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

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

Watford will be looking to bounce back from their midweek cup disappointment when they take on a Luton Town side boasting a perfect start to the Championship season.

The Hatters have won two games from two and are third in the table on goal difference, two points better off than opponents Watford after a mixed start for Vladimir Ivic.


Match preview

Luton Town duo Jordan Clark and James Collins celebrate on September 5, 2020© Reuters

Luton may have fallen to a 3-0 loss to Manchester United in round three of the EFL Cup on Tuesday, but Nathan Jones will be delighted with his side's start to the season.

After claiming a 1-0 win away at Barnsley on the opening day, Town followed that up with a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Derby County last time out.

Jordan Clark scored three minutes from time for Jones's men after Jack Marriott had cancelled out Luke Berry's opener at Kenilworth Road.

Luton have very much picked up from where they left off flast season when dodging relegation by three points, with Jones leading the club to 22 points from 11 games.

To put that into some context, only Brentford (24 points) have fared better than the Hatters since Jones returned in June.

This is certainly not a gimme for Watford, then, especially on the back of their 3-1 EFL Cup loss to League Two opposition Newport County in midweek.

Craig Cathcart celebrates scoring for Watford on September 11, 2020© Reuters

The Hornets' first season in the second tier since 2015 has started well enough, following up a narrow 1-0 win over Middlesbrough with a stalemate at Sheffield Wednesday.

Owls keeper Cameron Dawson made a couple of good saves to deny Stipe Perica and Tom Cleverley, but overall a point apiece was the correct outcome.

Watford are now looking to keep a clean sheet in their first three league games of a season for the first time since 1988-89.

That was five seasons before the Hatters' most recent victory in this fixture, having gone nine league games without a win against Watford.

However, this will be the first league meeting between Watford and Luton since April 2006, with that one ending in a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road.

Watford Championship form: WD
Watford form (all competitions): WWDL

Luton Town Championship form: WW
Luton Town form (all competitions): WWWWL


Team News

Watford captain Troy Deeney reacts as his side are relegated on July 26, 2020© Reuters

Watford confirmed this week that Ismaila Sarr and captain Troy Deeney, who have both been linked with a move away, are both available for selection for the first time this season.

Gerard Deulofeu and Danny Welbeck, two more who looked destined to leave Vicarage Road this window, are nursing injuries and will not be involved.

Roberto Pereyra and Etienne Capoue have asked to leave and are not part of Ivic's plans for the visit of Luton.

The visitors made nine changes for their midweek cup tie with Man Utd, with Sonny Bradley and Rhys Norrington-Davies the only two players to keep their places in the side.

Tom Lockyer made his first start for the club after joining from Charlton Athletic and Clark started after netting the winner versus Derby last week.

Jones therefore has a couple of big selection calls to make, but he will likely revert back to something close to the XI that started last weekend.

Watford possible starting lineup:
Foster; Ngakia, Cathcart, Kabasele, Wilmot, Sema; Quina, Cleverley, Chalobah, Pedro; Murray

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Sluga; Cranie, Pearson, Bradley, Norrington-Davies; Berry, Ruddock, Rae; Cornick, Collins, Lee


SM words green background

We say: Watford 2-0 Luton Town

Luton may have collected more points than Watford in their opening two fixtures, but the Hornets boast one of the finest squads in the division - even more so now that Sarr and Deeney are back - and should have enough quality to end their opponents' winning start.


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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea129213042629
2Liverpool1384139112828
3Manchester CityMan City128222561926
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham127232314923
5Arsenal137241517-223
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves136251212020
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs126151117-619
8Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton134631214-218
9Manchester UnitedMan Utd125252021-117
10Crystal Palace133731919016
11Aston Villa135171821-316
12Everton124351619-315
13Leicester CityLeicester124351621-515
14Southampton133551118-714
15Brentford123451617-113
16Watford124171620-413
17Leeds UnitedLeeds132651220-812
18Burnley121651420-69
19Norwich CityNorwich13238727-209
20Newcastle UnitedNewcastle130671529-146

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