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Wolves manager Gary O’Neil expects Rayan Ait Nouri to be fit despite limping off against Liverpool last week. Young midfielder Joe Hodge is nearing full fitness after recovering from a thigh injury.
Luton will assess Ross Barkley, who missed last week’s defeat at Fulham because of a hamstring strain. Dan Potts, Jordan Clark and Gabriel Osho are still a few weeks away from a return.
Here is what he had to say at his news conference:
O’Neil confirmed there were no new injuries despite him changing the “training structure” at the club and that Joe Hodge is back training and may make the squad.
O’Neil said “it’s too early” to consider Saturday’s game a must-win but added: “It’s a team (Luton) we think we can have a real good go against. With our group of players and what we have available, we know we need to be going there and getting a result.”
On performances not matching the results so far: “The signs are there, there’s been large spells in games we’ve done very well. I understand the urgency and that why we’re working so hard to put it all together but I do think it’s coming together. We’ve done a lot of work on the ball but need to improve off it.”
On opponents Luton: “They’re very good at how they like to play, very direct, two up front, play front to back very quickly, good at set plays. The setting of Luton is different to most places. The atmosphere and feel of game will be something players will have to cope with but they’ve been prepared and they understand.”
When asked about the recent performances of winger Pedro Neto, O’Neil said: “I think Pedro’s improvement is purely because he’s fully committed to work we’re doing, how we want to play and how it’s going to benefit him. He’s attacked every training session with 100% commitment and you’re starting to see the benefits. He’s a fantastic player, extremely talented.”
Match Stats & Facts
- This is the first top-flight meeting between Luton Town and Wolves since the 1983-84 campaign, when the Hatters won 4-0 at home and 2-1 away.
- Wolves are unbeaten in their past seven league games against Luton and have won the past three in a row.
- The most recent encounter was in the FA Cup third round at Kenilworth Road in January 2013. Luton, then in the fifth tier, won 1-0 against their Championship opponents.
- Luton are just the second team to lose their first four matches as a Premier League side, emulating Swindon – who drew 0-0 at Norwich in their fifth game in 1993.
- The Hatters can equal the club top-flight record of six consecutive defeats, set in 1956 and matched from November to December 1974.
- Their most recent top-flight victory was 2-0 against Aston Villa at Kenilworth Road in April 1992.
- Luton’s shot accuracy of 17% is the lowest in the division, with only seven of their 42 attempts on goal being on target.
- Manager Rob Edwards made 100 league appearances for Wolves from 2004-08 and was caretaker manager for two games in 2016.
- Wolves could lose five of their opening six league matches in a season for the first time since 2003-04, when their debut Premier League campaign ended in relegation.
- Gary O’Neil has lost eight of his past nine Premier League fixtures as a manager with Bournemouth and Wolves.
- Wolves have conceded a league-high 10 goals in the second half of their games this season.
- Hwang Hee-chan has scored three of his side’s five league goals in 2023-24, equalling his tally from 27 top-flight appearances last season.
- Pedro Neto has four league assists for Wolves this season, more than any player managed for the club in the whole of 2022-23.
Referee: Josh Smith. Assistants: Eddie Smart, Nick Greenhalgh. Fourth official: Peter Bankes. VAR: John Brooks. Assistant VAR: Akil Howson.
This one is a 3pm Saturday kick off on 23rd September 2023 at Kenilworth Road. The match is not scheduled to be on tv in the UK.