The match coming up this Saturday, 20 April 2019, between Accrington Stanley and Luton Town F.C.could be the last meeting between these unlikely, former EFL League Two rivals for awhile. Last season, these two teams battled for the League Two Championship all season. Accrington eventually won the title, but both teams were able to earn promotion to EFL League One for this season. The game this week will take place at WHAM Stadium in Accrington, England, and means decidedly different things for these teams.
In their first year up, theHatters of Luton Town have looked anything but the part of a promoted side. They currently sit atop the League One table with 87 point (7 points clear of 3rd place Sunderland A.F.C.). They lead the league in goals scored (81) and have allowed with second fewest (37). To top it all off, they recently went on a 28 game unbeaten run that was only snapped last Saturday 13 April 2019 at Charlton Athletic F.C..
A win, and 3 points in this match could go a long way toward securing promotion for the Hatters. Accy, meanwhile has struggled down the stretch after a strong start to the season. They currently sit 16th in the League One table, 4 points above the relegation line. For Accrington, relegation is still a real possibility, although things look brighter after a win against Walsall F.C. last Saturday. 3 points against Luton would likely be enough to mark them safe from relegation. Billy Kee leads Accrington in scoring with 12 goals, but has been held off the score sheet in his last 5 matches. James Collins leads not only Luton, but all of League One in scoring with 22 goals.
Accrington Stanley vs Luton Town F.C. Vital Information
This match can be viewed on ESPN Plus (which must be purchased from the Luton Town website) in the United States, and on iFollow in the UK at 12:35 PM ET.
Carl Boyeson will be the referee in the middle of the park along with assistants David Avent and Wade Smith. The fourth official will be Scott Oldham.
This will be the 13th meeting all time between Accrington Stanley and Luton Town F.C. In the previous 4 meetings, Accrington has won 4 times, Luton Town has won 5, and there have been 3 draws. It was the Hatters winning the most recent of those, 4-1, over the Reds at Luton back on 23 October 2018.
Five Points That Shouldn’t be Overlooked
These two clubs played each other for the first time in 2008, but have been regular opponents since. This includes 10 meetings in League Two, and 1 in the 2017 FA Cup. This will be their second meeting as League One sides, the first being last October
Accrington has struggled to score goals this season, with just 43 tallies in 42 games. Luton has scored nearly twice that number (81), while also allowing 24 fewer than Accy. The net goal differential difference between the two teams is a whopping +62 in favor of Luton, meaning this should be an easy match for them on paper.
A promotion for Luton Town to the EFL Championship would mark their return to the second tier for the first time since 2007. During that time they were relegated as far as the 5th division before rebounding in recent seasons.
Luton’s 28 game unbeaten run was the longest such streak by a promoted side in any division, in 125 years. The last such streak by a promoted side was by Liverpool, all the way back in the 1893-94 season.
The pair of goal that were scored by Ross Sykes, to power last week’s win over Walsall were just the 2nd and 3rd goals for the 20-year-old in League One play this season. Prior to last week he had not found the back of the net since all the way back on 21 August 2018.
Accrington Stanley vs Luton Town F.C. Prediction
While this game looks like a blowout on paper, the game is not played on paper. In spite of their lack of geographic proximity, these two teams do have a bit of a rivalry from their League Two days, and that changes the complexion of any game. Accrington is also never an easy place to play at, something that has gotten more difficult recently as the pitch has really begun to show the wear of the weather and season. Also, Accrington needs this game more. 3 points here would give them enough breathing room to no longer feel relegation breathing down their neck. On the other hand, Luton has a promotion close to wrapped up already, and may already be reading their own clippings a bit as evidenced by their loss to Charlton. I foresee a scrappy, hard fought battle that sees both teams leaving the grounds with a point.
Prediction – Draw 2-2