good morning good morning !
How many of you would have predicted that Luton and Coventry would be battling it out in the second-biggest football game of the year?
These two clubs were in the dregs of the football pyramid not long ago. On Saturday (I double-checked this time) they will be playing at Wembley Stadium for the privilege of playing in the Premier League next season, and the lucrative television rights compensation that comes with it.
A lot of love has been given towards Luton Town lately, and rightfully so! Who doesn’t love a club with an orange kit, in a stadium that small, battling it out with the big boys in the Prem? But Coventry deserve a lot of credit too for overcoming a season in which the Commonwealth Games decimated their pitch. Not only did this mean that many of their early-season fixtures were suspended, but it also resulted in a suspended points deduction.
That episode made this Coventry side difficult to assess because they were bottom of the table, but that’s because at one point they played anywhere between three and six fewer games than the rest of the competition.
Truth be told, there isn’t much that separates these two sides (do forgive the cliche). They drew both of their matches earlier this season, with the latter having occurred all the way back in February.
I’m not predicting a high-scoring game, and I think the pitch at Wembley favours the Sky Blues.
Luton Town’s Kenilworth pitch size is not as large as Wembley’s, meaning their compact defence that worked so successfully against Boro in the second leg of the semifinal may not be as effective against a resolute Coventry side.
Moreover, Viktor Gyokeres is very good at working through defences and Gustavo Hamer is very good also.
Meanwhile, Luton will have to rely again on Tom Lockyer as central defender who’s been so critical for the team’s success. Up front they have two large forwards in Carlton Morris and Elijah Adebayo.
If Lutown Town can find themselves in decent positions off set pieces, then I can imagine them causing some more trouble for Coventry’s back three.
Like I said, I’m not expecting a high-scoring game. These sides are better known for their defensive capabilities than offensive prowess.
There isn’t one side I’m rooting for. I’d rather see a fourth team relegated from the PL and send both of these clubs up.
Both have tremendous stories, but at the end of the day I predict it will be Coventry who will play in the Premier League next season after defeating Luton 1-0.
Fitzie’s track of the day: Kiss, by Prince
And now for your links:
Harry Kane awarded Freedom of the City of London
Charlie Eccleshare and Jack P-B ($$) ask what happened to Arne Slot and why Spurs still don’t have a manager
Dan KP: Spurs manager search depressingly similar to 2021 hunt
The Athletic ($$): With $170M at stake, the EFL is about more than money
Why a Premier League return for Mark Robbins’s Coventry City matters
Luton Town release new images of planned stadium at Power Court