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  1. Work-rate. Incisiveness. Nous. I don't ask for much. This is how it's gonna be. Build from the ground up. Note this game is not on TV in the UK, and yet this is a game that requires more focus than most. City play Brentford the day before so the gap is likely to again be reduced. We also have the small matter of the League Cup final at the weekend. I don't think Jurgen or his players are the type to take their eye of the ball, but it is still something to guard against. Luton have been punching above their weight all season, and while it hasn't translated into points on the whole, their opponents have generally known they were in a contest. We saw that in the return fixture earlier this season. They started badly against the Mancs earlier today and were 2 down within 10 minutes, but gradually got somewhat of a foothold and pulled a goal back. They were unfortunate that dickhead David Coote (he who as VAR didn't see anything wrong with T-Rex's reckless lunge on Virg in the derby) deemed Casemiro's challenge from behind to not be card-worthy. He probably more than any of the other PGMOL brigade needs to hope PGMOL don't come under any investigation because he just looks the type to turn into a puddle of piss and shit under questioning. Luton had to push forward so left themselves open to the counter, so they certainly gave it the beans in that game. They play us and then City in the Cup over the coming week, but the City game is the following Tuesday so they can attempt to go strong for this one. The two sides last met in the league at Anfield in January 1992. We were miles off the pace in the title race and they were battling against relegation. Chris "Unbelievable Jeff!" Kamara was in the Luton side that day, as was Mark Pembridge, later to represent the blueshite as an industrious but limited midfielder of the sort they have filled their team with since the 90s. Nick Tanner did Nick Tanner things to gift Luton the opening goal, passing the ball into his own net following a miscommunication with Grob. We huffed and puffed but eventually broke Luton's stubborn resistance when another defensive mix-up left Macca with a simple tap-in with 5 minutes to go. It gave us a lift and in stoppage time, Dean Saunders stole in to bundle a Barnesy cross past Steve Sutton for the winning goal. Results-wise, we were actually in a bit of decent form, with the Luton game part of a 12-game sequence featuring 8 wins and 4 draws. We were by no means a prolific side that year, with results like the 4-0s against Swarovski Tirol and Crewe definite outliers. I said in the previous match thread that I don't know the fitness situation of the squad at the time of writing. Ali then dropped out with a hamstring strain in training, and both Curtis and Diogo were crocked in the Brentford game. Darwin was also taken off at half time as a precaution, so who knows what the situation is. The rotation in the Luton game might be more down to necessity than design, as Trent, Dom and Thiago are all unavailable. The hope is that the players involved are capable of doing the business. Aside from the usual maximum motivation, attitude and application required from first minute to last, I hope the players aren't casting one eye on their place in the cup final team and taking their focus away from this one. Concentration needs to be bang-on here. More than that though, I hope we get some much better luck on the injury front, with players staying fit and the injured ones coming back quickly, fully recovered, sharp and hungry. Three points please. Get it done!
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