Preview: Arsenal gunning for top spot when they play host to Luton

By on April 2, 2024

Declan Rice Arteta Arsenal

Arsenal will be looking to return to the top of the Premier League table when we host Luton Town at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.

The much anticipated top of the table clash with Manchester City on Sunday turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. Many expected a thriller at the Etihad Stadium as two of Europe’s most attack-minded teams faced-off against each other. Mikel Arteta vs Pep Guardiola was meant to bring goals. However, the two teams cancelled each other out and played out a tame 0-0 draw.

Some pundits have praised Arsenal for getting a point and not only being the first side in over 50 league games to get a clean sheet at the Eithad, but we also restricted City to just one shot on target. Others have chosen to take aim at Arteta and his players for their ‘boring’ tactics and ruining the spectacle.

No doubt Arsenal weren’t at their attacking best on Sunday and I was a little disappointed that we didn’t show more courage to try and win the game. This was a great opportunity to snatch all three points given that City were without some key defensive players. However, we’ve tried to go toe-to-toe with them over the years and have been hammered on our last seven visits to the Etihad, so you cannot criticise Arsenal for being more pragmatic and ensuring we didn’t lose again at the weekend.

Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba were outstanding to keep Man City quiet and I honestly never felt like they were going to score. That’s a huge improvement from last year when we were ripped apart by the champions. So there are plenty of positives to take from Sunday’s draw, even if it wasn’t the goal-fest that many had hoped for.

However, the big winners from the game were Liverpool as they climbed to the top of the table having edged out Brighton earlier on Sunday. The Merseysiders now hold a two point lead over Arsenal and are three ahead of City, with just nine games remaining. Liverpool play Sheffield United at Anfield on Wednesday so are almost certainly going to pick up another win, meaning Arsenal will be under pressure to keep pace by beating Luton.

The visitors are 18th in the table so we should obviously be confident of winning the game. However, Luton shouldn’t be underestimated. They’re fighting for their lives and have been very impressive at times this season, particularly against the ‘big’ teams. Let’s not forget Arsenal needed an injury time header from Declan Rice to secure a 4-3 win in the reverse fixture. Luton were also unlucky to lose away to Tottenham at the weekend as Hueng-min Son scored late on to secure a comeback win for Spurs, so Arteta will know not to take this task too lightly.

How to watch

The game will be shown live on TNT Sport, kicking off at 7.30pm on Wednesday April 3rd at the Emirates Stadium.

Supporters can purchase tickets for the game via the Arsenal exchange. However, the official allocation may already be sold out so fans may need to use a ticket marketplace if they want to get a seat for the match.

Team news

Arsenal will assess Bukyao Saka after he limped off against Man City on Sunday. The England international was carrying a knock into the match at the weekend and may have aggravated it at the Etihad. Fortunately, Saka has been able to train on Tuesday so it looks like he’ll be available to face Luton, but Arteta won’t take any risks with his star boy.

Gabriel Martinelli returned from a foot injury with a late appearance against City so he’ll be pushing to start on Wednesday night. Jurrien Timber has continued to work on his fitness as he looks to return from an ACL injury that’s kept him out since the opening weekend. However, the Luton game comes too soon for him.

As for the visitors, they have a number of injury concerns to deal with. Thomas Lockyer, Amari’i Bell, Marvelous Nakamba, Jacob Brown, Alijah Adebayo, Dan Potts, Mads Andersen and Chiedozie Ogbene are all out.

Albert Sambi Lokonga is also set to miss out against his parent club while Reece Burke, Tahith Chong, Alfie Doughty and Gabriel Osho are also doubts for the trip to the Emirates Stadium this week.

Likely Line-ups

Arsenal have a packed schedule coming up with huge games against Brighton, Bayern Munich and Aston Villa up next after this game, so Arteta may feel this is an opportunity to freshen things up and rest some key men.

Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu are options to come into the defence so Ben White and Jacub Kiwior could drop out. Thomas Partey could also make a rare start in midfield as he looks to build up his match fitness after another injury plagued campaign.

Saka could be given a breather so Leandro Trossard and Gabriel Martinelli may start on the wings for Arsenal. Emile Smith Rowe and Fabio Vieira will hope for some game time in attack if Arteta opts to rest Martin Odegaard while Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah and Kai Havertz will battle it out for the central strikers role.

Likely Arsenal XI: Raya, Tomiyasu, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Rice, Odegaard, Trossard, Martinelli, Jesus

Likely Luton XI: Kaminski; Kabore, Hashioka, Mengi, Johnson; Mpanzu, Barkley, Clark; Townsend, Morris, Woodrow


Arsenal come into the game in great form and will be confident of getting the win on home soil. Luton have shown plenty of fight this season and gave Tottenham a real game at the weekend so they cannot be underestimated. They’ll be well organised and tough to beat while they have the potential to cause problems at the other end.

However, the lengthy injury list weakens Luton and Arsenal should have too much quality for the visitors. If we want to stand a chance of winning the title, we cannot drop points against Luton at home. I don’t think this Arsenal team will be complacent and back us to secure a win on Wednesday night. Arsenal 2-0 Luton