Villa travel to Luton to banish memories of 2016 & maintain CL charge.

I don’t know what it is about certain football clubs that provoke a shudder. There are a few of these types of sides across the football pyramid if you’re a Villa supporter with any legacy memory. Doncaster. Stevenage. Bradford (twice). The latest name to cause just a little jitter of PTSD from our recent past is Luton Town.


For those that don’t remember, or have wisely opted for selective amnesia, Villa capitulated against The Hatters following relegation in the early days of the short-lived tenure of Roberto Di Matteo. Luton, who were in League 2 at the time, ran out comprehensive 3-1 winners and condemned us to be embarrassingly dumped out of the EFL Cup. It was also a game that featured a Jores Okore own goal that can only be described as calamitous, ridiculous and hilarious in equal measure.

Fortunately, that was 2016, and things are very much different now. Thankfully.


Injuries aside, Villa are in better shape after a much-needed 4-2 thumping of Nottingham Forest in B6. The win, and as importantly the performance, came at just the right time after a dip in form. Indeed, the wins away at Fulham and the following week against Forest were well time also due to the stuttering results of both Spurs and Manchester United below us.

Luton are a difficult opposition to quantify and as with any game of this nature, we daren’t underestimate our opposition. The lift from a return to winning ways would be quickly undone if we slip into bad habits as illustrated against Newcastle, United and Chelsea. They’re tracking nicely in 13th in the form table, but after recent losses are inside the relegation zone.

Luton must be keeping a very close eye on Forest’s upcoming FFP hearing and the potential for a points deduction that would certainly work in their favour. Just eight points separate Luton and Palace in 13th, illustrating just how tight the bottom third of the league is.

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Villa have good form against promoted sides though, winning 7 of our last 8. If we want to continue both this and reinforce our aspirations of a Champions League spot, we will need to show the kind of ruthlessness that Man City demonstrated midweek. They took no prisoners, putting six past our Saturday evening hosts. Luton are also reeling from a run of three league defeats. There’s no room for sentiment and we should not allow ourselves to be the side to bring a barren run for Luton to and end.

Though we continue to carry a number of long-term injuries, there are positives this week with both Ezri Konsa and Jhon Duran returning to first-team training. Pau Torres, who withdrew at half-time in Villa’s last game is understood to be available for selection.

Villa were convincing victors in the reverse fixture last year, we can only hope for more of the same at Kenilworth Road.