The Build Up: Luton Town vs Middlesbrough
Boro face the trip down to North London to face Luton Town, during what is a statement-making weekend as clubs fight the battle against racism.
Whilst social media accounts will fall silent in the quest to combat the battles against racism, football continues, and this weekend Neil Warnock will take his Boro side down to Kenilworth Road to take on Luton Town in the penultimate game of the season.
Last weekend saw Boro defeat Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 with Yannick Bolasie carrying his fine run of form, along with a goal for Duncan Watmore and a moment to remember for young Josh Coburn.
Fans had cried out for the young striker to feature, and after been given five minutes against Rotherham, Coburn was given 25 minutes against Sheff Wed. Fortunately, he grasped the opportunity with both hands and steered home a fine header from a Neeskans Kebano cross.
Yannick Bolasie and Neeskans Kebano continue to leave Boro fans purring, as the on-loan wingers put in fine performances week-in, week-out. Additionally, Watmore got a goal that, so often, his work-rate desires.
It’s been confirmed that both Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher will not play again for Boro. With this, the squad is likely to remain largely unchanged and we should expect to see the youngsters getting minutes from the bench once again.
Marvin Johnson is another with his contract expiring this summer, however Boro fans are familiar with Johnson being willing to put his all into performing should he be called upon. Just last season, the winger signed a waiver to allow him to play, when many others turned it down, a move which earned him an extended deal.
In recent weeks, Warnock has said that Sol Brynn will get his chance to impress before the end of the season, so Boro fans could see him in goal with Jordan Archer dropping to the bench.
Archer has come in, in place of the number one Marcus Bettinelli, in recent weeks. While the Scotsman hasn’t made all too many errors, he doesn’t install too much confidence in Boro defenders and fans alike.
Luton Town have had an impressive season under the returning Nathan Jones. It was Jones’ first full season in charged of the Hatters since departing for Stoke City in 2019. The Luton fan favourite has steered them way clear of danger, finding themselves sitting comfortably in 11th, just three points behind their visitors.
Jones’ side have won three of their last four outings, and are looking to finish the season strongly and with confidence. Goals haven’t been the Hatters’ strong suit this season and James Collins has found himself top scorer for the club, once again, with the Irishman notching 10 goals this term.
The young Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall has earned many plaudits for his performances this season. The on-loan Leicester midfielder is the club’s leading assister.
Despite being one of the league’s lowest scorers, the side knocked three past Bristol City last time out, with all three forwards getting on the scoresheet. It was Harry Cornick, who would win then the game at Ashton Gate.
10-man Boro saw off the visit of Luton in mid-December, as a sole Chuba Akpom goal granted the hosts a 1-0 win over their North London counterparts. It was a sloppy performance for Boro, who finished the game a man down after Sam Morsy handled a James Collins’ strike.
The striker would step up and finish from the spot, but the goal was chalked off after Collins was adjudged to have touched the ball twice when striking the ball – an offence Boro are all too familiar with.
The two sides have only met on 30 occasions in history, but it’s Saturday’s hosts who maintain the better record.
Boro wins: 10
Luton wins: 13