A rare Premier League fixture sees Luton Town and West Ham United go to battle on the fourth Matchday of the 2023/24 season.
Newly promoted Luton Town will play their first-ever Premier League game at Kenilworth Road after they had to wait following the postponement of their opening home tie against Burnley. The Hatters returned to the top flight for the first time since 1991 with a 4-1 thrashing at Brighton & Hove Albion, but they will be keen to get some points on the board and make theirs an unhappy away destination for opponents.
We don’t see games between Luton and West Ham very often as this will be their first competitive meeting since March 1994 and their first in the league in 30 years. Yet, Luton are unbeaten in their four most recent meetings against the Hammers but most of the players on both sides weren’t even born at the time.
David Moyes’ men are leaking goals at the moment and can’t seem to keep a clean sheet dating back to last season. Therefore, Luton would be encouraged to find the net, especially after doing so via a Carlton Morris penalty against Brighton.
West Ham are up and running with seven points from their opening three games after beating Chelsea 3-1 in the Derby at the London Stadium followed by a 3-1 away win at Brighton. They will be buoyed by that encouraging start as the UEFA Europa Conference League winners look to kick on to bigger things this campaign.
The Irons will have to sort out their poor record in away games and the consecutive travels to Brighton and Luton give them ample time to improve on those fortunes. Their hosts are expected to give them a tough evening’s runout as Rob Edwards’s EFL Championship Playoff winners are a resilient side.
Although the Hatters are heavily tipped for relegation this season, they will be desperate to prove many wrong against a team like West Ham. Regardless, they will need to fight hard to get a result, especially as this is the last fixture going into the international break.
This historic game kicks off at 8 pm UK time on Friday, 1st September 2023 at Kenilworth Road in Luton, Bedfordshire. Luton Town vs West Ham tickets have already been made available via the official channels of both clubs but the 10,356-seater stadium could be sold out two times over because it is now the ground with the smallest capacity in Premier League history.
The game has been the talk of the town since the fixtures were first announced and a party atmosphere awaits at their first top-flight fixture since 1992. Hence, getting West Ham tickets is the best way to gain entry into the ground.
Otherwise, supporters may be lucky to find tickets via ticket reselling sites. Except, of course, they could somehow find a cheeky space to witness the action from one of the rows of houses which line the entrance to Kenilworth Road.
Edwards has been able to recruit names like Tim Krul, Ross Barkley, Jacob Brown, Issa Kabore, Thomas Kaminski, Mads Andersen, Ryan Giles, Tahith Chong, Chiedozie Ogbene and Jacob Brown while Luton also made Marvelous Nakamba’s loan a permanent deal.
Although free agent Axel Tuanzebe is expected to have signed before the West Ham game, the likes of Reece Burke, Dan Potts, Gabriel Osho and Jordan Clark could all miss out once again for Luton.
West Ham will be feeling much better about themselves after a hectic summer as they lost big names like club captain Declan Rice, Gianluca Scamacca, Nikola Vlasic, Arthur Masuaku and Manuel Lanzini.
On the other hand, James Ward-Prowse and Edson Alvarez have proved the only incomings at the London Stadium and they will be itching to start games often. The Mexican does have a fight for a spot on his hands considering the important role Tomas Soucek plays protecting the defence as well as at attacking and defensive set-pieces.
The Hatters boss may well stick to his best team given the task against a top-half Premier League side as he looks to integrate his new signings, especially the ones with experience at this level.
Indeed, Krul and Barkley would immediately improve their starting 11 but Edwards has to consider their match fitness levels as well as the overall balance they could give the side.
Luton Town: Kaminski; Bell, Lockyer, Andersen; Kabore, Nakamba, Chong, Mpanzu, Giles; Adebayo, Moorris
Ward-Prowse had a full debut to remember as he became the first West Ham player to provide two assists on his Premier League bow. The former Southampton captain now has 25 assists in the competition from set pieces and his new giant teammates are set to profit from his famous deliveries.
Nayef Aguerd was the first recipient of a Ward-Prowse special after heading in the early opener against Chelsea before getting sent off with 30 minutes to go in the eventual victory. The Moroccan should return to the squad after serving his one-game suspension against Brighton and continue at the heart of defence alongside captain Kurt Zouma.
West Ham: Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson; Soucek, Ward-Prowse; Bowen, Fornals, Benrahma, Antonio.
Having been their home ground since 1905, Luton’s Kenilworth Road may be small and medieval but they sure know how to use it to their advantage after going unbeaten in their last five games, winning four and drawing once at home.
West Ham, on the other hand, have a poor away record with only one win from each of their six most recent travels albeit will be boyed by their win at the Amex in Gameweek 3. Everything points to goals from both sides and the visitors would have to do more than soak up the pressure to counterattack which worked a treat for their first win of the season. Perhaps the task coupled with the vociferous home support may just be too much for the Londoners to get all three points.
Luton Town 1-1 West Ham