Luton Town travel to Derby County only a point behind their host in the Championship table and will leapfrog the Rams with a win.
It has been a tough start for the Hatters since making the step up from League One last season. Guided initially by Nathan Jones and then steered home by club legend Mick Harford, Luton sealed back-to-back promotions when they won the League One title in 2018/19.
Derby have also had to transition this season after Frank Lampard headed back to Stamford Bridge to replace the outgoing Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea. The Rams appointed their first-ever foreign manager in Phillip Cocu and the Dutchman has had an inconsistent introduction to English football’s second tier.
County may have lost only twice this season but they have also drawn six of their first 10 games in a frustrating first quarter for the ambitious club.
Read on for our predictions, key players, TV info and team news ahead of Derby County vs Luton Town.
When is Derby vs Luton and where can I watch live?
Venue: Pride Park
Date: Saturday, 5 October 2019
Kick-off: 3:00 PM BST
TV coverage (UK): N/A
Last five meetings: Derby vs Luton
20 April 2007: Derby 1-0 Luton (Championship)
18 November 2006: Luton 0-2 Derby (Championship)
18 March 2006: Luton 1-0 Derby (Championship)
26 December 2005: Derby 1-1 Luton (Championship)
25 September 1996: Derby 2-2 Luton (League Cup)
Aggregate Score: Derby (WWLDD) 6-4 Luton (LLWDD)
Ones to watch
Derby County: Martyn Waghorn
Waghorn joined Derby from Ipswich Town and has led the line pretty well this season. He has netted four times in 2019/20, leading the Rams scoring charts.
The striker has sometimes cut an isolated figure with Phillip Cocu’s side lacking potency in the final third and much of the creativity comes through their other star man Tom Lawrence.
Key stat: Martyn Waghorn leads Derby County in shots (27), the tenth most in the Championship.
Luton Town: James Collins
James Collins was once described as a striker who wasn’t good enough to play in League One – a statement that seems laughable now. The Hatters’ star striker has been banging in the goals with ease, spearheading their promotion last season with 25 goals in 44 games.
This season he has not let up and has continued to find the net on a regular basis proving once again that he can cut it in a division many thought would be above his ability.
Key stat: James Collins has scored five times from 20 shots on goal for the Hatters this season – a conversion rate of 25%.
The Rams will be without Richard Keogh after the defender injured his knee in a car accident. Also missing will be Ikechi Anya, George Evans and Tom Huddlestone.
Jack Marriott is also a doubt as are both Andre Wisdom and Craig Forsyth.
Predicted XI: Roos; Bogle, Bielik, Davies, Lowe; Clarke, Holmes; Waghorn, Paterson, Jozefzoon; Martin
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The Hatters remain without classy midfielder George Rea and will also have to make do without popular striker Danny Hylton.
Graeme Jones is waiting on the fitness of both Martin Cranie and Andrew Shinnie, who are both doubtful ahead of the trip to Pride Park.
Predicted XI: Sluga; Bree, Pearson, Bradley, Potts; Butterfield; Tunnicliffe, Ruddock-Mpanzu; Brown; Collins, Cornick.
It has not been an ideal start for Derby but they have lost some key players, most notably Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori, and a manager over the summer leaving Phillip Cocu with a rebuild on his hands.
Tom Lawrence is their key creative player but if he is not firing then Derby struggle to create enough chances. Martyn Waghorn needs to get quality service if he is to better the 16 goals he netted for Ipswich in 2017/18.
Luton continue to adapt to their new level following two promotions in as many years. Consolidation would be a fine achievement for Jones and his side this year as the move to their new stadium is on the horizon.
Scoreline prediction: Derby County 1-1 Luton Town