Clark back for the Hatters at Bournemouth as Jones ready to face 'best side in the division'

Team news from the Vitality Stadium

Saturday, 25th September 2021, 2:39 pm
Updated Saturday, 25th September 2021, 2:40 pm
Town midfielder Jordan Clark

Luton have made one change for today's trip to Championship leader Bournemouth with Jordan Clark in for the injured Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, the midfielder returning to the starting line-up for the first time since suffering a horrific collision at West Bromwich Albion last month.

Defenders Sonny Bradley and Amari'i Bell were fit enough to return to the bench, while the Cherries kept an unchanged side from their 1-0 win at Cardiff City, with former Hatter Jack Stacey only able to get a place on the bench.

Going into the match on the back of four successive draws, boss Nathan Jones said: "Three of those games we should have won.

"We should have beaten Sheffield United at home, we had good enough chances.

"If we lost the game at Blackburn after being two goals down we would have accepted it, but Bristol City and Swansea we should have been out of sight before they discovered any kind of goalscoring form.

"Both games we created enough chances, Bristol City enough in the first half to be two or three goals up, then second half they had one chance.

"At the weekend we could have been five-up before they struck, but it is frustrating.

"If we had a seven point week it probably would have been my best week in football after everything we have gone through.

"To put a team out there, even the ones out there, people don’t realise what has gone on before and it is difficult for me to give away too much to other managers as well but we had a real tough week last week and they showed immense character."

On going up against a Bournemouth side who are at the summit after an unbeaten start to the league season, Jones continued: "They’re expected to, they’re an ex-Premier League side.

"They thought they were going to get promoted last year, they haven’t weakened in any way.

"They've lost (Arnaut) Danjuma but brought in real quality in terms of the players they’ve brought in.

"So they’re as good a side as there is at this level.

"Well at this moment in time they’re the best side in this division, because they’re top of the league and the league doesn’t really lie, so it’s going to be a tough game.

With Jones' former signing Stacey only on the bench at the moment, the Town chief though that just showed the strength available to opposite number Scott Parker.

He added: “Jack getting in the side is just a choice, it’s not necessarily that there’s someone in the side better than him.

"They’ve got two fantastic right backs there, Adam Smith is very experienced and has done fantastically well and Jack’s one that’s probably less experienced that him, but they’ve got quality in every position.

“They’re a fantastic squad, a Premier League squad, because they haven’t lost too many from the Premier League side.

"A lot of players that have done really well, in terms of (Simon) Francis, Charlie Daniels, Harry Artur, people like that, they have left the club but they’ve replaced them with the next version of them.

“But they’ve got Premier League quality all over and it will be a very difficult game.

"They’re top of the league and rightly so, we’re unbeaten in four, they’re unbeaten in eight, so they’re a good side.

"But we go there in good spirits, it’s just that I would like to go there with a fully fit squad because I think then it would be a much better gauge."

Cherries: Mark Travers, Lloyd Kelly, Jefferson Lerma, Dominic Solanke, Ryan Christie, Adam Smith, Ben Pearson, Gary Cahill, Philip Billing, Jaidon Anthony, Jordan Zemura.

Subs: Orjan Nyland, Jack Stacey, Chris Mepham, David Brooks, Emiliano Marcondes, Morgan Rogers, Jamal Lowe.

Hatters: Simon Sluga, James Bree, Kal Naismith (C), Reece Burke, Tom Lockyer, Gabe Osho, Henri Lansbury, Jordan Clark, Luke Berry, Harry Cornick, Elijah Adebayo.

Subs: James Shea, Dion Pereira, Carlos Mendes Gomes, Sonny Bradley, Amari'i Bell, Glen Rea, Cameron Jerome.