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MATCH PREVIEW ~ Fulham welcome Luton Town ~ Prem MD 05 ~ 23/24

last updated Friday 15th September 2023, 7:07 PM

Match Preview

Fulham v Luton Town

Premier League Match Day 05 23/24 at Craven Cottage

Saturday 16th September 2023    KO: 15:00

Referee: Michael Salisbury (Lancashire)

Fulham manager Marco Silva
Fulham manager
Marco Silva
Marco Silva
His Wiki page
Luton Town coach Rob Edwards
Luton Town coach
Rob Edwards
His Wiki page
Ben Knapton Fulham will be looking for their first home win of the 2023/2024 season when they welcome newly-promoted Luton Town to Craven Cottage on Saturday.

Marco Silva's seething side fell to a 5-1 humbling at the hands of champions Manchester City two weekends ago, while the Hatters' losing streak continued with a 2-1 home beating at the hands of West Ham United.

Nothing less than a Manchester mauling was to be expected when Fulham paid a visit to the Etihad Stadium before the international break, but Marco Silva's side felt particularly hard done by against the treble winners, having gone behind just before the break to a contentious Nathan Ake header.

While Manuel Akanji was in an offside position as he raised his leg to let the ball sail under his foot, it was deemed that the defender was not interfering with play, and any attempts to galvanise his bemused team at the break did not work out as intended for the Cottagers coach.

Tim Ream had initially drawn the visitors level after Julian Alvarez's opener, but a second-half hat-trick from the indomitable Erling Haaland condemned Fulham to a chastening defeat, leaving them with just the one win to shout about from their opening four Premier League fixtures.

The Cottagers found themselves occupying a mediocre 13th-placed standing heading into the international hiatus, and their drubbing against Man City means that this weekend's hosts are one of only two teams to have shipped at least 10 goals in the current Premier League campaign, the other being basement side Burnley (11).

Even when Silva led his side to a 1-0 victory over Everton on the opening day, the overall consensus was that the Toffees deserved more from the match, and no clean sheets at home since February 11 will offer Luton some hope of belatedly igniting their survival charge.

Much was made of the development of Kenilworth Road to be ready for Premier League football, as Luton sought to consign road beatings against Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion to history when they welcomed West Ham to their humble surroundings.

However, the Hatters' party was well and truly ruined by the Europa Conference League winners, who netted in either half through Jarrod Bowen and Kurt Zouma before Mads Andersen's header offered a sliver of hope in added time, but the Dane's contribution was too little too late.

As one of only two Premier League teams without a single point on the board this season - alongside fellow promotees Burnley - 19th-placed Luton are only being kept off the bottom of the rankings owing to a slightly superior goal difference, but their league-low tally of two goals can only be matched by a shot-shy Everton.

Success in the EFL Cup did come the way of Rob Edwards's side at the end of August - a 3-2 second-round win over Gillingham led to a tie away to Exeter City later this month - but Luton's overall away record in the top flight now reads 28 games without a win since overcoming Aston Villa 32 years ago.

The head-to-head column also makes for grim reading for this weekend's visitors, who are winless in seven games against Fulham since prevailing 3-1 in a 1998 second-division match, while their most recent trip to Craven Cottage in May 2022 ended in a 7-0 annihilation under Nathan Jones.

Head to Head

  • Fulham beat Luton 7-0 in the Championship when the teams last met in May 2022.

  • The Cottagers are unbeaten in the past five league meetings, winning both home games in that run (W3, D2).

  • This is the first top-flight fixture between Fulham and Luton since 1959-60. Fulham won 4-2 at home on 12 September 1959, with Luton triumphing 4-1 in the reverse fixture in January 1960.
  • Fulham could lose their first two home matches in a top-flight season for just the third time. They were eventually relegated on the two occasions it has happened.

  • They have only lost one of their past eight Premier League fixtures against newly-promoted opposition at Craven Cottage (W3, D4).

  • The Cottagers have conceded 16 goals in their eight most recent home league games, failing to keep a clean sheet in any of them.

  • Marco Silva's side have conceded 10 top-flight goals this season, the second worst record in the division behind Burnley.

  • Fulham have faced 33 shots on target in this season's top flight, more than any other team.

  • Raul Jimenez has failed to score in his last 27 Premier League appearances but he did get three goals for Mexico during the recent international break.
Luton Town
  • Luton could lose their opening four league matches of a season for just the third time in their history.

  • They are winless in 28 top-flight away fixtures since a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa in March 1991 (D6, L22).

  • The Hatters are yet to score in the first half of a Premier League game.

  • Carlton Morris has been involved in both of Luton's Premier League goals so far, with a goal and an assist.

  • Cauley Woodrow scored eight goals in 54 league appearances for Fulham between 2014-16.

  • Rob Edwards' 10 Premier League appearances as a player included Aston Villa's 2-1 defeat by Fulham in February 2003.


Source Ben Knapton at SportsMole/BBCSports
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