Match Previews

Match Preview | Luton Town vs Bolton Wanderers

Luton Town kick off their Emirates FA Cup campaign with a third round tie against League One high-flyers Bolton Wanderers at Kenilworth Road on Sunday afternoon.


Rob Edwards’ side ended 2023 with defeat against Chelsea after back-to-back Premier League wins and an extremely positive 12 months.

Ian Evatt’s Trotters have won their last four in a row and sit second in League One; Bolton have won both of their FA Cup ties by four goals.

VAR and goal-line technology will be in operation for this fixture and the tie will go to a replay if the 90 minutes ends in a draw.

The opposition

After over 500 league appearances during his playing career, Evatt arrived at the Toughsheet Community Stadium in 2020 following a successful first managerial job at Barrow.

The 42-year-old guided Bolton to promotion from League Two in his first season and are now closing in on another potential promotion to the Championship after winning the EFL Trophy last season.

Northern Ireland international Dion Charles is Bolton’s top scorer this season with 16 goals in all competitions – the 28-year-old has scored twice in the last four games.

The Wanderers have the third best defensive record in League One and have picked up the most points in the division from their last five games.

Words from Rob

"Bolton are a very capable team. They are dangerous, confident and in good form so it will be a very difficult game.

"I know their manager very well, he's a former teammate of mine and he has done a brilliant job with them.

"He's been building that club for a number of years, he's had time which he's deserved because of the results they've had. They've had a promotion under him already and went close again last year."

Last meeting at the Kenny

Luton left it late to earn a replay against the promotion-chasing Trotters in the FA Cup third round back in 1997.

The eventual Division One title winners Bolton went ahead through Jamie Pollock before Marvin Johnson found a late equaliser for the Hatters.

Last time out

Luton made a great effort to turnaround Chelsea’s three-goal lead at Kenilworth Road, but ultimately ended the game with no points from it.

Cole Palmer’s brace and Noni Madueke’s first half strike was enough to punish the Hatters despite the late fightback with goals from Ross Barkley and Elijah Adebayo.

Team news

Marvelous Nakamba and Tom Lockyer are the only players not training, giving Edwards plenty of options for this tie.

Issa Kaboré will be available for this fixture before he joins up with Burkina Faso for their Africa Cup of Nations campaign later this month.

It is too soon for Dan Potts to be available for selection, while Reece Burke is further ahead with his recovery.


The referee for our fixture against Bolton will be Andy Madley.

77 yellow cards and three red cards have been handed out by Madley across his 16 games this season.

We last had a game ran by Madley when we entertained Liverpool in the Premier League at Kenilworth Road back in November.

This fixture will have a Support VAR, as Michael Oliver will be alongside Tim Robinson on VAR with Darren Cann as the assistant.

Referee: Andy Madley

Assistant Referees: Nick Hopton & Bhupinder Singh Gill

Fourth Official: James Linington

VAR: Tim Robinson

SVAR: Michael Oliver

AVAR: Darren Cann

Where to watch

This fixture has been selected for international broadcast and you can find out where you can watch the game by clicking here.


Luton Town Football Club has committed in its customer charter to providing safe match-day experiences for all supporters regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation, and this applies equally to home and away fixtures.

In the event that any Luton supporters do make discriminatory chants, the Club will work with the police and football authorities to help identify such individuals. Any such fans would then face the strictest club sanctions, including football banning orders that would prevent them attending any matches, in addition to any criminal charges.

The Club can also be held responsible for the behaviour of its supporters, which could lead to substantial fines being imposed.

As a diverse and inclusive football club, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our fellow Premier League clubs in supporting the FA’s ‘Love Football. Protect the Game’ campaign and call on all fans to enjoy the game in a positive spirit.

Please email [email protected] if you have any concerns and to report incidents at a Luton Town fixture. You can also report incidents via Kick it Out's free, confidential reporting app on the App Store and Google Play.

Fan information

To help us tackle discrimination and anti-social behaviour, please click here to report an incident that has hindered your matchday experience at Kenilworth Road.

There will be additional road closures around Kenilworth Road on home matchdays.

Sunday’s game is a sell out and therefore we encourage supporters to arrive in plenty of time for the game to allow themselves time to be seated for kick off and avoid queuing at the turnstiles.

There was a choice to access through turnstiles on Season Cards, Digital Tickets (through email or Print at Home) or physical tickets.

Please check your order in advance to make sure you bring the appropriate ticket. If unsure, contact the Ticket Office from 10am until 12pm on Sunday or via email ([email protected]) and we will advise the method selected.

If you have selected to collect your tickets from the Ticket Office, please collect as early as possible on Sunday morning. Tickets will be available to collect from the Matchday Ticket Office in Kenilworth Road from 10am.

Tickets for the away game at Burnley will not be available for collection on Sunday and will need to be collected from Monday 10am or posted.

The Ticket Office will be closed on Saturday 6th January 2024.

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