Preview: Chelsea vs. Luton Town

Preview: Chelsea vs. Luton Town

Seeking to claim their first Premier League victory under head coach Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea play host to newly-promoted Luton Town at Stamford Bridge on Friday night.

While the Blues have picked up just one point from their opening two top-flight games, the Hatters have lost their one and only league fixture since securing promotion last season.

After Chelsea rescued a respectable 1-1 draw against Liverpool and showed signs of promise in their opening Premier League game of the new season, Mauricio Pochettino was left with plenty to ponder when his side suffered a 3-1 away defeat to London rivals West Ham United last Sunday.

A sweet strike from Carney Chukwuemeka – his first goal for the Blues – canceled out Nayef Aguerd’s opener in the first half, but two of Chelsea’s biggest outlays during the Todd Boehly era endured an afternoon to forget at the London Stadium.

Indeed, Enzo Fernandez – a £107m January arrival from Benfica – missed from the penalty spot on the stroke of half-time before Michail Antonio put the Hammers in front, and then British-record £115m signing Moises Caicedo came on for his debut as a second-half substitute, shortly after Aguerd was sent off, only to give away a late penalty that Lucas Paqueta comfortably dispatched to condemn the Blues to their first defeat under Pochettino.

The Argentine boss believes that it is only a matter of time before his young Chelsea side begins to click and put together a run of victories, and positive results will certainly be targeted in the coming weeks with Luton, Nottingham Forest, and Bournemouth up next for the Blues in the top flight.

Chelsea, who last failed to win their opening three Premier League games back in 1998-99, cannot take Luton lightly on Friday, though, as the West Londoners dropped points in four of their six matches against newly promoted teams last season.

Three months after winning the Championship playoff final, Luton put their mettle to the test in their first-ever Premier League match away at Brighton & Hove Albion on August 12, but the Hatters were second best against an effervescent Seagulls side who ran out 4-1 winners on the South Coast.

Solly March, Joao Pedro and Simon Adingra all made the net ripple for the hosts before Carlton Morris pulled one back for Luton from the penalty spot nine minutes from time, but Brighton restored their three-goal cushion through Evan Ferguson in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Rob Edwards and co have since had a week off to recuperate and prepare for their challenging trip to Stamford Bridge after their home encounter with Burnley was postponed as Kenilworth Road undergoes a significant makeover to comply with Premier League requirements.

Luton have made 10 signings so far this summer and although Edwards is happy with his current squad, mixed with fresh faces and a core group of stars that helped secure promotion, the Hatters boss is keen to recruit at least a couple more before the deadline.

The Bedfordshire-based outfit head into Friday’s clash seeking to claim their first-ever Premier League points and their first victory over Chelsea since a 2-0 success in their most recent league meeting with the Blues back in December 1991 when they were last competing in the top flight. Chelsea have since won their last two encounters with Luton in the FA Cup, including a 3-2 away win in March 2022.

Chelsea Premier League form:

Luton Town Premier League form:

We say: Chelsea 2-0 Luton Town
Chelsea will be regarded as firm favourites to claim their first win under Pochettino on Friday, but Luton will hope to frustrate the hosts for as long as possible as they attempt to grind out a positive result.

The Blues have failed to convert a plethora of decent chances in their opening two Premier League games, but we believe that they will have more joy in front of goal against the Hatters and they should ultimately have too much for the visitors at Stamford Bridge.

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