Coming barely 72 hours after the physically, mentally, emotionally draining League Cup final against Liverpool, this game is setting up quite nicely for a quintessential Magic of the Cup trap game.
On paper, Chelsea are the overwhelming favorites, and we beat them just last year, 3-1, in this same competition. It was Frank Lampard’s last game in charge in fact.
In reality, Luton Town are having one of their best seasons in the last three decades, since their relegation from the old First Division in 1992, and they’ve lost just two games in all competitions since the start of December, both away. They are currently sixth in the Championship, the final promotion playoff spot, ahead of both Peterborough United and Stoke City, who gave Manchester City and Crystal Palace, respectively, strong games yesterday, as well as Middlesborough, who eliminated Spurs in extra-time.
On a cold
Tuesday Wednesday night in Stoke Luton, let’s not be like Spurs.
Date / Time: Wednesday, March 2, 19.15 GMT; 2:15pm EST; 12:45am IST (next day)
Venue: Kenilworth Road, Luton, England
Referee: Peter Bankes; no VAR
Forecast: Cold and rainy
On TV: BBC One (UK); none (USA); Sony TEN 1 (India); SuperSport Football Plus (NGA); elsewhere
Streaming: BBC iPlayer (UK); ESPN+ (USA); Sony LIV (India); DStv Now (NGA)
Luton Town team news: After barely avoiding relegation two season ago, the Hatters finished solidly mid-table last season in the Champions under the continuing guidance of manager Nathan Jones. But they began this season with just two wins from their first nine games — not exactly the start they had been looking for. They have steadily improved since however, and as mentioned at the top, have lost just twice in the last three months.
Elijah Adebayo leads the team in scoring with 13 in what is already a career-best season for the former Fulham Academy standout. They’ve recently added Robert Snodgrass, now 34, as a free agent as well, who’s been a thorn in our side a few times down the years. Goalkeeper Jed Steer has also joined in the winter window, on loan from Aston Villa. Veterans Cameron Jerome and Henri Lansbury have played key roles as well, while as we learned last year, midfielder Harry Cornick (not Connick or Junior) is a Chelsea fan.
Chelsea team news: Thomas Tuchel didn’t go into too much detail in his press conference, but revealed that we have a “long list” of fresh injury and fitness concerns after Sunday’s final, including César Azpilicueta, Reece James, and Andreas Christensen. Hakim Ziyech will most likely miss out once again. Time for those on the fringes to step up!
Youngsters Harvey Vale, Lewis Hall, and January arrival Dylan Williams were all spotted in training this week as well, after their own PL2 match with the U23s was postponed.
Previously: Last year’s game in the light dusting of snow was the first between the two sides in about three decades. Tammy Abraham scored a hat-trick while Mason Mount wore the armband and Frank Lampard said farewell.