Luton vs Sunderland Predicted Lineups: Can Luton Respond After Losing the First Leg?

Luton vs Sunderland Predicted Lineups: Can Luton Respond After Losing the First Leg?
Sunderland's Edouard Michut tackles Luton Town's Harry Cornick during the Sky Bet Championship match at Kenilworth Road, Luton. Picture date: Saturday October 29, 2022. - Photo by Icon sport

Luton take on Sunderland at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night in the second leg of their Championship playoff semi-final. The Hatters are 2-1 down on aggregate going into the second leg after Sunderland came back from a goal down in the first leg at the weekend.

Luton will be hoping that they can turn the tie around at home as they look for promotion to the Premier League for the first time. If they are to be successful on the night, then they will have to overcome a Sunderland team who seemingly have momentum on their side after sneaking into sixth position on the final day of the Championship season.

The Black Cats are historically a much bigger club than Luton and were regulars in the Premier League across the 90s and 2000s. However, following the club’s relegation in 2017, the North East outfit have been in the doldrums and even endured several seasons in League One as documented on the popular Netflix Series, Sunderland ‘Til I Die. After winning the first leg at home, Tony Mowbray’s side knows that a draw will be enough to send them to Wembley.

The match is set to kick off on Tuesday night at 20:00 UK time and viewers will be able to watch it on SkySports Main Event and SkySports Football.

Luton Team News: Will Alfie Doughty be fit?

Luton Town went into the first leg with a clean bill of health but manager, Rob Edwards, can’t say the same this time around as Alfie Doughty was forced off late on at The Stadium of Light. While it’s unclear whether it was just a bad bout of cramp or something more serious, the wing-back is a doubt for the second leg.

If Doughty doesn’t make it, then Edwards will have the likes of Reece Burke and Daniel Potts on standby or he may even consider a change of formation. Amaeri’i Bell is also comfortable playing on the left hand side which could mean another shift with Burke playing at right wing-back.

Aside from lingering doubts about Doughty’s availability, Luton have no other concerns. Edwards will be hoping that his team can be more clinical this time around after seeing his side spurn nine shots on goal in the first leg. Much of that will be down to Carlton Morris, who has netted 20 league goals this season. If he is on form on Tuesday night, then the Sunderland defence will have their hands full.

Sunderland Team News: Mowbray to welcome back Aji Alese

Tony Mowbray will be envious of his opposite number when he looks at the number of players on his own injury list. The Sunderland manager could be without as many as eight first-team players for the second leg which is a number that has increased since the weekend due to a couple of knocks picked up in the first leg.

Patrick Roberts and Alex Pritchard were both forced off in the second half with Roberts almost certainly ruled out of the second leg as a result. Pritchard, on the other hand, has a chance of making it with Mowbray describing his knock as less serious than his teammate’s.

One huge boost for the Black Cats is the return of Aji Alese. The 22-year-old defender, who has been tipped for big things, has been injured since the start of March but he has been passed fit for this one. Mowbray will be tempted to throw him straight back in from the start considering the other defensive issues and the magnitude of the game.

Players on the long-term Sunderland injury include Elliot Embleton, Danny Bath, Ross Stewart, Corry Evans and Dan Ballard, all of whom won’t be available again until next season.

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