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Luton Town v West Ham preview: West Ham to be the villains on big night for Luton

History will be made on Friday as Luton Town host West Ham in the first-ever Premier League match to be played at Kenilworth Road.

The Hatters have been game in their defeats at Brighton and Chelsea, but it is at home where their top-flight future is likely to be decided.

They edged League Two Gillingham 3-2 in the EFL Cup on Tuesday and, after using that as a dress rehearsal, will be desperate to put on a show at their newly-renovated home.

Despite some mixed performances, the Hammers have taken seven points from a possible nine, drawing 1-1 at Bournemouth, before beating both Chelsea and Brighton 3-1.

However, this game has been highlighted as a potential banana skin since the fixtures were announced in June. 

David Moyes' men will be desperate to avoid a repeat of last August, when Nottingham Forest celebrated their first home Premier League outing since 1999 by grabbing a 1-0 victory.

WhatLuton v West Ham
WhereKenilworth Road, Luton
When20:00, Friday 1st September, 2023
How to watchSky Sports Premier League & Main Event
OddsLuton 15/4, Draw 11/4, West Ham 3/4

Hammers to follow a familiar script

The emotion on show at Kenilworth Road is sure to give Luton an extra boost and it would be no surprise to see them fly out of the traps and go on the attack.

Rather than Rob Edwards' side looking to frustrate their opponents, they have been happy to play on the front foot and go toe-to-toe with their rivals.

They were unlucky at times in both their 4-1 defeat at Brighton and then the 3-0 loss at Chelsea and will have been targeting this match, with clear similarities between this fixture and the Hammers' defeat at the City Ground. 

The Hatters fans have had to wait even longer than their Forest counterparts for top-flight football to return, with their relegation in the final season before the Premier League sparking a spiral that would see them drop into non-league.

After rising back up through the ranks, the Kenilworth Road crowd will be ready to back them all the way and a home win is 15/4

However, their enthusiasm is at odds with the patient manner in which the Irons have approached games this season, allowing their opponents to have the ball before striking on the counter-attack.

Taking emotion out of the match, their current gameplan seems perfect for Friday, and with them just 3/4 for the victory, they look on course for another success with the draw 11/4.

Bowen back to his best

Jarrod Bowen scored the most famous goal in West Ham's recent history when he slotted home the winner in May's Europa Conference League final win over Fiorentina.

The confidence he gained from this moment in Prague looks to have helped him rediscover his previous form and, after netting on the opening weekend at Bournemouth, he did so again at Brighton.

Mohammed Kudus' arrival from Ajax hints that Bowen may have to tweak his role in the coming months, but he remains a key part of Moyes' plans and is 5/2 to score anytime.

Kudus himself is also 5/2 following his arrival from Ajax, where he signed off with a hat-trick against Ludogorets, while another Hammer to watch is James Ward-Prowse.

The 28-year-old has enjoyed a dream start at the club following his switch from Southampton, providing two assists against Chelsea before netting the opener at Brighton.

Ward-Prowse is 9/4 to provide over 0.5 assists, while he can also be backed at 7/2 in the anytime scorer market.

Go for goals at Kenilworth Road

With Bowen and Ward-Prowse around, the Hammers now look to carry more of a goal threat and both teams to score could be an option at 4/5 and seems likely, having landed in all of the visitors' games this season.

In fact, a third straight 3-1 win for West Ham might not be too far away at 16/1, while the Hammers are 11/4 to score over 2.5 goals.

Luton are 7/5 to score exactly one goal and that might be the maximum they can muster, as Edwards continues to put the pieces into place after a busy summer.

Football – Premier League

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