Why Luton Town could pull off the double-bounce in League One
While Accrington Stanley pipped them to the League Two title last term, many actually felt that Luton Town were the division’s best side. The Hatters racked up 94 goals, and conceded less than half that number.
And ahead of their League One return, that’s amongst the reasons we think Nathan Jones’ side could be in for another promotion…
They tore up the fourth-tier under Jones
While the Hatters lost the odd game here and there, at their best they were demolishing the league’s other sides.
The Bedfordshire club spanked Yeovil Town 8-2 in their opening home game, and managed an even bigger margin of victory later in the season. That came in a 7-0 triumph over Cambridge United.
As for their 5-0 win at Swindon Town’s County Ground, that marked the Robins heaviest home defeat since April 1999.
Simply put, they were far, far too good for League Two. Jones’ charges finished the season with a +48 goal difference (or +1.04 per game). And Kenilworth Road was a fortress, seeing 17 Town victories in 23 league games.
Savvy summer business
A handful of players have exited the club this summer. But of them, Olly Lee – snapped up by Heart of Midlothian – is the only really key player to depart.
The new arrivals are few in number, but notably high in quality. Powerhouse defender Sonny Bradley is a rock at centre-back, as well as a real aerial threat. The 26-year-old registered seven times for Plymouth Argyle in League One last term.
Elsewhere, Jones has tied down a permanent deal for Andrew Shinnie. The former Birmingham City ace shone on loan at Luton last term. And they’ve also added the versatile Matty Pearson, who arrives after a decent showing with Barnsley.
Most importantly, though, they’ve kept onto the core of last season’s key men. Danny Hylton is a wily old-school bully of a striker, and has hit 50 goals across the last two campaigns.
Luke Berry and Harry Cornick are also amongst the key men remaining in Bedfordshire.
This isn’t a strong League One
Had the Hatters been in League One with this squad 12 months ago, we wouldn’t have been so confident. But this is a pretty weak third-tier in comparison.
Wigan Athletic and Blackburn Rovers dominated the division last term, going up with room to spare.
And third-placed Shrewsbury Town are unlikely to be a force this time around. Boss Paul Hurst has left for Ipswich Town, and taken several of the Shrews top players with him.
Of the three coming down, Sunderland’s huge summer overhaul could mean they take time to settle. Meanwhile, neither Barnsley nor Burton Albion have particularly big resources.
Jones’ side kick off the campaign away to Portsmouth. It’s 11/5 for a Luton victory, with the Double Chance on the Hatters at 8/13.
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