Luton Town face a difficult task to overcome a 2-1 deficit against Sunderland in Tuesday’s second leg and advance to the play-off final.
Luton fell to defeat away from home in Saturday’s first leg despite going in front after just 11 minutes thanks to Elijah Adebayo.
Amad Diallo levelled the scores five minutes before the break and Northern Irish youngster Trai Hume scored a decisive second to give the Black Cats a lead.
Tony Mowbray’s side drew 1-1 with Luton in both domestic meetings earlier this season and there wasn’t much to separate the pair last weekend.
"And the Stadium of Light erupts with noise!" 🔊
A brilliant header from Trai Hume! 💥 pic.twitter.com/k2g8qUXU8U
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) May 13, 2023
Luton were 14 games unbeaten before Saturday’s result and finished third in the league table, one spot adrift an automatic promotion spot.
Eleven points ahead of Sunderland after 46 games played, many fancied Luton as the heavy favourites to advance and reach the play-off final at Wembley.
The Hatters were relegated from the top division during the 1991/92 campaign and have technically never played in the Premier League which started in the 1992/93 season.
Off we go again then…
COME ON TOWN! 👊
🔴 1-1 🎩 (46) pic.twitter.com/C18HmSPR0z
— Luton Town FC (@LutonTown) May 13, 2023
Luton’s Alfie Doughty was forced to be substituted due to cramp with a few minutes until the final whistle on Saturday and remains a doubt for the second leg.
Reece Burke and Daniel Potts are braced to enter the starting XI if Doughty’s absence is confirmed with Amari’i Bell ready to shift to the left-hand side.
Sunderland duo Patrick Roberts and Alex Pritchard were also brought off in the final moments of the game with injury and their status remains up in the air.
Elliot Embleton, Danny Batth, Ross Stewart, Corry Evans, Aji Alese and Dan Ballard are all confirmed to miss the trip south of the River Tees due to injury.
According to the latest odds, Middlesbrough are favourites to win the play-offs ahead of Sunderland, Luton and Coventry City in descending order.
Latest promotion probabilities and odds after the play-off first legs.
37% 🟥 Middlesbrough (13/8)
24% 🟥 Sunderland (11/4)
21% 🟧 Luton (4/1)
19% 🟦 Coventry (5/1) pic.twitter.com/xWLF0v6Xvw
— BOROSTATS™ (@boroform) May 14, 2023
Luton are heavy favourites however and can flip the tie on its head with a dominant performance in front of their home crowd at Kenilworth Road.
The game will be broadcast on Sky Sports Main Event with kick-off scheduled for 8pm.
StoryHub’s predicted line-ups
Starting XI: Horvath; Bell, Lockyer, Osho; Drameh, Mpanzu, Nakamba, Clark, Doughty; Adebayo, Morris
Starting XI: Patterson; Huggins, O’Nien, Hume, Gooch; Neil, Ekwah, Diallo, Pritchard, Clarke; Gelhardt