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Luton Town v Coventry City - Sky Bet Championship - Kenilworth Road

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Match Preview: Luton Town v Sunderland - everything you need to know ahead of kick-off!

One game from a second Wembley play-off final appearance in twelve months and we take a one goal lead from the first-leg as we travel to Kenilworth Road - here’s all you need to know ahead of kick-off!

Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images

Tuesday 16th May 2023

Luton Town v Sunderland

Championship Play-Offs

Semi-Final Second-Leg

Kenilworth Road

Kick-Off: 20:00

Tickets & Match Coverage

Tickets: Tickets are sold out.

TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is available via Sky Sports.

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!

The build-up...

On the anniversary of our legendary night at St James’ Park in 1990 and when the original cast of The Goonies made an appearance at Fratton Park back in 2019, we take part in yet another semi-final second-leg that is on a knife-edge.

Our 2-1 victory on Saturday at the Stadium of Light was the first time that Luton Town had been beaten away from or conceded more than one goal in a game on the road since they were beaten at Middlesbrough by the same scoreline back in early-December. It also meant that in all three games between the two sides this season, Luton have taken the lead and failed to see it through.

Our unbeaten record against Luton in league competition has also been extended to ten games, with that last defeat in the league coming back in December 1994 - and in all competitions, it’s now one defeat in 14 games against The Hatters.

We know our away form has been impressive this season, but it’s now three successive victories on the road which is the first time we’ve done that since late-2018 following our drop to League One.

Being one game from Wembley with a one-goal lead will likely result in us sticking to the game plan that has seen us get in the position in the first place - which is simultaneously reassuring and terrifying. This is the playoffs where anything can happen, the only certainty being that the nerves will be almost unbearable at times.

Sunderland v Luton Town: Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Semi-Final First Leg
The Boss
Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The betting...

The bookies have the Luton as favourites tonight at evens, with the Lads priced at 14/5 to win the second leg in 90 minutes and the draw is around 23/10.

To win the tie overall, it’s Sunderland who are tipped at 4/7 with the home side 13/10. To take it in extra time or penalties, Luton are 10/1 and 11/1 respectively while the Lads are 16/1 and 12/1.

Head to head... at Kenilworth Road

(All competitions)

  • Sunderland wins: 13
  • Draws: 6
  • Luton Town wins: 11
  • Sunderland goals: 51
  • Luton Town goals: 57

Last time we met... at Kenilworth Road

Saturday 29th October 2022


Luton Town 1-1 Sunderland

[Morris 45’ - Embleton 78’]

Sunderland: Patterson, O’Nien, Wright, Batth, Cirkin, Neil (Michut), Evans (Simms), Dajaku (Roberts), Diallo, Clarke, Pritchard (Embleton) Substitutes not used: Bass, Hume, Matete

Luton Town: Horvath, Doughty (Mpanzu), Bell, Bree, Lockyer, Potts, Campbell (Bradley), Clark, Adebayo (Jerome), Lansbury (Freeman), Morris (Cornick) Substitutes not used: Isted, Berry

Attendance: 10,060

Luton Town v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship
Elliot Embleton levels for Sunderland when the two sides last met at Kenilworth Road back in October
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Played for both...

Mick Harford

A distinguished twenty-one year career for the Sunderland-born Harford started at Lincoln City before making a £180,000 transfer to Newcastle United in 1980. A disappointing year on Tyneside led to brief stints at Bristol City and Birmingham City before 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 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.

Soccer - Barclays League Division One - Newcastle United v Sunderland - St James’s Park
Mick Harford
Photo by Neal Simpson/EMPICS via Getty Images

On This Day (9 June 2007): Midfielder turns down Sunderland return – and heads to Bolton instead


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