Huddersfield v Luton: Tight basement battle anticipated

Huddersfield v Luton
Friday July 10, 18:00
Live on Sky Sports

Huddersfield earn precious point

Huddersfield scrapped their way to what may prove a vital point in their fight against Championship relegation following a goalless draw at Reading on Tuesday night. In doing so, the Terriers extended their unbeaten run to three games in Berkshire and recorded a third consecutive league clean sheet for the first time since August 2017 in the process.

Alex Pritchard came closest to snatching a winner for Danny Cowley‘s side, but his deflected shot was tipped behind for a corner. Meanwhile, Town keeper Jonas Lossl was quick off his line to deny Reading their best effort during a largely uneventful fixture that featured little in the way of outstanding goalscoring opportunities and just five shots on-target in total.

Cowley was pleased with his team, saying: “I thought it was a really good performance, it was a game where we had much more energy than we showed on Saturday, much more attacking intent. We didn’t perhaps get full value for the performance or make the most of the chances. We just lacked that little ruthless edge. I thought defensively we were terrific.”

Luton survival chances suffer late blow

Luton‘s chances of Championship survival suffered a blow in midweek as the Hatters were unable to hold onto a one-goal advantage against fellow basement battlers Barnsley at Kenilworth Road. Nathan Jones‘ outfit were inside the opening 15 minutes when Elliott Lee hit the post and Luke Berry fired in his first goal of the season from the rebound.

In an entertaining and end-to-end first half, both sides exchanged chances but as the contest went on, the visitors soon took the ascendancy and were enjoying the lion’s share of possession, territory and opportunities. Eventually the pressure told as the Tykes scored a soft late equaliser after the Bedfordshire boys struggled to clear the ball out their box.

Had the Hatters held on, Luton would have been touching distance away from safety and Jones couldn’t hide his disappointment post-match. “Tactically we were really good, it’s just late on, their goal came from a corner and that’s the really frustrating thing,” he said. “And then having the best chance of the game straight after to win it, you’re just frustrated then.”

Terriers odds-on favourites

Huddersfield and Luton haven’t been regular competitors over the years, facing-off seven times in league action this century. The duo have returned an even W3-D1-L3 split, although the Hatters were 2-1 winners when the two teams locked horns at Kenilworth Road back in August. It’s 13 years since the Terriers welcomed Luton to The John Smith’s Stadium.

Huddersfield [1.85] had tabled a solitary point from their first eight Championship games following relegation. Danny Cowley was brought in to turn the tide and the former Lincoln boss has overseen a solid improvement; the Terriers rank 13th for results under the 41-year-old (W12-D10-L14) and boast a respectable W7-D6-L5 return from 18 home fixtures.

Luton [4.50] reappointed Nathan Jones as head coach during the enforced COVID-19 break and bar a head-scratching 5-0 shellacking at Reading, Luton have produced a series of competitive displays (W1-D3-L1) under the returning boss. The visitors have now lost just twice in 11 outings (W4-D5-L2) although Town have been beaten in 15/21 (71%) away days.

Huddersfield’s home ties under Danny Cowley have tended to edge towards lower-scoring affairs. The Terriers’ 18 encounters here have produced 2.39 goals per-game with 10 (56%) featuring Under 2.5 Goals [1.91] and the same figure failing to land in the Both Teams To Score column. With the hosts focussed primarily on keeping things tight, a repeat appeals.

Having been one of the Championship’s most reliable operators for goal-filled games heading into the Spring, Luton have changed tact as only three of their past 13 league dates breaking the Over 2.5 Goals [1.95] barrier.

The Hatters have only once found the net at least twice in that sample and may struggle to open up a Huddersfield backline that’s kept clean sheets in half of their 12 tussles with fellow bottom-eight strugglers under Cowley.

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