After registering two consecutive wins, Luton are starting to dream of survival. Here, they face a Chelsea side hoping to build on their win over Crystal Palace last time out. We look ahead to Saturday’s early kick-off with our Luton vs Chelsea prediction and preview.

Luton vs Chelsea Stats: The Quick Hits

  • Despite their poor away form, Chelsea are predicted to end 2023 with three points, beating Luton Town in 45.6% of the Opta supercomputer’s match simulations.
  • Luton could win three consecutive top-flight games for the first time since doing so in December 1991 – the third game in that run was against Chelsea.
  • Chelsea have lost their last four away Premier League games, but Mauricio Pochettino has taken charge of more away matches against promoted teams without ever losing than any other manager in the competition’s history (20).

Match Preview

This year will not live long in the memory at Stamford Bridge, at least not for the right reasons as far as Chelsea are concerned. Mauricio Pochettino’s Blues are looking to end their miserable 2023 on a high note when they go to Kenilworth Road for the opening game of Matchday 20 in the Premier League on Saturday, but they are likely to face a stern test against a resurgent Luton Town side.

Only Fulham (20) have lost more Premier League games this calendar year than the Blues (19), who have taken just 45 points from their 42 top-flight matches in 2023. However, they have not lost their final league game of any of the last 11 calendar years, winning seven and drawing four such matches since losing 3-1 at home to Aston Villa in 2011.

Chelsea endured a poor start to the festive season as they were beaten 2-1 by Wolves on Christmas Eve, when a first Premier League goal for Christopher Nkunku failed to spark a fightback. Pochettino’s men did bounce back on home soil three days later, though, with Noni Madueke winning and converting a late penalty in their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, with Mykhailo Mudryk also on target.

With an average age of 23 years and 21 days, Chelsea fielded their youngest-ever Premier League starting lineup on Wednesday, and the youngest overall in the competition since Manchester United (22 years, 284 days) versus Palace in May 2017. The Blues could rotate again here, with Raheem Sterling and Cole Palmer available after serving one-match bans.

Sterling has been directly involved in 20 goals in his last 19 Premier League games against promoted sides (15 goals, five assists), including nine in eight matches for Chelsea (six goals, three assists). Luton must be wary of the winger, who scored twice in a 3-0 win for the Blues in August’s return fixture.

Pochettino also has a good record against Premier League new boys, taking charge of more away games against promoted teams without losing any of them than any other manager in the competition’s history (20). Eighteen of those have been victories, with the most recent of them a 4-1 rout of Burnley in October.

The Chelsea manager still has his fair share of selection problems, though, with Enzo Fernández having missed the last two festive fixtures with a hernia. It’s unclear whether he might be in contention, while Saturday’s match will likely come too soon for Ben Chilwell, though he is closing in on a return after three months out with a muscle injury.

It’s fair to say Luton will remember 2023 much more fondly than Chelsea, and Rob Edwards’ Hatters seem to have found their feet at the top level over the festive period. They are chasing a third successive win after beating Sheffield United 3-2 on Boxing Day. Another victory would take them – at least temporarily – out of the relegation zone, with Edwards’ side now within three points of Everton, Nottingham Forest and Palace, with a game in hand on all those teams.

Sheff Utd 2-3 Luton stats

Alfie Doughty opened the scoring at Bramall Lane with his first Premier League goal last time out, becoming Luton’s 12th different goalscorer in the competition this term (excluding own goals), with only Newcastle United, Everton and Arsenal having more (14 each).

Luton received a helping hand after going 2-1 down in the second half, as Jack Robinson and Anis Ben Slimane both put through their own net in a remarkable finish, making Sheffield United the first team in Premier League history to score two own goals after the 75th minute in the same match.

One of Luton’s best performers in recent weeks has been Ross Barkley, who struggled for minutes throughout a four-year spell with Chelsea between 2018 and 2022. He could become the third player this year to net against the Blues in the Premier League having previously represented them in the competition, after Willian in January and Emerson in February.

Also in good form for the hosts is Andros Townsend, who has either scored (once) or assisted (twice) in his last three league games at Kenilworth Road. He has only had a goal involvement in four straight home Premier League appearances once before, doing so between May and September 2021.

The Hatters are likely to be without Issa Kaboré, Reece Burke and Marvelous Nakamba, who are expected to return from injuries in January. Captain Tom Lockyer continues to recover at home, having suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch at Bournemouth in their abandoned match earlier this month.

Luton vs Chelsea Head-to-Head

Luton were beaten 3-0 at Chelsea in just their second Premier League game back in August, with Nicolas Jackson adding to Sterling’s brace as the Blues cruised to victory.

chelsea 3-0 luton stats

The Hatters did win their last home league game against Chelsea by a 2-0 scoreline, but that was back in December 1991. They lost 3-2 when they last hosted the Blues in any competition, doing so in a fifth-round FA Cup tie in March 2022.

The home side has won eight of the last 10 league meetings between the teams, the exceptions being a 3-0 away win for Chelsea in December 1989, and a 3-3 draw at Stamford Bridge in April 1991.

In a quirk of the fixture list, Luton have hosted Chelsea in their final game of the calendar year in each of their last three top-flight campaigns before this one. The Hatters were beaten 3-0 in 1989, but managed 2-0 wins in both 1990 and 1991.

Recent Form

While Chelsea may have won three in a row at Stamford Bridge, they have lost their last four league games on the road, against Newcastle, Manchester United, Everton and Wolves. They last lost more consecutive games on their travels in 2000, suffering five straight away defeats under Claudio Ranieri.

The Blues have only earned 19 points on the road in the Premier League in 2023 (five wins, four draws, 11 defeats). Among all ever-present teams, only Wolves (16) and Forest (14) have collected fewer.

Luton, meanwhile, have posted back-to-back wins after only winning two of their first 16 Premier League games following their promotion from the Championship.

They last won three successive top-flight matches in December 1991, with the third game in that run coming against Chelsea.

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 in this game, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Luton vs Chelsea Opta Player Ratings

The Opta Player Ratings are something we introduced ahead of 2023-24. For a quick primer on how they’re calculated, you can check our explainer here.

Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:

Luton Town

Ross Barkley: 63.8 (out of 100)
Thomas Kaminski: 61.9
Elijah Adebayo: 61.3
Chiedozie Ogbene: 60.8
Alfie Doughty: 59.9


Conor Gallagher: 75.5 (out of 100)
Thiago Silva: 72.2
Raheem Sterling: 70.6
Moisés Caicedo: 67.5
Axel Disasi: 65.5

Luton vs Chelsea Prediction

Luton vs Chelsea Prediction

The Opta supercomputer is siding with Chelsea for this one, with the Blues ending 2023 with a win in 45.6% of our 10,000 match simulations conducted ahead of kick-off.

Luton are given a 26.4% chance of continuing their fine run of form with another three points, while 28% of scenarios see the points shared.

In our 2023-24 season predictions, the supercomputer gives Luton a 54.2% chance of being relegated, though that stood at 73.2% before they posted their back-to-back festive wins.

Chelsea, meanwhile, are still expected to finish squarely in mid-table, assigned just a 9.6% chance of a top-seven finish. Tenth is viewed as their most likely position, with the Blues ending a league-high 19.6% of our simulations there. 

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