Luton Town vs Nottingham Forest: Preview and Prediction

Saturday will witness a relegation scrap between Luton Town and Nottingham Forest, as the Hatters can get out of the bottom three with a win.

Luton Town and Bournemouth played out an unbelievable game on Wednesday evening, which was the re-scheduled fixture. The earlier one saw Hatters captain Tom Lockyer collapse on the field with a cardiac arrest, and he was present at the stadium to witness an absolute classic. Luton Town next face Nottingham Forest at Kenilworth Road.

Rob Edwards’s men went 3-0 ahead at half time and one might have expected them to get the three points in what would have been a fitting tribute to their skipper. Bournemouth had other plans as the Cherries staged a monumental comeback and finished the game as 4-3 winners.

Not only did the clash expose Luton’s frail defence, but it must have been a blow to Rob Edwards and his plans to save his team from relegation. The Hatters are by far the only team in the bottom three to have a realistic chance to fight for survival, and Saturday’s clash with Nottingham Forest could be a major opportunity for them, as a win would surely take them above their rivals on goal difference.

Nottingham Forest are really struggling for relevance at the moment, as Nuno Espirito Santo has been unable to find a clear path to steer the team away from the danger zone. Since their victory over West Ham United, Forest have lost each of their last three league clashes and four in all competitions.

They have, in fact, lost all three in all competitions with a 1-0 scoreline, including elimination from the FA Cup at the hands of Manchester United. Espirito Santo may see the fixture list ahead between now and the end of the campaign and feel like he can steer the team away from the relegation zone.

On Saturday, they face Luton in a pivotal clash that could come to redefine their form and mood for the remainder of the campaign. A loss would send them into the relegation zone on goal difference, although the Forest boss will demand a win that would see them steer clear from Luton with a six-point advantage.

Team News & Tactics

Luton Town

Despite some promising performances in the background, Luton Town continue to miss a host of players and have a long injury list to contend with. As many as nine players are missing from action ahead of the Frest game, in addition to skipper Lockyer.

Recently, they lost key defender Gabriel Osho, although Rob Edwards will still have a good enough group of personnel to pick from as of Saturday.

Reece Burke, Teden Mengi and Daiki Hashioka are all primed to take their places in the back three, with Jordan Clark and Ross Barkley set to hold on to their central midfield berths.

On the wide areas, Issa Kabore and Alfie Doughty will keep their spots, while Tahith Chong will support Chiedozie Ogbene in the more attacking areas of the midfield. Carlton Morris will continue to lead the line for Luton Town against Nottingham Forest in the absence of Elijah Adebayo.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Kaminski; Burke, Mengi, Hashioka; Kabore, Clark, Barkley, Doughty; Ogbene, Chong; Morris

Nottingham Forest

Unlike Luton Town, Nottingham Forest will have a good enough squad of players fit and ready to get selected should Nuno Espirito Santo feel so. Only left-back Nuno Tavares remains a confirmed absentee, although there are doubts about the participation of Gonzalo Montiel, Ola Aina, and Giovanni Reyna.

Neco Williams will start at right-back, while Andrew Omobamidele and Murillo will form the central defensive partnership for Forest. Harry Toffolo will continue at left-back, while January arrival Matz Sels will keep his place between the sticks to complete the backline.

Ryan Yates and Nicolas Dominguez are best placed for the central midfield berths, with Nuno Espirito Santo seemingly going with a 4-2-3-1 shape or his variation of the formation. He has since tried to move Brazilian Danilo into a more advanced role alongside his wide attackers.

Anthony Elanga will hold his own from the right-hand side, while Morgan Gibbs-White continues to adjust himself to play off the left wing. Chris Wood might get the nod to lead the line instead of Taiwo Awoniyi.

Probable lineup (4-2-3-1): Sels; Williams, Omobamidele, Murillo, Toffolo; Yates, Dominguez; Elanga, Danilo, Gibbs-White; Wood

Key Stats

  • There have been over 2.5 goals scored in seven of Luton’s last eigjt games in the Premier League.
  • Luton have lost five of their last six matches in the Premier League.
  • A win for Luton will take them above Nottingham Forest on goal difference and out of the relegation zone.
  • Luton boasts the third-worst home record in the division, while Forest has the third-worst away record.
  • Nottingham Forest have lost their last three matches in the Premier League.

Player to Watch

Morgan Gibbs-White

Embed from Getty Images

The English attacking midfielder has not been at his best. But surely, many of the Nottingham Forest supporters will rely on the U-21 international to bail them out this season. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are failing to create well, especially in the attacking third, and keeping that in mind, the manager has somewhat changed his star player’s position.

Now likely to come in from the left, Gibbs-White must adjust to new surroundings fast and help Forest post some positive results on board. He will have to play a big role on Saturday when they travel to Luton Town, as a good performance here would help steer his side some six points away from their opponents and the relegation zone.


Luton Town 2-2 Nottingham Forest

Luton Town have shown they are fine in the attack, as they have scored plenty of goals this season, especially at home. However, their defence, with a host of missing stars in this crucial period, continues to hurt their chances as they keep shipping unwanted goals.

Rob Edwards would want a massive change in performances at the back after their midfield disaster, as Nottingham Forest will have watched that display with intent. Nuno Espirito Santo will know the pressure of winning this game, although going by both the team’s performances recently, it is safe to assume this game ends in an eventful draw.

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