Heroic Hatters To Fall Short Against Rovers



Luton Town play host to Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday evening knowing that victory could be enough to see the club avoid relegation from the Championship.


While Rovers make the trip to Kenilworth Road with little to play for, Tony Mowbray's side can still finish as high as eighth position in the standings.

Having decided to leave Luton for Stoke City, the return of Nathan Jones during lockdown naturally divided opinion among the Hatters fanbase at a time when they were well adrift in the race for survival.


However, regardless of whether the club are able to avoid the drop, there can be little doubt that the re-appointment of the Welshman was the right choice with 13 points coming from his eight matches in charge.


Although they still face the real possibility of relegation to League One, defeating Blackburn would leave Charlton being required to beat champions Leeds United, as well as Birmingham and Middlesbrough both needing to avoid defeat.


The financial struggles of Wigan may also lead to a reprieve for Luton, but it remains imperative that they get three points on the board to give themselves every chance of retaining their second-tier status.


With eight points being recorded from four matches, a run which has seen them concede just two goals, Jones will feel that they are playing with the belief to complete the job on Wednesday night.


As far as Blackburn are concerned, there will still be disappointed that they failed to maintain a playoff bid heading into the closing game of the season.


Nevertheless, in a position where they can finish as high as eighth and no lower than 12th, Blackburn have enjoyed their best year in the pyramid since 2015.


While ending the season with three wins from five matches would fill Mowbray with confidence for next season, he will also want to establish whom he wants in his first-team squad going forward.


Despite one or two significant sales being a possibility, there appears little reason why the North-West side cannot remain as dark horses throughout the next campaign.


Previous Meetings

28th September 2019 – Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Luton Town – Championship

27th January 2007 – Luton Town 0-4 Blackburn Rovers – FA Cup

3rd April 1982 – Luton 2-0 Blackburn Rovers – Division Two


As you can see this fixture is not exactly a common one! With just three meetings in 37 years, these teams aren’t exactly fierce rivals but with the Hatters in the relegation zone on goal difference going into the last game of the season, it’s destined to be a thriller.


Team News

Mowbray could hand a recall to Stewart Downing, who remained as an unused substitute against Reading at the weekend.


The Blackburn veteran may take the place of Lewis Holtby, while Sam Gallagher could return to the starting lineup down the middle of the attack.


Despite contributing an assist at the weekend, Harry Chapman is expected to remain among the replacements.


Luton boss Jones is likely to bring Kazenga LuaLua into the team after his late strike against Hull City.


Prediction

While Luton have home advantage and something to play for, that may only increase the chances of Blackburn inflicting a defeat on their hosts. However, depending on how Charlton are faring against Leeds, it could go either way.



Match Preview written by Owen Lloyd