Eddie Howe’s injury-hit Magpies must find a way to arrest a poor run of away form as we look ahead to Luton Town vs Newcastle United with our prediction and preview for Saturday’s Premier League clash.
Luton vs Newcastle Stats: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer predicts Newcastle United to triumph at Kenilworth Road, with Eddie Howe’s side winning 44.7% of simulations against Luton Town.
- Newcastle have won just one of their last 10 Premier League away games, though that was an 8-0 thrashing of Sheffield United.
- This will be only the second meeting between Luton and Newcastle in any competition this century, with the Magpies winning 3-1 in the FA Cup in January 2018.
Football was of secondary importance last weekend as Luton Town’s Premier League clash with Bournemouth was abandoned after Hatters captain Tom Lockyer suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the Vitality Stadium pitch. Rob Edwards’ side will make an emotional return to Kenilworth Road in their first outing since the incident as Newcastle United head south on Saturday.
Play was suspended against Bournemouth before later being abandoned in the second half. Lockyer was taken to hospital before Luton confirmed their captain was “responsive” and “stable”, with the club awaiting results to determine “the next steps for his recovery”.
Moments before the incident, Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke had cancelled out Elijah Adebayo’s first-half strike before the match was abandoned at 1-1. However, the Premier League confirmed on Wednesday that the game will be replayed at a later date.
Looking ahead to Saturday’s game at Kenilworth Road, Luton sit 18th in the league table heading into the weekend, five points adrift of Nottingham Forest – who sacked manager Steve Cooper this week – after winning just two Premier League games all campaign, against Crystal Palace and Everton.
Edwards welcomed back Chiedozie Ogbene, Gabe Osho and Issa Kaboré for the Bournemouth trip, while Marvelous Nakamba will return on Saturday from a one-game suspension. Luton’s lineup remains without the injured Dan Potts and Reece Burke, though Cauley Woodrow should be deemed fit enough to make the bench.
Alfie Doughty set up Adebayo’s opener at Bournemouth, which would have been his team-leading fifth of the Premier League season but the game being replayed will see the data from the original contest reset. Adebayo also scored in the recent last-minute 4-3 defeat to Arsenal, as well as the 2-1 loss against Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, and will be looking to become the first player to score in three consecutive top-flight games for Luton since Mick Harford – now chief recruitment officer at the club – in April 1992.
Newcastle responded to UEFA Champions League elimination at the hands of Milan with a 3-0 victory at St. James’ Park over Fulham, who were undone by 17-year-old Lewis Miley’s first Premier League goal and strikes from Miguel Almirón and Dan Burn after Raúl Jiménez’s first-half dismissal on MD 17. The Magpies were also eliminated from the EFL Cup quarter-finals on penalties by Chelsea on Wednesday but are sixth in the league table before the weekend’s action, a point clear of Manchester United and trailing fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur by four and Man City, who are fourth, by five.
As for Newcastle’s team news, Howe will be without the suspended Sandro Tonali, as well as injured quintet Nick Pope, Jacob Murphy, Harvey Barnes, Joe Willock and Elliot Anderson, while the fitness of Alexander Isak, Fabian Schär and Joelinton remains unclear. Anthony Gordon has six goals and four assists in the Premier League this season, more goal involvements than any Newcastle team-mate, but could also miss Saturday’s kick-off after suffering a first-half injury against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Luton vs Newcastle Head-to-Head
Having competed at differing ends of English football’s pyramid, this will be just the second meeting this century between Luton and Newcastle, the latter winning an FA Cup third-round tie 3-1 in January 2018 against Nathan Jones’ League Two leaders.
Indeed, these two teams have not met in league competition since a goalless second-tier clash in January 1993, while Luton haven’t scored in their last five league games against Newcastle since a 4-0 top-flight win back in November 1987.
Howe has also faced Luton just once before as a manager, a 1-1 draw in League Two as Bournemouth boss in January 2009, only his fourth ever league game in charge – the two teams were also the bottom pair in the entire English Football League at the time.
Edwards’ men will be up against it on Saturday considering Newcastle are unbeaten in their last 16 Premier League games against promoted sides (W9 D7) since a 2-1 home loss to Leeds United in January 2021. They’ve won both such games this season by an aggregate score of 10-0 (2-0 against Burnley and 8-0 versus Sheffield United).
Luton have offered Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City – all contenders for the Premier League title – a run for their money at Kenilworth Road, where they have only failed to score in one of their eight top-flight home games this season, a 1-0 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur in October.
Edwards will look to rely on those home comforts once more, though Luton must find a way to capitalise on their Kenilworth Road advantage when on top. They have dropped points from winning positions in three of their last four home league games, drawing 1-1 with Liverpool and losing to Arsenal after Declan Rice’s last-gasp strike in a 4-3 win before a 2-1 defeat against Man City.
The Luton crowd will again play a key part for the visit of Newcastle, who have lost their last three Premier League away games against Tottenham, Everton and Bournemouth – they have not suffered more consecutive such defeats since December/January in 2020-21 (five).
Overall, Newcastle have won just one of their last 10 Premier League away games (D4 L5). Their only success in that period was a record-breaking 8-0 demolition at Bramall Lane against Sheffield United in September, but Howe must find a solution away from St James’ Park if his side are to compete for UEFA Champions League qualification.
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 Premier League match, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Luton vs Newcastle Opta Player Ratings
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:
Thomas Kaminski: 61.7 (out of 100)
Ross Barkley: 61.4
Chiedozie Ogbene: 60.3
Alfie Doughty: 57.1
Marvelous Nakamba: 54.7
Anthony Gordon: 75.5 (out of 100)
Bruno Guimarães: 74.7
Kieran Trippier: 73.5
Alexander Isak: 69.6
Nick Pope: 67.2
These Opta Player Ratings also power our set of brand-new, free-to-play gaming experiences, which you can play on Opta Analyst all season long.
Luton vs Newcastle Prediction
Despite their struggles on the road, the Opta supercomputer predicts an away win at Kenilworth Road as Newcastle triumphed in 44.7% of data-powered simulations.
Luton haven’t often looked like pushovers at home, though the data backs a win for Edwards’ side in just 27.6% of scenarios and a draw in 27.7% of the 10,000 simulations.
Newcastle’s top-four chances are rated at just 8.7%, though a fifth-placed league-table finish is backed at 22.7% by the Opta model and the latter position could still be enough for Champions League qualification depending on how other English sides fare in Europe.
Meanwhile, Luton have a 73.2% chance of Premier League relegation as per Opta’s season simulations, with only Burnley (91.7%) and Sheffield United (93.9%) – the two sides below them – having a greater likelihood of going down to the Championship.