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Pace, guile, trickery & goals - 3 players for Sunderland to keep an eye on when Luton Town visit

Our top of the table clash this weekend is huge in terms of the overall picture for the league - which three Luton Town players are likely to cause Sunderland problems?

West Bromwich Albion v Luton Town - Carabao Cup First Round Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images

James Collins

Position: Striker - L1 Games/Goals: 29/10

The Hatters have three pretty handy attackers in their ranks with Collins and Danny Hylton up top with Elliot Lee, son of former Newcastle United midfielder Rob, playing the number ten role behind them.

Former Crawley Town striker Collins is perhaps the most important of this trio. At 6’2, the former Irish youth international is a handful for most defences in League One and is the type of player that could cause issues for the talented, but lightweight, Baldwin and Flanagan. The striker has hit ten league goals already this term and will be looking to add to his tally in arguably his side’s biggest game of the season.

A perfect foil for the likes of Hylton and Lee, he’s scored over 100 career goals and is still only 28. He’s Luton’s top scorer and is the type of player we have struggled against for the entire season.

Newcastle United v Luton Town - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
James Collins is Luton’s top scorer.
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

James Justin

Position: Left-back - L1 Games/Goals: 23/3

Still only 20-years-old, highly rated defender Justin is probably Luton’s prize possession and has been earmarked for moves higher up the pyramid ever since breaking into the team in 2016.

The full back has been at Kenilworth Road since before time began, winning the Aarau Masters as an Under-11, beating Bayern Munich in the final, and the youngster is beginning to live up to his obvious potential as he settles into his first season as a League One player.

He’s an England Under-20 international and has two caps to his name, with more likely to come. He’s versatile too - his pace and ability to put in a good delivery has meant he’s often been deployed on the wing whilst under the tutelage of former manager Nathan Jones.

He was subject to a rejected £1m bid from Nottingham Forest whilst still only 18 and he’s going to be someone Luke O’Nien will have to be very aware of on the overlap.

Luton Town v Blackpool - Sky Bet League Two Play off Semi Final: Second Leg
An England Under-20 international, full back James Justin is Luton’s prize possession.
Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Andrew Shinnie

Position: Attacking Midfielder - L1 Games/Goals: 25/5

The former Scotland international has found his form at Kenilworth Road following on from an impressive season on loan at the club last year. Prior to joining Luton, the Scot spent a few seasons floating around on loan at an array of different clubs.

Whilst his performances in 17/18 were a big factor in his side’s promotion, his form this term has been even better, and with four assists so far, any Hatter’s goal at the Stadium of Light is likely to come from the work of the 29-year-old.

He’s likely to line-up on the left-hand-side of a diamond midfield and be tasked with challenging make-shift right back Luke O’Nien’s defensive resolve in what is sure to be a key battle.

West Bromwich Albion v Luton Town - Carabao Cup First Round
Scottish international Shinnie is Luton’s top assist maker.
Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images