Chelsea vs Luton TownEnglish Premier League, KO: 20:00 Aug 25, 2023, Stamford Bridge
CHELSEA remain a work in progress under Mauricio Pochettino but it would be a major surprise if the new Blues boss didn't claim his first competitive win when Premier League new boys Luton Town come calling.
Sorting out the shambles Pochettino inherited this summer was always going to take time but the board have backed him in the transfer market with a British record fee dished out for Moises Caicedo and a further £58million spent on Romeo Lavia.
That has beefed up Chelsea's midfield but it's a familiar failing up front that has undermined their start to the new season, with just two goals scored so far in a draw with Liverpool and a defeat at West Ham.
An injury to marquee signing Christopher Nkunku hasn't helped and fellow new boy Nicolas Jackson has yet to get off the mark, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Blues bring in another striker before the transfer window closed.
That would take their spending on players closer to a cool billion since Todd Boehly's takeover, an incredible sum of money that Luton Town can only dream of.
The Hatters were in the National League less than a decade ago and defied the odds last season by winning promotion from the Championship via the play-offs. Pretty much everybody is tipping them for the drop and a 4-1 battering by Brighton on day one did little to change that viewpoint.
Their first home game in the top flight since 1992 had to be postponed with Kenilworth Road still not up to Premier League standards so Rob Edwards and his players have had extra time to prepare for their trip to Stamford Bridge.
But they will need to be at the top of their game and hope for Chelsea to misfire if they're to have any chance of opening their account back in the big time.
How the bookies view it
It's no surprise to see Luton Town as rank outsiders for this one and they can be backed at a whopping 12/1 with 888Sport. Chelsea's best price is just 27/100 at BetUK and even the draw is big at 61/10 with VBet.
Head to head
This is the first league meeting of these sides since 1991 but there have been three FA Cup ties since then, with two of them coming inside the last 18 months. Chelsea eased to a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge in January 2021 but were made the work harder a year later as they edged a 3-2 thriller at Kenilworth Road.
Players to watch
Raheem Sterling looked razor sharp for Chelsea in their defeat to West Ham and it will be a huge positive for Pochettino if the winger is back to his best. The former Manchester City star is 13/10 at Paddy Power for anytime scorer while Unibet price him at 17/10 to have over 1.5 shots on target.
Elijah Adebayo was a key player for Luton Town in their promotion push and got into double figures for goals. He's 11/2 at Bet365 to open his account for this campaign at Stamford Bridge.
Anything else catch the eye?
Chelsea's games have been pretty entertaining so far and our man Mark cashed in by backing BTTS and over 2.5 goals in their 3-1 loss at West Ham. With Luton Town leaking four at Brighton we should some action here but you have to go to over 3.5 goals to get decent odds at 25/19 with VBet. I'm more drawn to the evens on offer at McBookie for most goals to come after the break as it could take the Blues time to break down Luton's defence.
Even though they lost 4-1 against the Seagulls, Luton actually won the corner count 7-6 in that game. That suggests the Hatters might be worth a look in the corner handicap here, with Luton +4 paying 49/50 at Unibet. It might be safer just backing over 3.5 Luton corners and that pays 23/20 with the same firm.
Hatters stopper Tom Lockyer picked up seven yellows and a red last term so it could pay to back him to fall foul of the ref here, with the Welshman looking a bit overpriced at 9/2 with Unibet.
This English Premier League match between Chelsea and Luton Town will be played on Aug 25, 2023 and kick off at 20:00. Check below for our tipsters best Chelsea vs Luton Town prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.