in more Championship goals this season than any other Watford player (16 – 12 goals, four assists).

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Sluga; Clark, Pearson, Bradley, Naismith; Tunnicliffe, Mpanzu, Clark; Cornick, Adebayo, LuaLua

Watford possible starting lineup:
Bachmann; Femenia, Troost-Ekong, Sierralta, Masina; Sanchez, Hughes, Zinckernagel; Sarr, Pedro, Sema


SM words green background

We say: Luton Town 1-2 Watford

Second-placed Watford may have a healthy gap on the chasing pack, but they have a tough run of fixtures to see out the campaign.

A trip to rivals Luton will be far from straightforward, but the Hatters' home form is not the best and we can see Xisco's men getting the job done here.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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How you voted: Luton vs Watford

Luton Town
13.4%
Draw
16.4%
Watford
70.1%
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Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth pictured in February 2021
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Tables
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8Cardiff CityCardiff4518131465481767
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10Middlesbrough451810175550564
11Millwall451517134646062
12Luton TownLuton451711174049-962
13Preston North EndPreston45177214755-858
14Stoke CityStoke451415164852-457
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn451412196052854
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest451216173643-752
17Coventry CityCoventry451313194360-1752
18Birmingham CityBirmingham451313193556-2152
19Bristol City45156244565-2051
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield451212214869-2148
21Derby CountyDerby451110243355-2243
22Rotherham UnitedRotherham45118264359-1641
23Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds451210233758-2140
24Wycombe WanderersWycombe451010253669-3340

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