Luton Town vs Chelsea

Saturday’s Premier League action gets underway at Kenilworth Road as 18th-placed Luton Town and mid-table Chelsea lock horns in their final 2023 fixture.

Luton paid a fitting tribute to convalescing captain Tom Lockyer, who collapsed on the pitch during a 1-1 draw at Bournemouth a fortnight ago, by posting back-to-back wins for the first time upon their Premier League return. After squeezing past injury-hit Newcastle United 1-0 in their last home outing, the ‘Hatters’ had to thank Sheffield United’s pair of own goals from coming from behind to beat the ‘Blades’ 3-2 on Boxing Day. Luton’s mini-revival has brought them on the cusp of safety, with only one point separating them from 17th-placed Everton at the start of this round. Despite losing twice in their last three home league matches (W1), Luton showed their teeth in both losses against title-bidding duo Arsenal and Manchester City.

Luton’s form resurgence won’t intimidate Chelsea, who eked out a precious 2-1 home win against Crystal Palace in midweek, courtesy of Noni Madueke’s 90th-minute penalty. But consistency hasn’t been the visitors’ strong suit by any stretch of the imagination, with their last four league games fluctuating between victories (2) and defeats (2). That sums up Chelsea’s gut-wrenching position in the standings (10th). Yet Mauricio Pochettino’s men are still within striking distance of the European spots, trailing 7th-placed Manchester United by six points. Keen to close out 2023 on a positive note, they head into proceedings looking to end a four-game losing away league streak, their first top-flight run on the road since 2000!

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