Manchester City face new boys Luton Town for the first time in the Premier League, as they look for their first three points in five matches. It’s been described as a ‘mini crisis’ in the media as the blues have not won in the Premier League since a 6-1 win over Bournemouth at the beginning of November.
They face a newly promoted side that are capable of springing a surprise or two in their first season back in the top flight since 1992. The Hatters have scored in all but two of their Premier League matches so far and, while they have only won two matches this season, they have held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road, whilst suffering narrow defeats to Spurs, Arsenal and United.
It’s fair to say that Kenilworth Road has not been a happy hunting ground for the blues, so if you’re of a nervous disposition, I wouldn’t read much further. Still with us? Okay, on your head be it.
When Was City’s Last League Win, Exactly?
If a run of four games without a win is a mini-crisis, what’s it called when you go 64 years without a league win at one particular ground? That’s how long it’s been since City last won at Luton. September 1959 was the date when City recorded a 2-1 win at Kenilworth Road and City have lost five and drawn six since then. A solitary League Cup win in 1980 prevents City’s winless streak from being 12 instead of 8!
In fact, that win in 1959 was only City’s third in the league at Luton. The first was October 1898 when City won 3-0. They then had to wait 60 years for their next win, which was also 2-1 in 1958. However, with 60 years passing between the first and second win, the superstitious may believe we’re overdue a victory in Bedfordshire.
Defeats, Draw, Surely A Win is Due?
To follow up on the superstitious, they may be on to something. City have drawn the last four at Kenilworth Road, following a run of four successive defeats. So, are they due a win? Between January 1939 and February 1953, City were winless at Luton, which was broken by a 2-0 FA Cup win.
And, the last such ‘mini-crisis’ by Pep’s blues was between September and October 2016, when the bleus went six matches without victory. That was abruptly ended by thrashing West Brom 4-0 at The Hawthorns. So there’s hope yet of a City win.
There Will Be Goals
It will be highly surprising if this match ended without a goal. There have only been two goalless draws between the two in their entire history and the chances of this being the third are slim to none.
There have been 82 goals scored in this fixture to date, with Luton scoring 48 and City hitting 34. Luton have not failed to score in a home match against City since February 1955 and, given City’s recent defensive frailties, there’s every chance that run will continue. In fact,
City have only kept three clean sheets at Kenilworth Road. Luton haven’t fared much better though – they’ve only stopped the blues from scoring on four occasions. Given both team’s defensive problems, it wouldn’t be surprising if this was a goal fest from both sides. The blues last failed to score in September 1986 when Luton won 1-0, ending a run of 14 games in which they scored at least once.
City’s biggest win at Luton was 3-0. However, this was achieved way back in October 1898, so the blues have a bit of work to do in front of goal. Luton’s biggest home win is far more recent, and they’ve achieved it twice. Luton beat City 5-1 in in September 1958, five years after they recorded the same scoreline in an FA Cup match.
Shall We Scare the Superstitious?
Of course we will, no head to head stats is complete without our favourite part.
City have faced Luton just once in December and that match on 11th December 1982 ended with a 3-1 win for the home side. I have no idea whether they have ever met on a Sunday afternoon at 2pm, but we’ll go for no. If you’ve got a few hours to kill, feel free to prove this wrong.