Saturday 18th March 2023
(12th) Sunderland v Luton Town (4th)
Stadium of Light
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Tickets are available via www.safc.com.
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is available via www.safc.com.
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!
Even though there was much to admire about our performance against Sheffield United, it does leave us without a victory at the Stadium of Light in the last three games as we look to avoid a fourth against Luton Town this afternoon.
This difficult run of fixtures is also highlighting the differences between our ability to grind out a result on the road at places like Norwich City where it’s easier to dig in and hold defensive positions and collecting points at home where there is more emphasis on the side to be more expansive and attacking.
Getting this balance right would go some way to improving our home record which would currently see us in the bottom seven based on points accumulated at home only. Our defensive record on home soil also provides evidence of why we have this record with only four clubs conceding more this season on their own ground.
But I’m going to look to the history books to provide confidence we’ll come away with something from the game as Luton Town travel to Wearside without a win here in their last 17 attempts that stretches back to September 1973. Or maybe that just means they’re due one...
Luton Town are a perfect example of a club progressing year-on-year as they have consistently finished in a higher league position since 2015-16.
This is the Hatters' fourth season in the Championship following promotion from League One during 2018-19 and as things stand they are on course to once again improve on the season before, as they sit 4th in the table after their 6th place finish last year.
It was Nathan Jones who orchestrated the play-off finish last time out and as they sat 9th back in the middle of November this season, Jones once again jumped ship, this time to Southampton which left Luton Town at a crossroads.
Enter stage left, Rob Edwards, who had been sacked at Watford only two months before and while the fear may have been that Luton may have dropped off, they now firmly find themselves in a great position to cement a play-off place once again.
Luton have won six games out of the last ten league games and all six victories have been via a 1-0 scoreline. As a result, they have the meanest defensive record in the division away from home with only 15 goals conceded in the 18 played on the road so far.
All this gives off the feeling it could be a case of first goal is the winner this afternoon.
The bookies fancy Luton to claim all three points this afternoon with odds of 8/5, with the Lads priced at 17/10 and the draw is around 11/5.
Head to head... at Sunderland
- Sunderland wins: 19
- Draws: 8
- Luton Town wins: 3
- Sunderland goals: 56
- Luton Town goals: 20
Last time we met... at the Stadium of Light
Saturday 12th January 2019
Sunderland 1-1 Luton Town
[Maguire 16’ (Maguire sent-off 90’) - Collins (pen) 67’ (Hylton sent-off 70’)]
Sunderland: McLaughlin, O’Nien, Flanagan, Baldwin, James (Oviedo), Gooch (Kimpioka), McGeouch, Power, Maguire, McGeady, Wyke Substitutes not used: Ruiter, Matthews, Ozturk, Dunne, Mumba
Luton Town: Shea, Stacey, Justin, McCormack, Bradley, Pearson, Ruddock, Lee (Berry), Hylton, Collins, Shinnie Substitutes not used: Isted, Potts, Jones, Sheehan, Thorne, Lua Lua
Played for both...
After struggling to become a first team at Tottenham Hotspur under Terry Venables, David Pleat took the former Northern Ireland international to Kenilworth Road in 1991. Two years later, Gray was part of Terry Butcher’s spending spree in the summer of 1993 when he joined the ranks at Roker Park along with Luton Town teammate Alec Chamberlain.
A contract dispute during Sunderland’s title-winning season under Peter Reid in 1995-96 (which you can hear Phil Gray discuss on our podcast here) resulted in the striker taking advantage of the relatively new Bosman ruling by signing for Nancy in France and Fortuna Sittard in the Netherlands, before returning to Luton.
Spells at Burnley and Oxford United in the early-2000s before retiring in 2005 after a number of years in non-league.