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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | OXFORD UNITED V LUTON TOWN

2 October 2018

The Hatters make the journey to Oxford United tonight as they look to get their first away win of the Sky Bet League One campaign.

Supporters are strongly advised to leave as early as possible, with traffic around the ground and going into Oxford expected to be particularly bad this evening.

Tonight's hosts have had a particularly difficult start to the season, picking up five points from their opening ten third tier fixtures – their one win coming against Burton Albion at the end of August.

In front of goal they haven't been too bad, averaging a goal a game so far, but it's defensively that has seen the U's struggle. They have conceded three or more goals on three occasions, keeping just one clean sheet.

The Hatters will be hoping to take advantage of this as they go in search of their first three points on the road, having picked up two points from five away games thus far.

Nathan Jones' side have done well against bottom half sides this campaign, winning three of the four and drawing the other against teams who are 13th and below.

Town's new assistant manager Steve Rutter will be in the dugout for the first time alongside Jones this evening – you can read everything about his appointment by clicking here.

THE GAFFER SAYS:

On Oxford: "I can't comment on Oxford. I'm more surprised that we've only got 13 points, that's the biggest thing. It's a tough league and you get punished for certain errors. I've watched them, I know they're not a bottom two, bottom three side, they're not. With the squad, the structure, with what they do, they're not that. So what we have to do is be wary of them finding a bit of form or starting a run off, because we want to start our own run off. But all we do is concentrate on us, see how we can affect Oxford and that's what we have to concentrate on."

On the away form: "Since I've come here we've been good away from home. I was just talking to Alan McCormack about when we started here, we were better away from home than we were at home, that's kind of skipped now.
But we picked up some real good away wins last year and we've got to start doing that if we want to start to climb the table. You can't rely on your home form. Yes, if we were to win every home game and draw every away game then your points tally would be very good, but that doesn't happen. We've drawn a couple at home, so we've got to supplement that with a couple of away wins, it would be nice place to start that now."

On Oxford pair Johnny Mitchell and Jon Obika: "Johnny was here for a brief spell, we had him, he got recalled. He started very well here and would have benefited from that. We've had a disaster with loan keepers, with good ones that we've got in and have been recalled, so we don't tend to go to the loan market for keepers.

"Jon Obika, I know very, very well. We gave him his debut at Yeovil, Terry Skiverton and myself gave him his debut and we also signed him for Brighton as well. I believed in Jon in terms of his goalscoring, in terms of what he has. He's a real great lad, fantastic character, good family and did very well for us at Yeovil. He was a big part of us staying up that year because when we first took over that year we were in a precarious position but the signings of himself and Andros Townsend at the time were big signings for us."

YOU CAN NOW WATCH NATHAN JONES' PRE-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE ON IFOLLOW HATTERS FREEVIEW BY CLICKING HERE

WHO?

The U's have been comfortable in League One since their promotion two seasons ago. The goals of Danny Hylton and Kemar Roofe helped fire them up, with both leaving that summer – Hylton coming here and Roofe getting a move to Championship side Leeds United. Oxford fell into Non-League football in 2006, but climbed out in 2010 under Michael Appleton, who has since departed and been replaced by Pep Clotet and then Karl Robinson.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 7.45pm at Grenoble Road on Tuesday 2nd October.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets for tonight's game can be purchased from the LTFC Ticket Office until 2pm this afternoon. Tickets will also be available on the night at Oxford.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Tonight's game will be refereed by Michael Salisbury, who has overseen ten games so far this season, handing out 26 yellow cards and no red cards.

PLAYED BEFORE?

From the last two league meetings, Town have taken four points from the six available as they drew with the U's at home, before beating them 3-2 at the Kassam Stadium. It wasn't quite enough to help the Hatters into the play-off places and not sufficient to disrupt Appleton's side's promotion push, in what was their last defeat in League Two. Of the 39 meetings between the two, the Hatters have won 17 matches, drawn nine and lost 13.

The most recent meeting was the 3-2 defeat to Oxford in the Checkatrade Trophy semi-final in 2016/17. Two of the most famous triumphs against the U's came in the 1987/88 season, when Town were triumphant in both meetings, the first a 5-2 away victory, before Mark Stein scored a hat-trick in the reverse fixture in 7-4 win.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

The main blow-by-blow account of the action from Grenoble Road 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 EFL Digital team assure us they are working on a fix to get club updates onto the app)
The main moments from the game will appear on the Hatters' social media feeds:

Twitter – @LutonTown
Facebook – www.facebook.com/LutonTown/
Instagram – www.instagram.com/ltfc_official/

And of course Simon Pitts will be on hand to provide commentary for iFollow Hatters which you can subscribe to by clicking here.


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