Luton Town vs Newcastle Prediction | Premier League Picks

Luton Town vs Newcastle Prediction

Luton Town vs Newcastle Prediction: Luton Town look to get out of the relegation zone when they host Newcastle at Kenilworth Road.

They had to have their last match against Bournemouth abandoned because their captain Tom Lockyer suffered cardiac arrest. The good and only important news is he is alive and stable, but in terms of football he was their captain and best defender, so it will now be a tall task for the Hatters to keep out the best offense in the Premier League.

Newcastle has been playing so many fixtures recently that you have to question how much energy they have left. The load is going to lighten for Eddie Howe’s men now that they are out of the Champions League and League Cup. That means Newcastle can focus all of the attention on the Premier League and get back inside the top four.

Here’s how I’m betting on Luton Town vs Newcastle.

Luton Town

The Luton Town defense has completely fallen off a cliff and Lockyer being off the pitch will be a big challenge.

Luton Town has played a lot of big boys recently, but the defensive performances recently have been incredibly poor. In their last nine matches, they have allowed 25.3 expected goals and 19 big scoring chances. Additionally, when they have played teams inside the top nine, it’s gone poorly. They have allowed 17.8 expected goals in nine matches. 

The other problem is their style of play is going to play right into Newcastle’s hands. Newcastle are one of, if not the best transition team in the Premier League. Luton Town is going to send the ball long from goal kicks to evade Newcastle’s press, which is going to force them to get into a transition-based match with them. 

Luton Town’s best method of approach is to hand the ball to Newcastle, play in their low block, and dare Newcastle to break them down. The problem is, that Luton Town hasn’t been good in their low block, which is why they are allowing so many chances to the top teams in the Premier League.

Newcastle

Newcastle are such an interesting team at the moment because of how the market perceives them. We’ve seen a lot of the big teams come to Kenilworth Road and be priced way higher than what Newcastle is here.

Despite playing so many matches and seemingly being gassed, Newcastle is still the No. 1 offense by non-penalty expected goals and has created the most big scoring chances. Their ability to hurt teams in transition time and time again is why they have been such a good offense this season.

They also relish opportunities like this against teams in the bottom half of the table, who play super direct and are forced to play a transition match with them. Since the start of last season, against teams in the bottom half of the table, Newcastle are averaging 2.19 xG per 90 minutes. Joelinton is going to miss this match and Anthony Gordon picked up an injury and is questionable, but we could see the return of Alexander Isak on Saturday, which would be massive for the Newcastle attack.

Overall for the season, Newcastle has put up some solid defensive numbers, but a lot of their best performances came at home. When Newcastle are away from home their defense falls off a cliff. At St. James Park, they are only allowing 0.76 xG per 90 minutes, while on the road they are allowing 1.85 xG per 90 minutes.

This is a really bad matchup for Luton Town. They have held some of the big boys at Kenilworth Road to draws or very close defeats, but the expected goal numbers in those matches paint a much different picture.

Newcastle are a much different type of opponent than all of the other big teams they’ve faced. Newcastle wants you to play in transition with them, they want you to send the ball long on goal kicks and they will punish you time and time again if you try to build out of the back against them. That means Luton Town are somewhat stuck in how they can be successful in this game.

Additionally, not having Lockyer in the center of their three-back line is a massive loss and one I am not sure Luton Town will be able to replace.

With all of that being said, Newcastle allowing close to two expected goals per 90 minutes away from St. James Park is incredibly concerning, especially when they are on a backup goalkeeper.

I have 4.18 goals projected for this match, so I think the total is far too low.

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