Saturday 29th October 2022
(9th) Luton Town v Sunderland (14th)
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Tickets are sold out.
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage available via www.safc.com to residents outside the UK and Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man only.
Radio: Full live match commentary available via BBC Radio Newcastle (not online)
Don’t forget to follow the blow-by-blow account of the game on the Roker Report Twitter feed (@RokerReport) and check out the player ratings after the full-time whistle at www.RokerReport.com!
I’m not sure why, but it feels like we travel to Kenilworth Road a lot more than we actually do, with only six trips to face off in league competition in the last thirty years. Maybe it’s the fact that our last victory at Luton Town, which ended in a 5-0 victory to round off our Roy Keane-inspired Championship-winning season, stays fresh in the memory banks.
In league competition we haven’t been on the wrong end of a result at Kenilworth Road since Mick Buxton’s side were roundly beaten 3-0 in December 1994, with a certain John Hartson finishing the scoring for David Pleat’s side that day.
Back to the current day and it’s fair to say we could do with a result. Three defeats in the last four means it’s dangerously close to becoming a habit and one win in the last seven highlights the need for points.
Last week’s defeat at home to Burnley only goes so far as to confuse things when trying to second guess how we might fare at Luton this afternoon. A first half performance that was one the most complete forty-five minutes we have put in this season, was followed up by the complete opposite after the break.
Which Sunderland will we see on our travels today? This is the burning question as we have shown, we can give any side a game in this division on our day, but we could do with starting to show it with points on the board rather than platitudes for our style of play.
Luton Town, from the outside, appear to be a good example of a well-run club that results in the Hatters regularly punching above their weight. This is their fourth season in the second tier after promotion from League One in 2019 and their record at this level has seen steady progress.
Nathan Jones is approaching two-and-a-half years into the job at Kenilworth Road and last season found them with a chance of making the Premier League after finishing 6th and booking their place in the play-offs. A late Huddersfield Town goal in the second leg dashed their hopes, but it was still some achievement that they had the opportunity.
After a quarter of the season under our belts this time around, once again Luton find themselves sniffing around the top-six, currently sitting 9th and two points behind Millwall who currently occupy the final play-off place.
They have relied previously on their home record but Luton’s start to the season on home soil wasn’t as they expected, as it took them six games to collect three points on their own patch. The record looks more like it of late with two wins and two draws in the last four at home and overall they boast the third best xG (Expected Goals) in the division.
It’s not going to decide anything this afternoon, but it feels like a vital three points on offer with four points and five places in the table separating the two sides.
Home & away...
Luton Town home form...
Sunderland away form...
The bookies have Luton Town as clear favourites at 19/20 to collect all three points this afternoon, with The Lads priced at 3/1 to take the win, while the draw is 9/4.
Head-to-head... at Kenilworth Road
- Sunderland wins: 13
- Draws: 5
- Luton Town wins: 11
- Sunderland goals: 50
- Luton Town goals: 56
Last time we met... at Kenilworth Road
Saturday 11th March 2018
Luton Town 1-1 Sunderland
[Pearson 68’ - Maja 45’]
Sunderland: McLaughlin, Matthews, Baldwin, Loovens, Oviedo, Gooch (Molyneux), Mumba (Cattermole), Power, Honeyman, Maguire, Maja (O’Nien) Substitutes not used: Ruiter, Hume, Ozturk, Embleton
Luton Town: Stech, Stacey, Potts, McCormack, Pearson, Sheehan, Grant (Cornick), Lee (Jervis), Hylton, Collins (Rea), Ruddock Substitutes not used: Shea, Justin, Bradley, Shinnie
Played for both...
A distinguished twenty-one year career for the Sunderland-born Harford started at Lincoln City in 1977 where he impressed before making a £180,000 transfer to Newcastle United in 1980. A disappointing year on Tyneside led to quick fire moves to Bristol City and Birmingham City before eventually ending up at Luton Town in 1984.
Harford would spend six successful years at Kenilworth Road, which led to two international caps for England. A £450,000 move to the midlands to join Derby County came in 1990, but this would only last a year until he was on the move again, this time returning to Luton Town despite interest from Alex Ferguson and Manchester United.
Harford then joined Chelsea for the opening season of the new Premier League following Luton’s relegation from the top flight for a fee of £300,000, but despite being top scorer for Chelsea, Terry Butcher would take Harford to Sunderland for £250,000 in March 1993.
Harford would only manage two goals in eleven appearances during his time at Roker and his last move would be to Wimbledon via Coventry City in 1994 making 60 appearances there before retiring in 1998.
Since retiring from the playing side, Harford has held many positions at various clubs including Director of Football, Coach and Manager, where he recently managed today’s opponents.
Chamberlain started out at Colchester in the 1980s, before finding a home at Luton Town via Everton in 1988. After four years as the No.1 between the sticks at Kenilworth Road, Terry Butcher brought him to Sunderland on a free transfer to fight it out with Tony Norman for the keeper position at Roker in the summer of 1993.
He made over 100 appearances for the Lads in three years before moving to Watford as a 32-year-old in 1996 and incredibly played for another eleven years before retiring in 2007.