Premier League: Manchester City vs Luton Town match preview

Manchester City entertain Luton Town on Saturday at the Etihad Stadium where a win move them top of the Premier League.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola lead his side to five trophies in 2023 [Violeta Santos Moura]

Who: Manchester City vs Luton Town, Premier League

Where: Etihad Stadium, Manchester

When: Saturday, April 14:00 GMT

Head-to-head record: 51 games – 22 wins for Manchester City, 14 for Luton Town, 15 draws

Manchester City cannot be tempted to look ahead to next week’s Champions League game against Real Madrid, said manager Pep Guardiola, as his team host struggling Luton Town on Saturday in their bid to retain their Premier League crown.

“We have to [focus on Luton Town], the Premier League is so important,” Guardiola said on Friday. “It’s 11, 10 months we’ve been fighting for the title, we know what position we are in.”

Third-placed City, who have 70 points with seven games remaining and zero margin for error, can climb atop of the table on Saturday and crank up the pressure on Arsenal and Liverpool who share the points lead on 71.

Guardiola was unable to provide an update on the fitness of Nathan Ake, Phil Foden and Kyle Walker on Friday. Foden was forced off late in Tuesday’s 3-3 draw at Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie, while Ake and Walker were already sidelined with injuries.

“We’re training this afternoon and then we’ll know better how they feel,” he said.

Brazil goalkeeper Ederson is fully fit and should reclaim his starting spot on Saturday from Stefan Ortega.

Manchester City are in ‘big, big trouble’

City midfielder Rodri had pleaded for a rest after their 3-3 draw with Madrid, and conceded the squad are tired amid their busy campaign for three remaining trophies this season.

“Take a look at our games and you realise,” Guardiola said on Rodri’s comments. “It is simple. He is so important for the quality he gives us. But if you have a player that doesn’t want to play, he won’t play.

“I need to rest the centre halves also but in [England’s] friendly games, [John Stones and Kyle Walker] got injured so they yet cannot rest. We are in big, big trouble.

“I had the feeling we were tired in the last games. We will decide tomorrow what we have to do.”

City striker Erling Haaland tops the league’s goalscoring charts with 19, and Guardiola was asked what more his prolific scorer needs to do to win the Ballon d’Or this season after he finished runner-up to Lionel Messi in 2023.

“He needs to play more minutes, to learn from what you have to do,” Guardiola said. “But the target is not the Ballon d’Or, the target is to win trophies and he did. Would we have won five trophies last year without him? Not a chance.

“It’s not about Erling or any other player. Until you retire, you can [always] be better.”

Following their Champions League quarterfinal second leg on Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium, City travel to Wembley three days later to face Chelsea in their FA Cup semifinal.

Hatters up for Man City challenge

City edged 18th-placed Luton Town 2-1 at Kenilworth Road in December, but dispatched the struggling side from the FA Cup with a 6-2 fifth-round rout in February.

Luton will be without Issa Kabore, who is ineligible against his parent club.

Reece Burke and Teden Mengi have not trained this week for the Hatters, but will have fitness tests before the match at the Etihad Stadium.

“We can go there with a belief and a confidence that stranger things have happened,” Luton boss Rob Edwards said.

“They are a brilliant team with probably the greatest manager of all time and a fantastic group of players, no matter who he plays.

“There is pressure on them to win every game because they are fighting for every trophy. We feel the same, just for different reasons.”

We’ll bring you live coverage of the match as well as Bournemouth against Manchester United on Saturday, and Arsenal and Liverpool’s matches on Sunday.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies