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Luton Town Vs Arsenal: Saka Vs Bell & Other Key Battles To Watch Out For

For the first time in three decades, Luton Town and Arsenal lock horns in a top-flight fixture when they square off at Kenilworth Road in Tuesday’s Premier League contest.

The Hatters lost 3-1 to Brentford away over the weekend, although they remain just above the relegation zone in the 17th spot owing to their maiden Premier League home win over Crystal Palace two weekends ago.

Meanwhile, the Gunners extended their lead at the top of the table by edging Wolves 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium. The win over Wolves saw Mikel Arteta’s team make it five wins on the bounce across all competitions.

Without further ado, let us take a look at the key battles that could define the outcome of this game.

#Tom Lockyer vs Gabriel Jesus

After suffering a knock to the back in the first few seconds against Brentford, Tom Lockyer had to be withdrawn during the break on Saturday. While it was a big blow for the Luton fans to lose their captain at half-time, manager Rob Edwards will give the defender every chance to prove his fitness before the game.

Lockyer is a mainstay in Luton’s defence and his potential availability against Arsenal will certainly be a boost. The Welshman, if deemed fit to start, could face an uphill task of stopping a rampant Arsenal attack led by the industrious Gabriel Jesus.

Jesus has impressed in recent games after returning from injury and will be hungry to get on the scoresheet in midweek. Monitoring his movements in the box is difficult as he is always on the move, thus, making him a tricky customer to deal with. So, Lockyer will have to be at his best if he intends to silence Jesus in this clash.

#Bukayo Saka vs Amari’i Bell

Bukayo Saka is rated among the best players in the Premier League. He was phenomenal against Wolves, terrorising their left side with his pace, dribbling skills and movement. The England international brilliantly took his goal as well, showing great composure to make it five strikes in the top flight this season.

As Saka is arguably Arsenal’s biggest threat going forward, Luton’s defence must do everything possible to keep him under wraps if they intend to keep a clean sheet, and the bulk of the responsibility could fall on the shoulders of Amari’i Bell.

Expected to start as a left wing-back in a 3-4-2-1 system, Bell must stay defensively compact and disciplined while looking to get forward whenever he gets an opportunity. By doing so, he could keep Saka away from Luton’s box and test his defensive diligence.

#Martin Odegaard vs Ross Barkley

Like Saka, Odegaard put in a top performance against Wolves, dishing out chances at will. He created so many chances and the fact that the creative midfielder didn’t leave the game with an assist is an indictment of the squad’s poor finishing. However, the Norwegian did take his goal from the edge of the box, sidefooting the ball past Jose Sa from Zinchenko’s cutback.

Arsenal’s most creative player, Odegaard will look to split open Luton’s low-block with his incisive passing and vision. For the hosts, Ross Barkley has to work his socks off to tame the Arsenal skipper. Whilst the ex-England international’s qualities shine going forward, he will need to put a shift defensively to limit Odegaard time and space on the ball. In addition, Barkley must also use his passing skills to initiate attacks for the Hatters.

Rohan Sengupta

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