The Premier League returns this weekend with a Friday Night Football that sees Luton Town play their first ever televised Premier League match. The odds are stacked against them as they travel to Chelsea, and we’ve taken a look at how this one could pan out.
Draw at half-time at 9/5
Both of these tips may seem slightly outlandish, but there is good reasoning behind them. Chelsea are 1/5 to win the match, which is outrageously short given what we have seen so far this season. You need to steer well clear of backing them at that price, even if it is the most likely outcome for most onlookers.
Look at the two squads, you’d think a home win is the only possible outcome from this match-up, but I disagree with that general consensus. Chelsea lost last time out against a West Ham team that played the last half an hour with ten men. They’ve not looked functional so far this season after an opening day draw with Liverpool and all of their big money signings are yet to settle in.
When you consider the amount of players that are on the books, it is going to be a difficult task for Poch to nail down his preferred starting XI. Although there are some promising signs, including the return to form of Raheem Sterling, the 1/5 price is outrageously short.
Many will point to Luton Town’s poor showing in their opening day 4-1 loss at Brighton and Hove Albion, but that was a performance littered with individual errors. Nerves certainly played a factor as Luton made their Premier League bow and they crumbled. However, they were playing a Brighton side that at this moment in time is far superior to Chelsea.
The Seagulls are currently top of the Premier League and could well challenge for the top four this term, so it’s no surprise Luton were well beaten there. After another two weeks on the training ground, they’ll want to put in a much better showing here.
Which leads me to the first pick. Rob Edwards will set his side out with a defensive mindset and Chelsea could get frustrated if Luton’s game plan comes off. This Stamford Bridge crowd will be expecting a big response after the defeat to West Ham and if they don’t get an early goal, tensions are sure to rise.
Frustration is a key factor here, and given Chelsea have now lost Chukwuemeka, they could lose some more attacking fluidity. Backing Luton to make it to half-time drawing the game seems to be the most sensible way to get that theory onto the bet-slip.
Draw at full-time at 11/2
An extension of the above theory, with much longer odds. If Luton Town can make it to half-time, they will want to just repeat the feat and frustrate the Stamford Bridge crowd further. With Carlton Morris and Elijah Adebayo they do pose two physical attackers and will want to test Chelsea from set-pieces, so don’t rule out them getting on the scoresheet themselves.
A draw seems to offer the best value at 11/2, given the away side would be glad to take that result if they are level heading into the last five minutes. Chelsea don’t offer any value in this match, and perhaps Luton can pull off a shock at Stamford Bridge.