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Match Preview – Luton vs S’land

Last Updated: 10/08/18 12:20pm

Luton boss Nathan Jones will have striker Danny Hylton back from suspension as his promoted side looks to claim their first League One victory of the season over relegated Sunderland.

Hylton sat out the 1-0 opening day defeat at Portsmouth after bring sent off for two bookable offences during last season’s final-day draw at Notts County, but is available to face the Black Cats.

Midfielder Luke Berry is close to a return from the horrific ankle injury and leg fracture he suffered in March, but he will not be rushed as he steps up his recovery. Jones enjoyed a quiet end to the transfer window amid speculation that full-back Jack Stacey could be a target, but the deadline passed with no further ins or outs.

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Sunderland manager Jack Ross added Wigan midfielder Max Power to his squad on loan as the summer transfer window drew to a close. Power, the club’s 12th summer signing, could be included in a squad which has been depleted by injury in the last week.

Striker Jerome Sinclair and full-back Donald Love both face around a month on the sidelines after picking up hamstring and ankle injuries respectively during last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Charlton.

Aiden McGeady, Duncan Watmore and Charlie Wyke are still sidelined, as are Tom Flanagan and Ethan Robson. Dylan McGeouch and Reece James have returned to training, but are unlikely to feature against the Hatters.

Portsmouth 1-0 Luton

Portsmouth 1-0 Luton

Opta stats

This will be the first meeting between Luton and Sunderland since August 2007, when then League One side Luton beat Premier League Sunderland 3-0 in a League Cup tie, thanks to goals from David Bell and a brace from Paul Furlong.

Sunderland have won seven of their last eight meetings in all competitions against Luton, though they did lose last time out in a League Cup tie (0-3 in August 2007).

Luton – who scored 94 league goals last season – have failed to score in their last two league matches. They last went three without a goal in the Football League in January 2016 (a run of four).

Sunderland are looking to secure three consecutive league wins for the first time since a run of four in May 2014.

No side won more home matches in 2017-18 in the top four tiers of English football than Luton (17, excluding play-offs).

Sunderland 2-1 Charlton

Sunderland 2-1 Charlton

Prutton’s prediction

Sunderland weren’t great in the first half against Charlton last weekend but as soon as they rallied they probably just about deserved the win. The Black Cats have an incredible squad for this level and if they can get a bit of momentum then they’re big favourites for promotion.

Luton’s return to League One started with a bump as they lost to Portsmouth, but they’re a good side and should be in good shape to push for the top six. That being said, I reckon Sunderland will sneak a narrow victory.

Prutton predicts: 0-1 (7/1 with Sky Bet)

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