Luton Town Season Preview | Premier League Betting Pick & Prediction
Ralf Ibing/Getty. Pictured: Ryan Giles.
Welcome to Action Network's Premier League team previews, where our soccer experts will break down each and every Premier League team ahead of the season, which starts on August 11. Here, we'll dive into newcomer Luton Town.
Premier League Season Preview – Luton Town
Many people believe Luton Town are destined for relegation, but I believe they are going to be a fascinating team to watch in the Premier League.
Rob Edwards did a masterful job taking a club with the third-lowest wage bill to the Premier League a year after Nathan Jones’ Luton Town fell short in the English Championship playoffs. Luton Town play a very distinct style that is similar to Brentford in some ways, but they are a high intensity pressing team that wants to primarily play in transition.
In the Championship last season, Luton Town averaged just 45.3% possession. They did, however, finish with the highest direct speed because of how effective they were with their pressing. There was once a quote from one of Liverpool’s assistants saying, “80% of teams in modern football press and 20% of them chase.” Luton Town would be in the 20%.
Under Edwards, when they are out of possession they play a 5-1-3-1, which you do not see too often in the modern game. But they chase with such intensity that it works for them. Luton Town forced 427 high turnovers in the Championship, which was 61 more than the next-closest team. While that was successful in the Championship, I am not sure how that’s going to translate to the Premier League.
image via The Analyst
They are a set piece reliant team, as 32% of their non-penalty expected goals came off of set pieces this season. They only averaged 1.33 npxG per 90 minutes in the Championship, which is not encouraging, but their defense was spectacular, as they allowed only 0.93 npxG per 90 minutes. That highlights Edwards' team in a nutshell. When you play five at the back out of possession you have more defensive stability to defend in and around your penalty area.
The problem that exists for Luton Town coming into this season is the talent level of their squad is so far beneath everyone else in the Premier League. Per transfermakt.com, Luton Town’s total squad value is just $59 million. They have made some moves in the transfer market to improve their squad, bringing Tahith Chong from Birmingham and Ryan Giles from Wolves, but they still lag behind the league in terms of squad value.
The bar is about as low as it can be for Luton Town. They are the least-talented team to come up to the Premier League since Huddersfield in the 2017-18 season. It took a miracle for Huddersfield to stay up for two seasons, so Luton Town will likely need that miracle, but looking around at some of the other teams in the bottom half of the table, nobody made moves in the transfer market to get better and a lot teams lost key players.
So, with their unique style of play able to cause to some issues, I like the price on them to stay up for one more season in the Premier League at +225.
Pick: Luton Town to stay up (+225 via bet365)