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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW | LUTON TOWN V GILLINGHAM

15 March 2019

The Hatters will look to strengthen their position at the top of Sky Bet League One when they take on Gillingham at Kenilworth Road tomorrow.

Tuesday's win at Bradford marked the Town's 23rd victory of the season and their 24th consecutive game unbeaten.

Jack Stacey's goal, as well as Barnsley and Sunderland drawing, meant the Town moved five points clear of the second placed Tykes with nine games to go.

Undefeated at home this season, Town have now gone five months since their last defeat, winning 18 of their last 24 games.

Gillingham suffered a frustrating defeat at Priestfield in midweek as Bristol Rovers secured a vital three points, which saw them leapfrog the Gills.

That has put Steve Lovell's side in danger of slipping into the relegation zone, as they sit just three points above it, currently in 17th place.

MICK HARFORD SAYS:

On the Hatters' excellent defensive record: "We try to defend from the front as a team, it starts from the front three. Reflecting on the last two games, I think there has been two shots on target and one of them was offside, when the lad got through in the second half against Bradford, he was about two yards offside.

"So when you look at it, we've defended as a unit very well. It would be good if we can keep it up. They've got a good shape about them when they're defending, and hopefully we can limit teams to those marginal shots."

On Alan McCormack's fitness: "We've assessed him. He seems ok. We will see how he is, but he is improving. He just had a little strain in the back of his leg, he is improving, but we're not sure if he will be available for the weekend.

"He's a seasoned pro, he knows the position inside-out, he does it well and not only does he sit at the base of the diamond, he can rotate well and he's happy to go forward like he did against Fleetwood when he won the free-kick which George Moncur put us ahead from. So he's pivotal in that position, but that's why we bolstered the squad. We knew we'd have injuries or suspensions one way or the other. The squad is strong enough to deal with a few injuries, so if things need to be changed, we will change them positively.

"Pelly has played that role before and he knows the role, all the midfield players know their roles, they know their jobs. If Pelly is need to play in there then we have got the utmost confidence for him to play in that position."

WHO?

A League One side since 2013, the Gills have generally finished midtable and below and with ten games to go look as if a similar position come the end of the campaign might be on the cards.

Consecutive wins for their opening two games was the perfect start for Steve Lovell in his first full campaign as boss at Priestfield, having guided them away from danger last year. A difficult run followed though, and it would take them eight games before they would win again.

A side that are as good away from home as they are in front of their own crowd, they could still be dragged into a relegation scrap if they aren't careful. They do however face a number of teams around them including three sides in the bottom four, so should they carry on their decent run of late, they should be more than fine.

WHEN AND WHERE?

Kick-off is at 3pm at Kenilworth Road on Saturday 16th March.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE?

Tomorrow's game against the Gills will be refereed by Andy Haines, who has taken charge of 31 games this campaign, dishing out 98 yellow cards and four red cards.

TICKET INFORMATION

Only seats with a restricted view are now available to buy in home sections, so please contact the Ticket Office at the earliest opportunity to secure your seat!

POWER COURT CAR PARKING

Parking at Power Court on Saturday will be available with a permit, which you can download by clicking this link!

AWAY SUPPORTERS

If you're a Gillingham supporter heading to Kenilworth Road for Saturday's game, click here to have a look at our away supporters' guide.

PLAYED BEFORE?

The Hatters defeated Gillingham 3-1 at Priestfield back in November when Andrew Shinnie and Elliot Lee got on the scoresheet, the latter grabbing a brace. Supporters may remember the game for Harry Cornick's Gareth Bale-esque run that saw him power down the left before seeing his effort hit the post, rebounding into the path of Lee who tucked it away. In total, Town have defeated the Gills on 38 occasions, lost 19 and drawn 13.

FOLLOW THE ACTION

The main blow-by-blow account of the action from Kenilworth 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 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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