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

586 The Views

Previews Saturday’s Championship clash between Middlesbrough and Luton Town, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Separated by only three points in the Championship standings, mid-table duo Middlesbrough and Luton Town return to action on Saturday afternoon.

Having experienced an upturn in fortunes when Michael Carrick took charge shortly before the World Cup break, Boro host a side now managed by Rob Edwards for the first time.

Match preview

© Reuters

Collecting 10 points from his first five matches as Middlesbrough manager, since being appointed in October, Michael Carrick has made a positive start at the Riverside Stadium.

After Chris Wilder was sacked with the team in disarray, the North Yorkshire side have eased fears of a potential relegation battle and have pulled clear of the bottom three. Indeed, they are only the four points adrift of the playoff places.

Though such momentum may have dissipated over the four-week hiatus, Carrick has kept things ticking over by implementing his methods on the training ground with players not required in Qatar, and he oversaw a 2-0 friendly win over Hibernian late last month.

Boro had signed off for November with a dramatic 2-1 comeback to snatch maximum points against Norwich City, with Australia star Riley McGree and stoppage-time match-winner Matt Crooks scoring the vital goals at Carrow Road.

Notwithstanding their recent improvement, Middlesbrough have won just three of 10 league fixtures on home soil this term – a paltry tally for any club targeting the top six.

Henri Lansbury celebrates scoring for Luton Town on September 30, 2022© Reuters

While Saturday’s hosts have been struggling to pick up points in front of their own fans, Luton have won half their away fixtures so far, which represents the fourth-best record in the division.

That bodes well for the Bedfordshire side as they begin life under fresh management, having seen Mick Harford once more step into the breach in a caretaker capacity when Nathan Jones departed for Southampton last month.

Harford’s Hatters were held to a 1-1 home draw by Rotherham United just before the World Cup break, so re-start a promising campaign inside the top half of the table, with 30 points being enough to occupy 11th place.

For a second time in four years, Luton have lost the man who guided them to an improbable playoff berth last season – plus their highest league finish since demotion from the top flight 30 years ago – but new boss Rob Edwards has made a largely impressive start to his managerial career and arrived at Kenilworth Road with a point to prove.

The trip to Teesside represents his most immediate chance for redemption, as Edwards was jettisoned by Luton’s local rivals Watford earlier this season after gaining glowing references for leading Forest Green Rovers to unprecedented heights.

He inherits a team that has proved particularly hard to beat on the road – despite scoring just nine times in their 10 away games – and will hope to continue that trend at the Riverside.

Middlesbrough Championship form:

Middlesbrough form (all competitions):

Luton Town Championship form:


Team News

Manchester United interim manager Michael Carrick on November 28, 2021© Reuters

Given such a good start to his time in the Middlesbrough hotseat, Michael Carrick will most likely keep changes to a minimum on Saturday, despite the long spell between competitive games.

After Riley McGree played a major role in Australia’s run to the World Cup last-16, it remains to be seen whether the versatile forward will feature this weekend, but Championship Player of the Month nominee Chuba Akpom is certainly set to start.

Having provided a goal or assist in each of his five matches since Carrick took charge, the latter should support Marcus Forss up front for the hosts. Fellow forward Duncan Watmore could now return from injury, so may make an appearance from the bench.

Meanwhile, Luton recently returned from Dubai, where they travelled for some warm weather training, then hosted a behind-closed-doors game against Reading. Their forward line is likely to comprise Carlton Morris and Elijah Adebayo.

Henri Lansbury hopes to return from a hip problem, but several defenders are still missing: Dan Potts fractured his back in November, Reece Burke has been sidelined for more than two months, while captain Sonny Bradley is not due back until the new year because of a knee injury.

Middlesbrough possible starting lineup:
Steffen; Smith, Fry, Lenihan, Giles; Howson, Hackney; Jones, Akpom, McGree; Forss

Luton Town possible starting lineup:
Horvath; Bree, Lockyer, Osho; Clark, Ruddock, Campbell, Bell; Cornick; Adebayo, Morris

We say: Middlesbrough 1-1 Luton Town

As Luton have confirmed their reputation for being tough to beat – and have a new manager to impress – they can grind out a low-scoring draw at the Riverside. Against a Boro side that won three of their final four league fixtures before the Championship came to a halt, that represents a good result.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 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.Under 2.5:data

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *