Luton to kick off their campaign in style
The new EFL season is upon us and there are some familiar faces back in the Championship. Luton Town, after a tumultuous decade, have finally returned to the second tier. They kick off their campaign at home to Middlesbrough. Will it be a happy first day? Have a read of our preview here:
A summer of change at the Kenny
The Hatters will trot out at Kenilworth Road knowing that the old stadium is finally in the last days of its life. Planning has been approved for a new, town centre, all-seater and progress is creeping into the club’s infrastructure holding a sign that reads ‘better late than never’.
The new man in the dugout shares his surname with the one who guided the Hatters on the journey from division four to the cusp of the Championship before heading off to a bigger, shinier home. Graeme Jones will be hoping he can keep a tactical and mental similitude, similar to that of his namesake Nathan.
Regardless of how it all ended, his efforts went a long way to securing Luton a place in the 2019-20 Championship.
The key departures of the superb full-back pairing James Justin and Jack Stacey will be hardest cogs to replace but Luton have brought in Martin Cranie and Brendan Galloway to fill the void.
The squad has a lot of talent, but it will be a challenging step up following a rapid ascent through the third tier. If James Collins can rise to the occasion and hit even half the number of goals he managed last season then Luton should be comfortable in their new surroundings, which their fans thoroughly deserve to enjoy.
Woodgate to ring the changes
Jonathan Woodgate has a big job on his hands if he is to revive Boro’s hopes of a return to the top flight. The squad has seen some interesting arrivals with Marc Bola joining from League One Blackpool and Marcus Browne from West Ham.
The latter was excellent during a loan spell at Oxford last season and is an exciting prospect in what has been an understated transfer window for the club.
Stuart Downing, Aiden Flint and John Obi Mikel have all left – taking a hefty wage burden with them, but as Boro tighten their belts Woodgate will need to show he can work with what he has got.
Fortunately, Britt Assombalonga is one of them and the striker is likely to be a key figure again at the Riverside if Middlesbrough are to have a successful campaign.
Luton Town vs Middlesbrough betting tip
This is a tough opener for both sides as Luton have a great home record over the last two seasons while Boro have high hopes under Woodgate. That is why going for a draw no bet on Luton at odds of 21/20 is the way we’d lean in this one.