Kenilworth Road will see its first top-flight game in over 31 years. Read on for our Luton Town vs West Ham United prediction and preview.
Luton Town vs West Ham United: The Quick Hits
- West Ham are favourites to seal a win according to the Opta supercomputer (41.5%), and three points would take them to the top of the Premier League table.
- Luton are still awaiting their first point as they prepare for their first home game in the top flight since 1992.
- Jarrod Bowen will emulate West Ham’s all-time top goalscorer if he finds the net on Friday.
The time will finally arrive on Friday. Luton Town will host a Premier League match at Kenilworth Road, and social media will no doubt become ablaze once again with folk talking about fans entering the ground through people’s houses.
It will be a special moment for Luton fans who have had to wait over 31 years to experience a home game in England’s top flight again, the 10th-longest gap between English top-flight games for any stadium.
Luton’s last top-flight home game came in April 1992, a 2-0 win over Aston Villa. Given the time that has passed, it doesn’t mean all that much that they are unbeaten in their last eight top-flight games at Kenilworth Road (W5 D3), though coincidentally the last team to beat them there in the top division was West Ham, 1-0 in January 1992.
Luton had to start with two away games after promotion to the Premier League, losing 4-1 against Brighton and 3-0 against Chelsea. The only team to have lost their first three matches in a top-flight season by three or more goals are West Bromwich Albion, 133 years ago (1890-91).
What is not ideal for Luton is that they will come up against one of the Premier League’s form teams. West Ham sit second in the league behind only Manchester City after picking up seven points from three games, including back-to-back 3-1 wins over Chelsea and Brighton, the two teams to have beaten Luton so far.
Should David Moyes’ side win on Friday, they will finish the day top of the Premier League table. It would be the first time West Ham have led the top flight having played at least four games since 14 October 1983 (after eight games).
Jarrod Bowen has been in fine form for the UEFA Europa Conference League holders, scoring in both his side’s Premier League away games so far this season at Bournemouth and Brighton. The last player to score in the club’s first three top-flight away games in a season was West Ham’s all-time top scorer Vic Watson in 1930-31.
Luton will again be without defensive duo Dan Potts and Jordan Clark, who both remain out with ankle injuries, though West Ham academy graduate Reece Burke returned from injury to take on Chelsea last time out and should also feature against his former club.
New signing Mohammed Kudus could make his debut for West Ham. The Ghanaian ended his time at Ajax in style with a hat-trick against Ludogorets in their UEFA Europa League qualifier last week. Kudus completed 4.6 take-ons per 90 minutes for Ajax in the Eredivisie last season, the most on record in a single campaign in the competition since this data has been available (2010-11, min. 900+ mins).
Luton Town vs West Ham United Head-to-Head
This is the first meeting in any competition between these two teams since March 1994, when Luton beat West Ham 3-2 at Kenilworth Road in an FA Cup quarter-final replay.
West Ham have not won any of their last four meetings in all competitions (D2 L2), but the last time they did come out on top was also the last time they met in the top division, winning 1-0 at Kenilworth Road in January 1992.
Rob Edwards’ side are looking for their first point since promotion to the Premier League, having lost to Brighton and Chelsea in their two games so far. In fact, Luton could suffer defeat in each of their first three matches of a league campaign for only the fifth time in their Football League history, after 1927-28, 1935-36, 1996-97, and 2002-03 (all in the third tier).
A first win of the season did arrive on Tuesday though as they beat Gillingham 3-2 in the Carabao Cup second round. Goals from Jacob Brown and Alfie Doughty gave them a 2-0 half-time lead, before Jayden Clarke pulled one back for the League Two side. Cauley Woodrow restored the two-goal cushion, though Tom Nichols scored late on to make it a nervy finish.
After drawing 1-1 at Bournemouth in their first game of the season, both of West Ham’s last two matches have seen 3-1 wins (home vs. Chelsea, away vs. Brighton). David Moyes’ men last won three consecutive league matches in January 2022, and have not scored three or more goals in three consecutive top-flight matches since August 2021 (a run of four).
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off on Friday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Luton Town vs West Ham United Prediction
The visitors are favourites for this one, but not by all that much considering their lofty place in the early Premier League table. West Ham are given a 41.5% chance of winning and reaching the summit of the top flight for Friday night at least.
Luton are given a slightly worse than one-in-three likelihood of starting their Premier League era at Kenilworth Road with a win. Many people believe it’ll be a tough place for teams to go this season, and in a night game under the lights with a surely noisy crowd behind them, the 30.7% chance attributed to them to win may seem a little harsh to some.
They lost just four of their 23 home league games in the Championship last season but drew nine, with only Sunderland (nine) drawing as many on home soil. This clash is given a 27.8% possibility of being a stalemate.