Manchester City travel to Kenilworth Road to take on Luton Town as they aim to bounce back from a disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa last time out.
Pep Guardiola will be hoping his team can put the sub-par performance at Villa Park behind them as they go head-to-head with Luton on Sunday afternoon. Previously, City put in a performance the fans, manager, and everyone who has watched the scintillating football the Club have shown in recent times will not have expected.
Going into the defeat against Villa, the Treble winners had not won in three previous matches in the English top-flight with draws against Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham. However, these were all games that the Sky Blues could have won having had the lead in all of them late on.
Then came Aston Villa. From the off, Pep Guardiola’s team started short of the required levels as Ederson was required to pull off two saves from Leon Bailey and Pau Torres. City’s best chances happened to be their only chances of the affair, with Erling Haaland being denied twice from close range by World Cup-winning goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez in the 11th minute.
Throughout City did what City do regarding possession as they controlled the ball, however Villa were the ones who probed and created the most chances. The pace and trickery of Leon Bailey caused problems all night for Manchester City’s defence and the reigning champions seemed to miss the defensive awareness of Rodri screening the backline.
This result has seen Pep Guardiola’s team drop to fourth in the Premier League table. Yet, the side they face on Sunday afternoon pose different problems. As seen in their 3-4 defeat to Arsenal, Luton are more in the ilk of old-school football norms with their more direct approach to football and emphasis on set-pieces.
Last time out for the Premier League newcomers, they came close to sealing a draw with City’s title rivals Arsenal. The North London side took the lead in the 20th minute with Gabriel Martinelli finishing low in the left corner from close to the penalty spot.
A swift equaliser from Gabriel Osho saw Rob Edwards side level the scoreline. However, further goals from Gabriel Jesus, Elijah Adebayo and former Everton midfielder Ross Barkley saw the underdogs take a 3-2 lead in the 57th minute.
The promise of a massive win for Luton Town was short-lived though. Former Chelsea flop Kai Havertz drew his new team level on the hour mark not long after falling behind. With the scores level, and what proved to be the final kick of the match, City’s reported summer target from West Ham Declan Rice rose the highest to head home and give his team the winner.
Whilst Luton may have lost, the performance level and the fact they went toe-to-toe with a team sure to be title challengers come the end of the season will offer encouragement for the team sat in the relegation zone.
This, combined with the fact that Manchester City are winless in four Premier League matches, offers a chance for Rob Edwards’ Hatters to cause an upset when the two teams meet on Sunday afternoon.
Manchester City will take on Luton Town on Sunday 10th December at Kenilworth Road, with kick-off scheduled for 14:00 GMT.
Pep Guardiola confirmed in his pre-match press conference that, whilst he is not fit enough to feature at Kenilworth Road, Kevin De Bruyne has started to run again following a long-term recovery from hamstring surgery.
Rodri and Jack Grealish are both set to return following their one-match suspension having picked up their fifth yellow cards of the season against Tottenham Hotspur, leading to absences against Aston Villa in midweek.
Jeremy Doku, who has been fantastic since his move to the Etihad Stadium, continues to be a doubt for this tie after he was forced off the pitch against Tottenham, and subsequently missed out at Villa Park.
Erling Haaland is also reportedly absent from the travelling Manchester City contingent.
For the Hatters, Albert Sambi Lokonga could make his return for Rob Edwards’ side as he is now in the final stages of recovery from his injury. Tom Lockyer, Marvelous Nakamba and Cauley Woodrow are 50/50 to feature as they continue to recover from their back, knee and calf injuries respectively.
Luton’s Manchester City loanee Issa Kabore will be unavailable for the Southern-based side due to the terms of the loan deal. Sunday’s home team will also be without Mads Andersen, Reece Burke and Dan Potts who have all been injured for at least a month now.
Head to Head
The record for Manchester City in this fixture is fairly even.
Overall, City have won 20 out of 49 matches, with Luton winning 14. However, a caveat to this is the fact that this match hasn’t taken place since the 14th April 1999, a long time before City’s rise to the top of the English game.
Manchester City’s last away win against Luton took place on the 23rd September 1980 in a League Cup tie which finished 1-2.
However, a lot has changed since these two sides regularly played each other. For example, Pep Guardiola’s side have won everything there is to win in club football, including a famous treble, whilst Luton have been gradually climbing the Football League pyramid.
Therefore, it almost makes the head-to-head record irrelevant. City should be putting an end to their poor league form at Kenilworth Road.
- This is the first time the two teams are meeting since 1999 when Paul Dickov and Tony Vuaghan were on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win for Manchester City.
- Manchester City have won 13 of their last 14 ties against newly promoted sides. Their last defeat came at the hands of Leeds United where the visitors won 1-2.
- Luton Town have come out victorious in each of their last seven home matches against top-flight reigning champions.
- Luton Town have yet to keep a clean sheet this season in the Premier League.
- All of Manchester City’s defeats this campaign have come away from home.
How to Watch
For domestic fans, the match will be aired on Sky Sports with kick-off scheduled for 14:00 GMT. BBC Radio 5 Live will also be providing radio commentary for fans unable to watch the match.
For fans in the United States, Peacock will be showing the contest with kick-off scheduled for 9AM EST.
For fans living elsewhere, you can find the TV listings here!
You can also follow the match on the City Xtra YouTube channel via our live Watchalong show!
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