Paolo's Posh Preview: Luton Town away
It has been a day every member and supporter associated at Posh have been waiting for – a return to England’s second division.
That game against Crystal Palace in 2013 – and that points-per-game announcement in 2020 – can finally be banished, and now it’s time for the city to enjoy an eight-month whirlwind of emotions as Posh finally announce their return to the Championship.
And to make the occasion that more special, it will also be a sell-out crowd at Kenilworth Road for the first time since March 2020, with the opportunity for Posh supporters to witness their side in competitive action in 2021.
Team news and predicted line-up
Jack Taylor (hamstring issue) and Siriki Dembele (Achilles problem) are doubts for the trip to Kenilworth Road tomorrow afternoon.
But the striking pair of Jonson Clarke-Harris and Jack Marriott could be in contention for a start after earning some valuable minutes over the last seven days, while recent additions Joe Randall and Kwame Poku could also be involved.
Predicted line-up: Pym; Ward, Thompson, Beevers, Kent, Butler; Knight, Hamilton, Grant; Szmodics, Clarke-Harris and Marriott.
Luton Town – also known as the Hatters – are entering their third consecutive season in the Championship on the back of their best-ever campaign in the second tier.
Nathan Jones’ men finished in a respectable 12th place last season, seven places higher than the previous campaign, and now have the belief of continuing their terrific rise through the Football League with another top-half finish – even potentially a play-off spot.
It has also been a busy month for Luton Town in terms of new faces, bringing the experienced heads of Cameron Jerome and former Aston Villa midfielder Henri Lansbury.
To get a better understanding of Posh's opponents this weekend, we spoke to Lewis Williams to discuss Luton Town's summer recruitment so far and which player to keep an eye on.
He said: “Amazing. Everything has been brilliant in terms of last season's performance and the recruitment for this upcoming one. We've brought in some great players, and everyone is really excited to see if we can progress from last season.”
Key player: Elijah Adebayo
“A very good striker who I believe is going to score loads of goals this term. Great in the air and with the ball at his feet, he can pretty much do everything from linking up the play to scoring.”
These two sides previously met in January 2019, and it would have been one to forget for Posh supporters.
The Hatters ran out comfortable winners at Kenilworth Road after Ferguson’s men were reduced to 10-men in the opening quarter of the game.
Luke Berry and a hat-trick from James Collins helped spear Luton Town to a 4-0 victory in what turned out to be a promotion achieving season for themselves.
But before that loss, Posh had seen a good run of results against the Hatters, winning the previous four games, and the team will be keen to have added to the win list come 5pm on Saturday.
Last five meetings
Luton Town 4-0 Posh – Jan 2019
Posh 2-1 Luton Town – Nov 2018 (EFL Trophy)
Posh 3-1 Luton Town – Aug 2018
Luton Town 0-0 Posh – Jan 2018 (EFL Trophy)
Posh 2-0 Luton Town – Dec 2015 (FA Cup)
As always for the first game of the season, you don’t know what to expect or how the game will pan out.
Luton Town will be a challenging encounter, especially at Kenilworth Road, but Ferguson’s men will want to start the season on a positive note and picking up a point could be the perfect start.
Luton Town 1-1 Posh
Lewis’ prediction: 2-1 Luton Town