Luton Town are yet to pick up a point in the Premier League but hope to get up and running against fellow strugglers Wolves. We look ahead to Saturday’s game at Kenilworth Road with our Luton Town vs Wolves prediction and preview.
Luton Town vs Wolves: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer makes Wolves slight favourites, having won 36.6% of simulations. Luton came out on top 33.9% of the time.
- Luton could become the sixth team in Premier League history to start a season with five straight defeats. Three of the previous five finished bottom of the table.
- Hwang Hee-chan has scored in three of Wolves’ five Premier League games this campaign, but Gary O’Neil’s team have lost every match in which the South Korean has netted.
It may be a little early for comparisons to Derby County’s class of 2007-08, but Luton Town are already in need of points to demonstrate their Premier League credentials. With fellow strugglers Wolves visiting Kenilworth Road, could Saturday be the day Luton get off the mark?
Luton suffered their fourth defeat in as many Premier League games at Fulham last week, and Burnley’s draw with Nottingham Forest means they are now the only side without a point. Rob Edwards’ side have struggled at both ends; they are the league’s joint-lowest scorers with two goals (alongside Everton), while only Burnley (12) and Wolves (11) have conceded more than their 10.
Luton could become the sixth team in Premier League history to start a season with five successive defeats. Edwards might take some optimism from the fact that two of the previous five – Southampton (1999-00) and Crystal Palace (2017-18) – stayed up, though the other three – Sunderland (2005-06), Portsmouth (2009-10) and Norwich City (2021-22) – all finished bottom.
They could have Ross Barkley back in their starting line-up after a hamstring injury sidelined him last week, while former Manchester United defender Teden Mengi is pushing for a first start.
Striker Carlton Morris has not scored since Matchday 1 and might benefit from a return for Ryan Giles, who was benched at Fulham. Only Lucas Digne (32) and Pedro Neto (25) have attempted more open-play crosses than Giles’ 19 in the Premier League this season.
Wolves travel to Kenilworth Road with just three points from five matches, having squandered a 1-0 lead in last Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool. This is the third time they have started a Premier League season with four losses from their first five games, though they finished 10th when they last did so, under Bruno Lage in 2021-22.
Despite Wolves’ second-half collapse, there were positives for Gary O’Neil to take from their latest defeat, with new arrival Jean-Ricner Bellegarde, João Gomes and Neto all impressing.
Neto created a team-high four chances against Liverpool, and while Wolves remain wasteful in the final third, the winger leads the Premier League charts for assists (four) and chances created (17).
Hwang Hee-chan was on target for the third time this season against Liverpool, also scoring against Brighton and Crystal Palace. Wolves, however, lost all three of those matches. Only Nicolas Anelka for Bolton Wanderers (2007-08) and Michail Antonio for West Ham (2016-17) had previously scored in, but lost, three of their teams’ first five games of a Premier League season.
O’Neil could freshen up his attack with Sasa Kalajdzic and Fábio Silva competing to start. The latter is without a goal in his last 31 Premier League appearances since scoring in a 1-1 derby draw with West Bromwich Albion in May 2021.
Luton Town vs Wolves Head-to-Head
This will be the teams’ first top-flight meeting since 1983-84, when Luton completed a league double with a 4-0 home victory and a 2-1 away win. Wolves finished bottom that campaign, while Luton stayed up.
However, Wolves are unbeaten in their last seven league games against Saturday’s opponents, winning four and drawing three.
Wolves triumphed 3-2 at Kenilworth Road in the teams’ last Championship meeting in March 2007, with now-Luton boss Edwards starting for the visitors.
Their most recent competitive meeting, however, came in January 2013 as Luton – then a fifth-tier club – beat their Championship opponents 1-0 in an FA Cup third-round tie.
Luton are just the second side to lose their first four games as a Premier League club, alongside Swindon Town in 1993. Swindon drew with Norwich in their fifth match.
This is the third time they’ve started a league campaign in England’s top four tiers with four successive defeats, also doing so in 1927-28 and 2002-03. In both previous instances, they avoided defeat in their fifth game.
They will take heart from Wolves’ away record. Although Wolves’ only league win this season came at Everton, they have won just four of their last 29 Premier League games on the road (six draws, 19 defeats).
Visiting boss O’Neil has lost eight of his last nine Premier League games across spells with Bournemouth and Wolves, having won seven of his previous 12. None of his last 21 top-flight games have finished level (eight wins, 13 defeats).
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 this weekend, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides:
Luton Town vs Wolves Prediction
The Opta supercomputer suggests this match is tough to call. It simulated this game 10,000 times, and Wolves were victorious 36.6% of the time.
That does mean Luton are given a 63.4% chance of taking something from the game. The likelihood of a home win is rated at 33.9%, with the draw a 29.5% chance.
As for their broader outlooks over the whole campaign, Luton already have a lot of work to do.
Across 10,000 season simulations ahead of kick-off, Luton were relegated in 72.4% of scenarios, finishing bottom in over a third (33.8%). Wolves, meanwhile, are given a 16% chance of relegation.