The stats are starting to stack up for the Hatters, who go into the Boxing Day clash at Scunthorpe United in second place in Sky Bet League One, but as Europe’s most in-form professional club with nine wins and a draw from the last ten league matches.
Including the FA Cup, it’s 11 wins from their last 12 unbeaten matches for Nathan Jones’ side, with the 0-0 draw at Rochdale on November 4th the only match they haven’t won since being beaten at Barnsley on October 13th.
The Hatters have won six successive league games – eight including FA Cup – and for the clash at Glanford Park, we come up against opponents who have lost six on the spin, including an FA Cup second round exit to Shrewsbury.
Scunthorpe will be looking to avenge the 3-2 defeat they suffered at Kenilworth Road in early October, when Harry Cornick, Elliot Lee and James Justin were on target for the Town, with Lee Novak and Stephen Humphrys netting the Iron’s goals.
The Hatters will be out to increase their run of 61 games since they last scored first and went onto lose a game, although they may have to make do without vice-captain Glen Rea, who was forced out of Saturday’s win over Burton in the first half with a knee injury.
THE GAFFER SAYS:
On preparing well over Christmas: “I’ve said to them, we’re only as strong as our weakest link, so if people want to sulk and want to think ‘I’m not in the side now, so I’ll have a good Christmas, I’ll have a bit of extra Christmas pudding or those pigs in blankets and stuff like that, and relax, then we’ll suffer. If anyone feels sorry for themselves, if anyone takes their foot off the gas, if anyone thinks that they can have a different preparation to anyone else in the squad, then we’ll suffer. So it’s important that your squad is right at it, that your staff is right at it, because if anyone takes their foot off the gas, we won’t be the team that we are. But they won’t, because they are a great group and I trust them and it’s going to be a busy time.”
On potentially making his first change to his starting XI in nine matches, with Glen Rea’s injury: “It’s been relatively easy for me to pick teams and prepare teams, because we just continue what we’ve been doing and if there’s anything different, then they know, they are regimented in our play and what we do, so hopefully we won’t have to make a change, but if we do, it’ll be a minimal one.”
On this time of year! “I wish everyone a merry Christmas. I thought the fans were brilliant again today and everyone who supports us, because it’s been a very good year, with obviously getting promoted and getting over the line, and the position we’re in now is fantastic. It’s only for outstanding form by Portsmouth that we are not slightly further up the league, so we are in a good place, but we don’t get carried away because we are only at the halfway stage, but if we can pick up another 47 points from the next 23 games, then I think we’ll be happy.”
The Iron have had three managers this year – Graham Alexander, Nick Daws and Stuart McCall – and their most recent appointment has a good pedigree and strong knowledge of League One. Former Scotland international McCall has crossed the Yorkshire border into Lincolnshire, having been in charge of Bradford City on a permanent basis on two occasions, before departing in February. The ex-midfielder played at the highest level of English football with Everton, as well as in the Scottish top flight with Rangers.
WHEN AND WHERE?
Kick-off is at 3pm on Wednesday 26th December at Glanford Park. Built in 1987 at a cost of £2.5m and opened in time for the start of the 1988/89 campaign, the ground can hold just under 9,100 supporters. Their record attendance was for a League Cup match against Manchester United, with 9,077 crammed in to watch the Iron be defeated 5-2. Away supporters are put in the AMS Stand.
We have sold 679 tickets in advance, and supporters can pay on the day. Tickets will be available to purchase at matchday prices as follows:
Seniors 65+/ U21/Students: £18
Under-12 (Max 2 per adult): FREE
MAN IN THE MIDDLE?
Martin Coy tale charge of a Hatters match for the first since our win away at Accrington Stanley last season. So far this season he has officiated in 21 matches and shown 54 yellow and two red cards.
The Hatters have faced Scunthorpe on 14 occasions, our most recent meeting ended in a 3-2 win here at Kenilworth Road earlier on in the campaign. Our most enjoyable victory against them was on another occasion – April 5th 2009 will be a date that will be particularly popular with Town supporters, given the fact we defeated the Iron 3-2 in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
The main blow-by-blow account of the action from Glanford Park will be provided via the Match Centre on the club website, which you can access by clicking here. (*Please note that the club's Live Text will appear only by accessing through an internet browser, users of the Luton Town FC app will receive updates from Opta)
The main moments from the game will appear on the Hatters' social media feeds:
And of course Simon Pitts will be on hand to provide commentary for iFollow Hatters which you can subscribe to by clicking here. Overseas subscribers will be able to watch a live stream of the game, but it will not be available domestically.