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Opposition Lowdown: Nathan Jones’ Luton Town

Reading face another away trip on Tuesday evening, travelling to Luton Town. Join us as we take a look at the opposition.

Luton Town v Birmingham City - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images


Luton finished in sixth place in the Championship last season, their highest league position since returning to the second tier in 2019. They faced third-placed Huddersfield Town in the playoffs, but missed out on the final after The Terriers won the second leg 1-0, following a 1-1 draw in the first leg.

Luton currently sit ninth in the Championship, two places ahead of the Royals, despite both teams being on 25 points. They have seen six wins, seven draws and four losses so far this season. Their away form has been stronger than their home form so far with four of those six wins coming on the road. Luton claimed a double over Reading last season, beating The Royals 0-2 at The SCL Stadium in January before a 1-0 win in the final game of the season.

The boss

Nathan Jones: Jones rejoined Luton as manager in May 2020, taking over from Graeme Jones who had left the club by mutual consent. The Welshman started his managerial career at Luton Town back in 2016, having previously held a number of coaching roles at Brighton & Hove Albion.

The club were in League Two when Jones took over, but he guided them back to League One in his second full season with the club, with Luton finishing runners up. Jones had a strong start to life in League One with Luton, which led to him joining Championship side Stoke City in January 2019. He had a difficult spell with The Potters and only lasted eight months before being sacked due to the side’s poor league form.

Stoke City v Huddersfield Town - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Jones rejoined Luton in May 2020 and saved the club from relegation in their final game of the season, before guiding the side to a 12th-placed finish in 2020/21. Jones’ sides are known for being highly structured whilst keeping it simple.


Luton only had four outgoings this summer, with defenders Kal Naismith and Peter Kioso leaving for Bristol City and Rotherham United, and forwards Elliott Lee and Danny Hylton joining Wrexham and Northampton Town respectively.

Strikers Carlton Morris and Cauley Woodrow joined from Barnsley with both signing for undisclosed fees. They added two more forwards to their ranks with John McAtee (Grimsby) and Aribim Pebble (Calgary).

The Hatters boosted their goalkeeping options with the signings of Matt Macey from Hibernian and Ethan Horvath who joined on loan from Nottingham Forest. Midfielders Luke Freeman (Sheffield United), Alfie Doughty (Stoke City) and Louie Watson (Derby County) also joined over the summer.

Luton will be without goalkeeper James Shea, who has a knee injury, whilst star midfielder Henri Lansbury and defender Reece Burke are also expected to miss out.

Expected line-up

Horvath, Bree, Lockyer, Potts, Doughty, Freeman, Bell, Clark, Campbell, Morris, Adebayo

Key player

Allan Campbell: Midfielder Campbell joined Luton from Scottish side Motherwell in June 2021 after the conclusion of his contract. The 24-year-old had been with Motherwell since 2008, progressing through their youth team. He made his debut for the club in 2016 and went on to make 160 appearances, scoring 16 goals.

Luton Town v Reading - Sky Bet Championship - Kenilworth Road Photo by Kirsty O’Connor/PA Images via Getty Images

Campbell has made 56 appearances for Luton and has four goals to his name. He has been ever-present for the Hatters this season, featuring in every league game so far. Campbell is a hardworking and combative centre midfielder, who made his Scotland debut in June this year.

One to watch

Elijah Adebayo: Striker Adebayo joined Luton from Walsall in February 2021. He started his career at Fulham, having progressed through the youth system, but never made a first-team appearance for the club. He had a series of loan spells before joining Walsall in 2019 following his release from Fulham. Adebayo went on to make 65 appearances for Walsall, scoring 18 goals, before securing a switch to Kenilworth Road for an undisclosed fee.

He netted on his first start for The Hatters and has gone on to score 25 times for the club, with three of those goals coming this season. The 6ft4 striker is strong in the air, contributing in both attack and defence.