Arsenal v Luton Town: Edwards to name strongest side despite lengthy injury list

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Luton Town boss Rob Edwards doesn’t have the luxury of resting key players for tomorrow night’s trip to high-flying Arsenal given the severity of the club’s injury crisis.

If the situation was different, Edwards may have been tempted to leave out one or two for the difficult game at the Emirates and keep them fresh for the more winnable home clash with Bournemouth on Saturday.

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But with the Hatters down to the bare bones, Edwards will name similar squads for both games.

He said: “Every Premier League game is difficult and they deserve the best preparation, to try to put our best team out.

“I’m aware there’s a game a few days later on Saturday but we are not really going to have anyone else that we don’t have tomorrow, so it doesn’t really make any difference.”

Luton slipped back into the relegation zone at the weekend following a 2-1 defeat at Tottenham, below Nottingham Forest, who managed a 1-1 draw at home to Crystal Palace.

The Hatters could be without as many as 13 players at Arsenal and Edwards admitted the injury concerns had come at a difficult time.

He added: “It’s just where we are at. It’s the biggest challenge I’ve ever had, aside from the real serious incident we had with our captain [Tom Lockyer]. 

“It is the most difficult and challenging period I’ve ever faced, I’ve never known anything like it, and we are coming up against the best teams in the world in this period as well.”

The reverse fixture saw Arsenal escape with a 4-3 win courtesy of Declan Rice’s last-gasp header, although Edwards does not feel Luton will be able to play with the same attacking intent tomorrow night.

Of Arsenal, he said: “Their defence is pretty stubborn, they don’t give much away. It was a bit of a unique game, sometimes it can be at Kenilworth Road. 

“Since the break around January time, [Arsenal] have come back and been incredible. I know they didn’t score on the weekend but they are scoring loads of goals and they are very, very difficult to break down.

“If we are able to go and score three at the Emirates then we’re doing pretty well. We will try to be us and be the best version of us.

“It’s difficult at the moment but, yeah, the last one was a really exciting game. We are going to be lower [on the field] this time, we know that. They are so good with the ball they are going to force us low and to defend really well. We can do a lot of work on that.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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