Opinion: Why Luton Town will pose a new challenge for Tottenham Hotspur

Reeling from a tough loss to Fulham last Saturday, Spurs will be out of action until the end of the international break, when they face Luton Town on March 30th.

Tottenham’s last meeting with the Hatters proved fruitful, with Micky van de Ven snatching a 52nd-minute goal at Kenilworth Road. However, the win could just have easily not been so, and now, Luton look far improved from where they were in October.

To put it simply, it would be wrong to take the upcoming match lightly. With just about a week before the clash, let’s take a look at how and why Luton could cause trouble for Spurs.

Luton Town
Photo by SpursWeb

Improved goal production

In the seven matches leading up to the first game in which the two clubs met, Luton netted just six goals across seven games (0.86 goals per game). In the 21 matches since, Spurs’ upcoming opponents have produced 36 goals in 21 matches (1.71 goals per game), nearly doubling the output they had previously managed.

Amongst the top scorers for the club are Elijah Adebayo (nine goals) and Carlton Morris (eight goals). Luckily for Spurs fans, it’s unlikely Adebayo will make it onto the pitch, with a recent injury likely ruling him out for the remainder of the campaign. Morris, however, has started 23 matches and subbed on for the other six of Luton’s 29 fixtures thus far in the season.

Scoring against Newcastle, Manchester United, and Aston Villa, Morris has shown his ability to cause issues for top defences, and with Micky van de Ven’s status unknown, Tottenham will have to work diligently to protect Vicario.

Micky van de Ven’s potential absence

Ange Postecoglou has offered that VDV might return to the club after the international break. According to the manager, “We’re quite confident with the international break that he won’t miss much more” (The Standard).

However, it remains unclear whether the return will come with the Luton clash, or perhaps the following match against West Ham, on April 2nd.

Radu Dragusin, who played in Micky’s stead against Fulham last week, was unfortunately below par in Spurs’ 3-0 loss. He could be seen completely off his mark on the first goal, scored by Rodrigo Muniz.

Hopefully, with the injection of the international break into Spurs’ season, Tottenham will have some more time to lick their wounds and prepare to get back to winning ways. In order to fend off Luton’s improved attacking prowess, however, Dragusin will have to step up his game. Otherwise, supporters will have to hope that VDV can make a speedy recovery.

Strong performances against top sides

Throughout their improved performances, since Luton last met Spurs, they’ve come up with strong results even against England’s most competitive clubs.

Among the most notable matches include a 1-1 draw with Liverpool, a 1-0 win over Newcastle (as well as a 4-4 draw), and a 4-0 win over Brighton.

Needless to say, the Hatters are capable of generating goals, and even holding highly-rated attackers to scoreless performances.

If Tottenham are playing their brand of ‘Ange-ball’ in the way they have in their strongest performances – and much unlike the way they appeared against Fulham – they’ll likely put themselves in a position to find success against Luton.

However, if last week’s struggles spill over into the upcoming fixture, the opposition could present an obstacle to Ange and company as they embark on the difficult months remaining in the 23/24 season.

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