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Jul 1, 2022 at 7pm UK at Top Field

0-3

FT(HT: 0-2)
Potts (26'), Jerome (39'), Woodrow (53')

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

Sports Mole previews Friday's friendly fixture between Hitchin Town and Luton Town, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Luton Town get the pre-season campaign underway on Friday evening as they go up against non-league outfit Hitchin Town.

The Hatters will be playing their first fixture since losing out to Huddersfield Town in the semi-finals of the Championship playoffs in May.


Match preview

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones on February 1, 2022© Reuters

Throughout the second half of last season, Luton were riding somewhat of a crest of a wave, challenging for promotion to the Premier League against the odds.

However, after their bid to win the playoffs ended in failure, Nathan Jones now has the difficult task of trying to lift a squad which which came so close to achieving an historic moment.

Jones and the Hatters only have to look at Barnsley to understand how the following season after such a near miss can be a struggle, but the Welsh boss will be satisfied with his business in the transfer market so far.

The most notable name to arrive at Kenilworth Road is Cauley Woodrow, the experienced EFL forward returning to a club where he spent time as a youngster.

Alfie Doughty has the potential to be a shrewd signing on the left-hand side of the pitch, while goalkeeper Matt Macey - another former player - will challenge for the senior role between the sticks.

The departures of club legend Danny Hylton and defender Kai Naismith will hit the squad in the short term, but Jones may feel that a high turnover of players could be what is required to keep Luton competing at the right end of the table.

Luton are no strangers to play friendlies at the home of Hitchin with a 7-0 triumph being posted in the corresponding game 12 months ago.

Hitchin spent 2021-22 in the Southern League Premier Division, only retaining their spot at that level of non-league with victory on the final day of the season.

Former Republic of Ireland international Stephen Gleeson is their most notable player, the midfielder re-signing for the club last week.


Team News

Barnsley's Cauley Woodrow celebrates scoring their first goal on September 15, 2021© Reuters

Jones is expected to give all of his available squad members an opportunity to build their fitness ahead of a training camp in Slovenia.

Macey, Doughty and Woodrow will all hope to feature at some stage, particularly the latter after being hindered by a knee injury at times last season.

A number of youngsters may also participate at the home ground of the club's development fixtures.

With this game representing the highlight of their pre-season schedule, Hitchin will be playing in front of a crowd in excess of 1,500.

Despite the desire to compete with their higher-profile opponents, Mark Burke may opt to find a balance with lineups in either half which are expected to be much changed.


SM words green background

We say: Hitchin Town 0-3 Luton Town

With the bulk of their pre-season training work taking place after this contest, Luton are unlikely to go out all guns blazing against their non-league opponents. Nevertheless, they should have far too much quality in all areas of the pitch, leading us to predict a routine win.


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General view of Luton Town's Kenilworth Road from August 2014
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