Luton Town v Portsmouth: How Sunderland will be sweating on League One clash and the best outcome for Cats

It's a massive night at the top of League One - and Sunderland boss Jack Ross will be keeping a close eye on proceedings.

Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 2:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 3:24 pm
Luton boss Mick Harford

Leaders Luton Town host second-placed Portsmouth at Kenilworth Road in a game that could have a huge bearing on the promotion race.

With Sunderland sitting idle again, Black cats fans will be interested observers to see how the clash pans out - but what result would they prefer?

How does the table look?

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Luton are two points clear of Pompey, though Portsmouth have a game in hand. The Hatters have 59 points from 29 games, with Kenny Jackett's visitors having played a game less and sit with 57 points on the board.

Below them, Barnsley are third (55 points, 28 games), followed by Charlton Athletic (54 points; 30 games) and then Sunderland in fifth (53 points, 27 games).

What about the form table?

Luton have made light of the loss of their former boss Nathan Jones, and remain unbeaten under caretaker manager Mick Harford. Having drawn 1-1 at the Stadium of Light, they have won their last two league games to go top of the table, leapfrogging Portsmouth who have lost their last two League One encounters, against Blackpool and Oxford.

However, Pompey have bounced back with a Checkatrade Trophy win over Peterborough followed by a creditable 1-1 draw against Championship side QPR on Saturday in the FA Cup.

What about team news and transfers?

Portsmouth added striker Omar Bogle to their squad yesterday. The forward completed his loan move to Fratton Park from Cardiff City until the end of the season yesterday. Assistant boss Joe Gallen said: ‘We’re waiting on international clearance. There is that to clear with the English and Welsh FA but the deal is done and we’re hopeful he’ll be involved at Luton."

Pompey are hopeful of adding one more player to their ranks before the transfer window closes, having lost Joe Mason, Andre Green and Dave Wheeler this month.

For Luton, it is more a case of trying to keep hold of their rising stars. Right-back Justin Jones is a target for Aston Villa and Stoke City, now managed by Jones.

So what result do Sunderland want tonight?

A Luton victory would stretch the gap between them and the Black Cats to nine points although Sunderland would remain four points behind Portsmouth with two games in hand. A Pompey win would increase the gap between the Black Cats and the automatic promotion spots too. A draw might be the best outcome.