Match Previews

Luton team news: Lallana and Webster to be assessed

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We begin our Premier League season on Saturday against the Hatters.

By Bruce Talbot • 11 August 2023

By Bennett Dean
Adam Webster will be assessed ahead of Saturday's game against Luton.

The Premier League returns on Saturday and we begin our seventh campaign in the top division with a home match against promoted Luton Town, kick off 3pm.

Team News

By Paul Hazlewood
Adam Lallana has not featured in the Premier League since January.

Speaking at his press conference on Friday, Roberto De Zerbi said, "We have to analyse Adam Lallana and Adam Webster. Every other player is available to play. Adam [Webster] worked with us on Friday morning, and he’s available but, for the first game of the season, I wouldn’t like to take any risks. Webster is a crucial player for us.

How to follow the game

The match is sold out but there are plenty of ways to follow the game.

Our Live Match Centre will bring you all the news during the build-up, the game itself, and post-match.

You can also listen to live commentary on MyAlbion TV and there will be coverage across all our social media channels.

The Opposition

It’s a historical day for Luton, who make their first appearance in the Premier League and return to the top flight of English football for the first time for 30 years. The Hatters won promotion in May when they beat Coventry City on penalties in the Championship play-off final, having finished third in the regular season. It is less than a decade since Luton were playing in the National League.

Manager Rob Edwards took over in November after former Albion player Nathan Jones left to join Southampton. He has returned to the Championship to help strengthen his squad, signing Mads Andersen from Barnsley, Chiedoze Ogbene (Rotherham), Tahith Chong (Birmingham City), Jacob Brown (Stoke City) and Thomas Kaminski from Blackburn Rovers.

This week former England midfielder Ross Barkley joined the Hatters from Nice while Marvelous Nakamba converted a loan from Aston Villa last season into a permanent move and left-back Ryan Giles was recruited from Wolves.

Previous meetings

The first of the 63 meetings between the clubs took place back in 1920 but this will be the first league encounter in Sussex since November 2007 when Albion won 3-1 in a League One encounter, in front of 5317 at Withdean. Nicky Forster (2) and Bas Savage scored Albion’s goals.

Player to Watch

Ross Barkley brings Premier League experience to the Luton midfield. Capped 33 times by England, the 29-year-old said Luton’s rise from non-league to the Premier League was part of the attraction when working out his next move after leaving Nice earlier this summer.

"I’m still relatively young and over the last couple of years I’ve not played as much as I’d have liked,” said Barkley. "But I’ve reserved a lot of energy and looked after myself, so it's great to be here now as I’ve got a lot to show but I’m ready and feeling motivated."

Stats and facts

  • This is the first time Brighton and Luton will meet in their first league games of a season since the 1928-29 campaign in the Third Division South, won 1-0 by the Hatters.
  • Brighton have won their opening league game in each of the last two seasons, last doing so in three consecutive campaigns between 1974-75 and 1976-77.
  • This will be Luton's first top-flight game since a 2-1 loss to Notts County in May 1992. They're the 51st team to play in the Premier League, with two of the last three clubs making their debut in the competition winning their opening match (Huddersfield in 2017, Brentford in 2021).
  • Albion have only failed to score in one of their last 28 Premier League matches, netting in each of their last 16 in a row since a 1-0 home defeat to Fulham in February. It's the Seagulls' longest scoring run in league football since a run of 22 between March and September 2011.
  • Luton didn't win a single away league game in their last season as a top-flight club in 1991-92, drawing five and losing 16 of their 21 games. Overall, in the top-flight they're winless in 26 games on the road since a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa in March 1991.
  • João Pedro's first league goal in English football came against Luton Town, scoring the winner for Watford in a 1-0 win in September 2020. He's scored twice against the Hatters overall, only netting more in the English leagues against Huddersfield (3).

Match officials

Referee - David Coote

Assistant Referees - Mark Scholes & Timothy Wood

Fourth Official - John Busby