A place at Wembley beckons for either Luton or Huddersfield as they contest in the first leg of their Championship play-off semi-final. Both of these clubs know they are just three games away from the Premier League, so hearts will be in mouths and anticipation will be high at Kenilworth Road later this week.
Huddersfield have enjoyed a stellar campaign under Marcelo Bielsa acolyte Carlos Corberan, who guided the Terriers to a third-placed finish, and the West Yorkshire side travel south riding the crest of a wave having lost just two games in their last 26 Championship outings. Momentum is on their side.
Luton meanwhile avoided final-day drama in the Championship, seeing off Reading 1-0 thanks to an absolute clanger from Orjan Nyland between the sticks, meaning they consolidated sixth and confirmed their spot in the play-offs. It’s been a miraculous season from Nathan Jones on his second tour of duty.
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Luton vs Huddersfield match stats
Not to temper the excitement leading up to this game, but the Luton-vs-Huddersfield fixture hasn’t exactly been a barnstormer in recent year, while play-off semi-final first legs tend to be more cagey affairs, as clubs look to avoid slipping up at the first hurdle and having nothing to play for in the return leg. For the context of this semi-final, eight of the last nine games between Luton and Huddersfield have finished under 2.5 goals, including the last five in a row.
As for who might influence proceedings in Bedfordshire, Elijah Adebayo has been in hot form for Luton, netting 16 goals, five of which have come from his head — only Aleksandar Mitrovic (12) has scored more headed goals in the Championship this season than Adebayo. Huddersfield are certainly no laggards in that department, though, with Danny Ward netting four from his noggin and Sky Bet are offering odds of 20/1 for him to score a headed goal here.
Huddersfield claimed four points off Luton this season and didn’t concede. Only last month, Corberan’s men masterminded a 2-0 triumph at the John Smith’s Stadium through goals from Jon Russell and Naby Sarr, while the reverse fixture back in autumn saw a goalless stalemate played out.
Where are Luton and Huddersfield tipped to finish this season?