Here is all you need to know in the meeting of unfamiliar foes as Arsenal head to Kenilworth Road for the first time in over 30 years to take on the Hatters
After making an otherwise stellar showing against Wolves a nervy affair, Arsenal take a Tuesday night trip to newly-promoted Luton Town looking to win their fourth Premier League match on the trot.
The history between the Gunners and the Hatters is surprisingly long, but largely ancient.
They have faced off 48 times, and the majority of those matches occurred before the advent of the colour television.
The last time the two sides faced off was before the majority of the current Arsenal roster were even born, as Arsenal lost 1-0 at Luton on Boxing Day in 1991 when both teams were in the League Division One.
Fast forward nearly 32 years later, and the clubs are finally facing off in the same division once again, albeit in noticeably different circumstances. Arsenal are on top of the league, vying for their first title in over 20 years, while Luton are basking in what looks to be a short-lived visit to England’s top flight. Regardless, the Gunners have the usual task at hand, which is to beat the newcomers and keep their lead atop the Premier League table.
Arsenal team news
Saturday’s victory over Wolves only produced one potential new injury issue when Takehiro Tomiyasu went down late in the second half massaging his calf. The Japanese defender, a revelation this season, had fans holding their breath before walking off the pitch on his own. Post-match, Mikel Arteta, ever forthright with his reports, was quick to say that the sub was precautionary only.
Tomi’s history of calf injuries can’t be overlooked, and with the need for rotation only increasing as December rolls on, this is something to keep an eye on.
The rest of the injury list remains unchanged, as Fabio Vieira, Emile Smith Rowe, Thomas Partey, and Jurrien Timber remain out.
What about Luton?
Luton are in their first ever Premier League season, and boy does it show.
If it weren’t for Everton’s 10-point deduction, the Hatters would be third from last with nine points.
Luckily for them, Sheffield United and Burnley have both had worse seasons, but just barely. The Hatters notched their first league win in late November against a middling Crystal Palace before losing to Brentford 3-1 on Saturday.
They are plucky and fun to watch, but their inexperience at the top flight has shown in their inability to close out matches despite a series of close 1-0 losses to sides like Tottenham and Manchester United.
They rarely lose by more than a goal, and have only lost by more than one goal three times this season. They may be new to the league, but they certainly don’t shy from the bright lights.
When and where to watch?
The match will take place at Kenilworth Road at 11.15pm on Tuesday night. The match will be live on SuperSport TV.
Arsenal predicted IX: Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Rice, Odegaard, Trossard; Saka, Nketiah, Martinelli