Ahead of the 2023/24 campaign, many felt Kenilworth Road would be a difficult trip for Premier League teams to make.
Yet Luton Town are yet to pick up all three points in front of a home crowd this season.
Granted, they have only played four home matches. Even so, though, it hasn’t been the difficult fixture many seemed to think it would be. Burnley picked up their only win of the season so far at Kenilworth Road and an out-of-form Wolves team claimed a point. Even a Spurs team down to 10 men claimed all three points at the start of October.
Maybe they’ve just been biding their time. After all, who thought Wolves would beat Manchester City? Rob Edwards’ team will be up for the game against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.
But what do the numbers tell us about the Hatters so far this season? That is going to be the focus of the first-ever Stat Pack feature.
We’ll start off by looking at the headline figures. Luton have five points from their opening 10 matches.
They have scored nine goals and conceded 20. Only four teams have scored fewer while just three have allowed more goals.
Edwards’ side are also one of only four teams yet to keep a clean sheet in the Premier League this term and they are without a clean sheet in 14 matches now across all competitions.
If you dive a little deeper into the numbers, you get an even clearer understanding of their situation. Expected Points show us how many points a team deserved to pick up, regardless of the result of the match. It shouldn’t be used as a predictor but it can highlight if a team has been unlucky. Per Understat, Luton’s Expected Points total for the season is 8.86 and sees them ranked 17th in the Premier League for this metric ahead of Bournemouth (7.25), Burnley (6.93) and Sheffield United (3.76).
Going off this alone, their performances have deserved better (slightly).
You can pin-point the exact issue though when you pivot to Expected Goals (xG). Luton have an xG total of 13.91 but have scored just nine times. They are creating chances but haven’t been able to convert them. This is proving to be costly. Their xG haul actually sees them rank 13th in the English top-flight and they’re only just behind Manchester United, for example. Jacob Brown is the biggest culprit having amassed an xG of 1.9 but failing to score for Luton since the summer move from Stoke City. Carlton Morris, though the leading scorer for the team with three, is also underperforming.
Between these two attackers, Luton have three goals to show from an xG haul of 5.4.
Defensively, they are over-performing. They have been breached on 20 occasions but have an Expected Goals Against total of 24.83, the second-highest in the league. Their shot-stopper, Thomas Kaminski, is doing a decent enough job but he’s overworked and barely protected. That needs to be sorted if they are to have any chance of staying up.
— Luton Town FC (@LutonTown) October 30, 2023
Their underperformance in attack is balanced out by the over-performance between the sticks.
At home, Luton have three goals in four matches and have conceded on six occasions. Interestingly, they are underperforming both metrics here having created chances worth 5.6 xG while having an xG Against total of 4.7.
The Hatters average just 37% possession, the lowest in the Premier League, so expect Liverpool to dominate the ball on Sunday.
Liverpool haven’t lost to Luton since 1991. Their last meeting was in the FA Cup back in 2008 and the Reds ran out 5-0 winners.