CHELSEA will be hoping to end 2023 with a bang and put an awful year behind themselves as they travel to Luton Town this weekend.
The Blues face the Hatters in the early kick-off on Saturday, having won their midweek fixture against Crystal Palace.
Mauricio Pochettino‘s side laboured to all three points against the Eagles.
Mykhailo Mudryk netted his third goal in the Premier League this season to give his side the lead at Stamford Bridge.
The win kept the West London side in the top ten of the Premier League.
This year has been a tough one for the Blues, having spent vast amounts in the transfer market with very little reward on the pitch.
Pochettino will be hoping 2024 will bring better fortunes to the club which has struggled to stay in the top half of the table.
The match against the Hatters will not be an easy one for the Blues despite the newly promoted sides’ lowly league position.
Luton have won their last two games in the Premier League, lifting them to 18th place and only one point from climbing out of the bottom three.
Last time out, they won a five-goal thriller against Sheffield United thanks to two own-goals from their relegation rivals.
In the matches against the title favourites, Luton’s players were able to go toe-to-toe only to end with nothing.
What is their form like?
Chelsea have won two of their last five Premier League games.
The club’s inconsistent form has seen them struggle to cement themselves in the top half.
Chelsea’s win over Crystal Palace followed the defeat at Wolves in which the only positive was a goal for debutant Christopher Nkunku.
Before that the Blues beat Sheffield United 2-0 at Stamford Bridge which stopped a run of losses which came against Everton and Manchester United.
Luton Town have won their last two games with one against the Blades and the other versus Newcastle.
These wins have relieved the pressure following five losses in a row.
Christopher Nkunku now seems a permanent starter and can expect a place in the XI once again.
Romeo Lavia made his debut for Chelsea on Wednesday night against Palace but apparently picked up a knock and could be out of action once again.
Carlton Morris could get a start for Luton after coming on and having a hand in both of the Hatters’ late goals against Sheffield United earlier this week.
Who will be the star men?
Christopher Nkunku has looked bright in his limited time on the pitch for the Blues.
The attacker was signed almost a year ago but injury has stopped him playing this season until the defeat to Wolves.
Nkunku’s pace and eye for goal could make him a tricky customer for the Luton Town defence.
The Hatters will face the Blues but one player will have a point to prove at Kenilworth Road.
Ross Barkley was on Chelsea’s books for four years but failed to make the grade at Stamford Bridge.
He has become an important player for Luton since arriving on a free transfer in the summer.
The midfielder would likely love to get one over his former club.
What have the managers said?
Pochettino has urged Nkunku to get more involved ahead of the match against Luton.
He said: “He needs to adapt to the team and the Premier League, but he played more than 60 minutes and it was an important step for him.
“There were a few combinations that were very good but we need to repeat these actions.
“We need him to be more involved but it’s normal, it’s his first 70 minutes.
“He needs to play games and he will start to find himself and adapt.”
Luton Town 1 Chelsea 2
When is Luton vs Chelsea?
- Luton’s clash against Chelsea will take place on Saturday, December 30.
- The game will kick off at 12.30 GMT.
- Kenilworth Road will play host to the fixture.
What channel is Luton vs Chelsea and can it be live streamed?
- Luton vs Chelsea will be shown live on TNT Sports 1 and TNT Sports 1 HD in the UK.
- You can live stream the action from the Discovery+ app, which is available for download onto your mobile or tablet device.
Luton – 17/4
Draw – 3/1
Chelsea – 3/5
*Odds courtesy of Ladbrokes and correct at time of publication.