Preston North End looking to complete double over high-flying Luton Town

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Preston North End are looking to pick up their first home league win since early November as Luton Town visit Deepdale on Wednesday.

North End have lost their last three outings in all competitions and sit in 14th after a 3-0 derby defeat to league-leaders Burnley last weekend.

They will face a high-flying Hatters side that have lost just one of their last seven games in all competitions, leaving them in fourth place in the Championship with a three point gap to Millwallin seventh.

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Luton manager Rob Edwards has managed pick up where ex-Hatters boss Nathan Jones left off in the last few months after the latter was named as Southampton’s new manager in early November.

Preston North End's Andrew Hughes challenges Luton Town's Carlton MorrisPreston North End's Andrew Hughes challenges Luton Town's Carlton Morris
Preston North End's Andrew Hughes challenges Luton Town's Carlton Morris

His side have built a reputation as an effective, high-energy unit that like to try and press their opponents into mistakes. They will be a tough test for PNE, with their defence currently ranking as fourth best in the league and Luton having jumped ahead of North End when it comes to the away table. Edwards’ side are now in third thanks to a point at the weekend and a loss of goal difference for Ryan Low’s side.

In Edwards’ preferred 3-4-1-2 formation, Luton are reliant on their wing-backs to travel up and down the flanks as defensive cover and constant attacking threats. Summer signing Alfie Doughty has shone in recent months at right wing-back but is a doubt to take on Preston after being forced off with a tweak to his groin in their 1-1 draw at Coventry City on Saturday.

Edwards has lost just twice since a controversial move to appoint him in November, after he had spent the first 11 games of the season managing local rivals Watford before being sacked at Vicarage Road.

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Luton have often been the envy of other clubs with small budgets compared to their competitors, their success this season has been headed by goals from Carlton Morris, who sits fifth in the Championship scoring charts with 11 so far.

Whilst the Hatters are looking to continue their play-off push, PNE must at the very least avoid defeat. Should they lose, it will be a new club record of six home defeats on the spin and with some areas of the fanbase already calling for change at Deepdale, it will only add more supporters to their cause.

Lowe should have a full fit squad to choose from and could ring the changes in order to find the winning formula.