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

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

Middlesbrough will host Luton Town on Wednesday night as they look to secure their fourth straight win at the Riverside, scoring eight and conceding only one in their last three.

Millwall were the most recent team to leave the Boro empty-handed, losing 3-0 on Saturday, while Luton were able to overcome a Preston North End side by the same scoreline.


Match preview

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock pictured on November 7, 2020© Reuters

Boro found themselves three goals to the good inside 20 minutes on Saturday after another brace from Duncan Watmore and a smart finish from Marcus Tavernier all but settled the result barely a quarter of the way through the game.

Neil Warnock has since voiced his hopes that Watmore will extend his deal with the Boro, having boosted their goalscoring prowess - something that has been much-needed in recent seasons.

Warnock will hope that he won't have to fight off any competition for the ex-Sunderland man's signature, with a crucial period for recruitment coming in January.

The last meeting between these sides ended in a 1-0 win for the Hatters, but Boro have not lost consecutive league matches against Luton since a run of five in a row between 1961 and 1970, and they will be hoping to come out on top come Wednesday.

Warnock has never lost a league match against Luton since his first season in the Football League in 1987-88, and has only faced Rotherham United more often without losing than he has against the Hatters in his managerial career.

Luton Town manager Nathan Jones pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Luton Town and Nathan Jones will head for the Riverside buzzing off the back of an impressive victory on a landmark day for the Hatters

Jones took charge of the Hatters for the 200th time at the weekend, and the 3-0 hammering of Preston brought up his 100th win, with the buoyant boss claiming it as his best.

The Lilywhites were on a high after their midweek victory over Boro but were outplayed by Luton, a side just a point and two places behind Boro in the Championship table and enjoying an impressive season.

Luton are currently the lowest scorers in the top half of the division, and have scored just three goals in their last eight away league matches, suggesting they could face a tall order against the Championship's third-best defence in Boro.

Middlesbrough Championship form: WLWLLW

Luton Town Championship form: DLWLDW


Team News

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock pictured on November 3, 2020© Reuters

Warnock could again be without Marcus Browne, who has been struggling for minutes in recent weeks, due to injuries, while Grant Hall is a long-term absentee.

Britt Assombalonga could be recalled to the starting lineup at the expense of Chuba Akpom. Watmore could be handed a rest, with either Patrick Roberts or Hayden Coulson vying for a starting berth.

Jones's squad could be bolstered by the return of Croatia international Simon Sluga, who is now back in full training.

The match is likely to come too quickly for striker Danny Hylton, though, who hasn't featured since the defeat against Brentford in October.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Bettinelli; Dijksteel, Fry, McNair, Bola; Howson, Saville, Morsy, Johnson, Watmore; Assombalonga

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Shea; Bree, Pearson, Bradley, Lockyer, Norrington-Davies; Morrell, Dewsbury-Hall, Mpanzu; Collins, Lee


SM words green background

We say: Middlesbrough 2-0 Luton Town

Boro have begun to find real momentum at home, winning two of their last three home matches 3-0. Though Luton have been in good form too, we expect Boro to have too much for their mid-table rivals.


Top betting 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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Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock pictured on November 7, 2020
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