We look ahead to Saturday’s Premier League fixture at Kenilworth Road with our Luton vs Crystal Palace prediction and preview. Can the Hatters kick on after Everton’s 10-point deduction moved them out of the relegation zone?
Luton vs Crystal Palace Stats: The Quick Hits
- Crystal Palace are narrow favourites for an away win on Matchday 13. The Opta supercomputer predicts they have a 36.8% chance of overcoming Luton Town (33.2%).
- Luton have lost five Premier League games by a one-goal margin this season, the joint-most of any team (also Sheffield United). Three of Palace’s four victories have been by one goal.
- Luton’s Andros Townsend, who played 168 Premier League games for Palace, could become the seventh player to net against the Eagles in the competition after representing them.
The headline story from the Premier League during the international break was undoubtedly the 10-point deduction handed to Everton, who were found to have breached the competition’s Profitability and Sustainability Rules. While the Toffees have outlined their intention to appeal that penalty, Luton were the chief beneficiaries of the decision, moving outside the relegation zone ahead of Saturday’s visit of Crystal Palace.
Indeed, Luton were assigned a 77.8% chance of relegation in the Opta supercomputer’s season predictions before Everton’s punishment, and that has since dropped to 69.6%. Rob Edwards’ Hatters are still firmly among the favourites for the drop after taking just six points from their first 12 games of 2023-24, but they will be desperate to take advantage of this potential lifeline.
Luton entered the international break winless in six games (D2 L4), though they showed plenty of fight in their 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, less than a week after they held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road.
They have been competitive in most games since their promotion, with five of their eight Premier League defeats coming by a one-goal margin – a tally only matched by Sheffield United this term. Finding a consistent route to goal must be their main aim, with Luton amassing just 8.26 open-play expected goals (xG) this season, the league’s third-lowest figure.
Perhaps Andros Townsend, who played 168 Premier League games for Palace between 2016 and 2021, can provide a much-needed spark. He could become the seventh different player to net against Palace in the Premier League after representing them, with Leeds United’s Patrick Bamford doing so most recently in April.
Fellow wideman Chiedozie Ogbene will be assessed after not featuring for the Republic of Ireland during the international break, while Luton are hopeful the hiatus will have aided the recoveries of trio Albert Sambi Lokonga, Cauley Woodrow and Amari’i Bell.
Alfie Doughty is also looking to shake off a knock, having combined well with Carlton Morris this season. Doughty has created eight chances for Morris in the Premier League, with only Mohamed Salah (13 for Darwin Núñez) and Moussa Diaby (11 for Ollie Watkins) creating more for a single teammate.
Palace have also been forced to stew over a defeat for the last fortnight, with Idrissa Gueye’s late goal handing Everton a 3-2 win at Selhurst Park on Matchday 12 after Palace had twice equalised through Eberechi Eze and Odsonne Édouard.
That defeat saw Palace struggle to unpick their stubborn visitors despite having 67.2% of the ball. They have only had at least 67% possession in 10 Premier League games since 2013-14, winning just two of those matches (three draws, five defeats). With Luton averaging a league-low 35.25% possession this campaign, Hodgson’s team may need to be patient.
Michael Olise made his return from injury against Everton, a welcome boost after he led all Palace players for chances created (72), assists (11) and expected assists (6.44) in the Premier League last season.
Hodgson will hope Olise can lay on further chances for striker Édouard, who has five goals in 11 Premier League appearances this season after netting five in 35 last term. With Olise back in action, Dean Henderson and Jesurun Rak-Sakyi are Palace’s only major injury concerns.
Luton vs Crystal Palace Head-to-Head
This will be the first meeting between Luton and Palace since the 2006-07 Championship season, when both games were won 2-1 by the home side.
A Clinton Morrison double guided Palace to victory when they last met at Selhurst Park in February 2007, with Luton going on to suffer relegation to the third tier.
The teams have clashed six times in the top flight, with four of those games being drawn and each side recording one win apiece. Both fixtures finished level when they last met in the top tier in 1991-92, with Luton going down at the end of that campaign.
Palace have tended to struggle at Kenilworth Road, only winning on one of their last eight league trips there (D3 L4), with Chris Coleman netting in their 1-0 victory in April 1994.
Luton have only won one of their 12 Premier League matches so far (D3 L8). It’s the fewest wins they have managed at this stage of a top-flight season since 1974-75 (W1 D6 L5) when they went on to finish 20th.
Palace, meanwhile, have won five of their 11 away Premier League games since Roy Hodgson returned to the club in March (D2 L4), as many as in their previous 28 (D9 L14).
Since the first away game of Hodgson’s second spell at the club – April’s 5-1 rout of Leeds – only Manchester City (six) have more away wins in the Premier League.
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 vs Crystal Palace Prediction
Saturday’s game appears to be a difficult one to call, which is reflected in the supercomputer’s predictions.
Of 10,000 match simulations conducted ahead of kick-off, Palace won 36.8%, with Luton victorious in 33.2% and the remaining 30% finishing level.
Looking further ahead, Palace are expected to enjoy a season of mid-table security, with 13th (18.4%) their most common position in our season projections. Despite Luton starting Matchday 13 outside the bottom three, meanwhile, only Burnley (80.6%) and Sheffield United (78.3%) are seen as more likely to suffer the drop.