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Match Previews

PREVIEW: Luton Town Vs Barnsley

The inside track on the Reds against the Hatters

6 July 2020

The games keep on coming and the battle for survival moves on to Bedfordshire for Barnsley this midweek, as we head to Luton in a game the Reds dare not lose - here's your preview.

The feelgood factor that had grown throughout the opening three games of this mini-season following the return to play took something of a knock last time out; a beating at Stoke City did for that, seen off 4-0 by fellow relegation rivals in dismal fashion.

It wasn't just the loss that hurt Barnsley in the Potteries at the weekend, but the manner in which they were defeated. The great recent run of clean sheets came to a crashing halt, with defensive mistakes back on show and a glaring lack of urgency in the Reds' play despite 70% of the ball.

Now, it's about regeneration and recovery, as Gerhard Struber's side prepare for another long journey south for a 6pm kick-off at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday, against a Hatters outfit who themselves were blown apart by Reading last Saturday, to remain rooted at the bottom of the Sky Bet Championship table. 

Head Coach, Struber and his defender Jordan Williams spoke to the assembled media via Zoom during the week to preview this huge clash, and you can watch both interviews on iFollow Barnsley.

Apologies, this video is unvailable.
Apologies, this video is unvailable.

That too was Luton's first defeat in the four games they've played since the end of lockdown in terms of English football. They'd just had positive results on the road, back-to-back, having seen off Swansea City in Wales and then battled for a priceless point at league leaders, Leeds United in a 1-1 draw at Elland Road. 

Our hosts on Tuesday night began the restart with a new manager. We say new, but in Nathan Jones they reappointed the man who'd previously earned promotions for the club before his disastrous exit last season to Stoke City. 

In the Hatters squad are a plethora of former Barnsley players, with most of them regularly featuring for Luton over the course of this challenging campaign back in the second tier. 

Defenders Matty Pearson, Martin Cranie and James Bree had spells at Barnsley; George Moncur, Luke Berry, Jacob Butterfield and Ryan Tunnicliffe have all represented the Reds in midfield and forward Elliot Lee spent a year at Oakwell without really making an impact.

In the reverse fixture at Oakwell, the Reds were blown away in the first half with Butterfield's second-minute strike setting the tone as the Hatters led 3-0 at the break. A second half Mallik Wilks consolation goal was scant reward for Barnsley, and they'll hope to start this clash in much better fashion, and not like they did in that August clash or indeed, in Saturday's game in Stoke-On-Trent.

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Historically speaking, Barnsley have the edge in this fixture. They've won 27 times to Luton's 24, and the Reds haven't lost a league game at Kenilworth Road for 27 years. 

They took four points off the Hatters last season as both clubs were promoted automatically, with them now looking to pull off two separate versions of the great escape. 

Club News

Luton Match Pass

6 July 2020

The Reds are a point ahead of Luton going into this one, and four points from safety after the last round of fixtures dropped kindly in terms of results, with only Saturday's victors Stoke and local rivals Huddersfield Town picking up points of those in the fight to remain in the Championship. 

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A defeat for either side on Tuesday evening would put a severe dent in any survival chances, and a draw isn't likely to be warmly greeted either. So this is without doubt the biggest game of the season so far.

As ever during these behind-closed-doors fixtures, the clash is being broadcast on iFollow Barnsley, and you can get your Match Pass by clicking THIS link, giving you live coverage on Tuesday night as Struber's side look for maximum points and the perfect response to our first defeat in four!

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