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Preview: Luton Town vs. Queens Park Rangers - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Luton Town host struggling Queens Park Rangers at fortress Kenilworth Road this Saturday aiming to rack up a seventh game unbeaten at home in the league.

While the Hatters picked up a precious win on Tuesday night, Mark Warburton's QPR eked out a valuable point away to leaders Norwich City.


Match preview

Luton Town's Glen Rea celebrates scoring against Bristol City in the Championship on December 29, 2020© Reuters

Luton's fine form on home turf served them well over the busy Christmas period, as Nathan Jones's men made it three wins from four at their famous old ground with a 2-1 win over Bristol City in midweek.

On-loan Leicester City starlet Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall scored his first goal for the club, as the Hatters ended a run of three Championship games without a win by beating Dean Holden's side.

Dewsbury-Hall has now been directly involved in Luton's last three league strikes - with one goal and two assists - and shows signs of fulfilling the promise which has seen him compared with fellow Leicester young gun Harvey Barnes.

Having also taken points off promotion-chasing Norwich City and Bournemouth in the last month, Luton will welcome Saturday's opponents with a measure of confidence to match their undoubted resolve.

Nathan Jones spoke of a pre-match meeting before the Bristol City clash in which his charges collectively agreed that bettering last term's overall points tally was essential this season.

Now on 30 points just ahead of the halfway stage, they are well-placed to better their 2019-20 total and comfortably avoid another relegation battle.

However, Luton have won just one of their last 18 league games against QPR - a 2-0 home victory as long ago as 2006.

QPR's Albert Adomah in action with Stoke City's Josh Tymon in the Championship on December 15, 2020© Reuters

QPR will be looking to build on a midweek point gained courtesy of a 1-1 draw away to league leaders Norwich City as they look to turn their fortunes around and climb the Championship table after a sluggish end to 2020.

Sitting 19th in the Championship with just four victories from 22 matches played, the Rs have failed to win in their last nine outings.

Although Rangers boss Mark Warburton was delighted with his side's draw away to the Canaries - with Bright Osayi-Samuel even missing a gilt-edged chance to sneak all three points in stoppage time - they sit uncomfortably close to the Championship drop zone as they start the new year.

Whether or not the energy expended at Carrow Road will catch up with Warburton's team in the latter stages at Luton could determine if they can make the short trip home with a morale-boosting maximum points haul.

They have won three of their last four encounters with the Hatters by the same 3-2 scoreline and would eagerly accept the same outcome again on Saturday.

Luton Town Championship form: DWLDLW

Queens Park Rangers Championship form: DLDDLD


Team News

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Luton manager Nathan Jones made six changes for the Bristol City clash, bringing back loanees Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall and Rhys Norrington-Davies, while also giving Ryan Tunnicliffe and fit-again goalkeeper Simon Sluga their first starts in over a month.

Matty Pearson and Harry Cornick were also included on the right flank and could start once again on Saturday, with Irishman Glen Rea - booked a staggering 13 times already this season - anchoring the midfield.

Winger Kazenga LuaLua returned as a substitute on Boxing Day – scoring on his return – and made another cameo from the bench last time, so could now be set to start.

Dan Potts is nearing a full return after making another substitute appearance following an ankle injury but fellow full-back James Bree is unlikely to return from a long-term knee problem in time.

QPR left-back Lee Wallace is still sidelined for the trip, having missed several games with a calf injury, with Luke Amos (knee), Charlie Owens (knee) and Osman Kakay also set to miss out for the visitors.

Bright Osayi-Samuel should continue in the starting XI after his late penalty equaliser in the 1-1 draw at Norwich, while experienced wideman Albert Adomah may earn a call-up to Mark Warburton's side at the expense of Ilias Chair.

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Sluga; Pearson, Lockyer, Bradley, Norrington-Davies; Rea; Cornick, Dewsbury-Hall, Berry, LuaLua; Collins

Queens Park Rangers possible starting lineup:
Dieng; Kane, Dickie, Barbet, Hamalainen; Adomah, Carroll, Cameron, Ball, Osayi-Samuel; Dykes


SM words green background

We say: Luton Town 2-1 Queens Park Rangers

Though neither side is particularly prolific, Luton are becoming a formidable force at home and should have the edge over a Rangers team that was fortunate to steal a point away from Carrow Road in midweek.

The Hatters are set to seal rare back-to-back wins in the Championship, with QPR's struggles dragging on into the new year.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data


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Luton Town manager Nathan Jones pictured in October 2020
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CNorwich CityNorwich462910775363997
4Swansea CitySwansea4623111256391780
5Barnsley46239145850878
6Bournemouth4622111373462777
7Reading461913146254870
8Cardiff CityCardiff4618141466491768
9Queens Park RangersQPR461911165755268
10Middlesbrough461810185553264
11Millwall461517144752-562
12Luton TownLuton461711184152-1162
13Preston North EndPreston46187214956-761
14Stoke CityStoke461515165052-260
15Blackburn RoversBlackburn4615121965541157
16Coventry CityCoventry461413194961-1255
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest461216183745-852
18Birmingham CityBirmingham461313203761-2452
19Bristol City46156254668-2251
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield461213215071-2149
21Derby CountyDerby461111243658-2244
RWycombe WanderersWycombe461110253969-3043
RRotherham UnitedRotherham46119264460-1642
RSheffield WednesdaySheff Weds461211234061-2141

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