Luton Town have not defeated Norwich City in a league match for over 15 years, but on Wednesday they will aim to put that record straight when the two teams do battle in the Championship.
Having gone head-to-head at Kenilworth Road already this season in the first round of the Carabao Cup, the two managers are likely to have some idea of how the match could play out.
However, this encounter is likely to feel very different for all involved, as the fixture in September was played behind closed doors, whereas for this game, 1,000 Hatters supporters will be in attendance.
Goalkeeper Simon Sluga should be available to start between the sticks for Luton, despite suffering a slight shoulder problem during the Hatters’ defeat to Cardiff City. However, Brendan Galloway, Dan Potts and Eunan O’Kane are all set to miss out due to injury.
Meanwhile, Norwich are currently going through an injury crisis, as almost a dozen of their players are unavailable with various issues. On Saturday, Daniel Farke was only able to name six substitutes, and just one of those players – Christoph Zimmermann – had played league football before.
More fears were raised in the aftermath of the Canaries’ most recent game as Max Aarons was forced to come off in the latter stages with an injury, but he has been deemed fit enough to travel to Bedfordshire. Emi Buendia will also return to the squad having missing Saturday’s match through suspension.
Sluga; Pearson, Rea, Bradley, Norrington-Davies; Tunnicliffe, Berry, Dewsbury-Hall; Cornick, Collins, Lee.
McGovern; Aarons, Hanley, Gibson, Sorensen; Tettey, Skipp; Buendia, Vrancic, Placheta; Martin.
Having been victorious in just one of their last seven matches, Luton will be very eager to collect all three points on Wednesday night. At the weekend they suffered their worst defeat of the season so far, as Cardiff hammered them 4-0 in South Wales. The Hatters are also out of form at Kenilworth Road, having not won on home turf since the start of October.
On the other hand, Norwich will approach this game in a confident mood, having not lost since October 3. Their 10-match unbeaten run has included seven victories, and four of those were collected on the road. The Canaries only managed to draw with Coventry City on Saturday despite leading for long periods, but they still managed to hold onto top spot as Bournemouth also dropped points.
Ones to watch
Defensive-minded midfielder Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall has played a key role for Luton so far this term, having only missed one Championship match since joining on loan from Leicester City in mid-October.
The 22-year-old featured heavily for the Foxes during pre-season and is believed to be rated very highly by his parent club, despite never featuring in a league game for them.
If selected to play for the Hatters on Wednesday, Dewsbury-Hall will undoubtedly be keen to impress, as Norwich are arguably one of the best attacking outfits in the second tier.
Having made his senior international debut for Poland earlier this month, Przemyslaw Placheta is likely to be very happy with how his time with Norwich has gone up to this point.
The 22-year-old winger left Slask Wroclaw and moved to Norfolk back in July and has made 12 appearances for his new club, helping them earn a healthy total of Championship points.
Placheta has not quite managed to nail down a starting place in the Canaries’ line-up just yet, but as the team have numerous injury problems at the moment, he looks set to feature consistently in the coming weeks.
The aforementioned Carabao Cup clash between these two sides took place a week before the beginning of this season’s league campaign. Norwich were without a whole host of senior players for the match due to international call-ups, and were beaten 3-1, with James Collins netting a hat-trick.
Interestingly, it has been over 13 years since the Canaries last faced Luton in a league match. In their most recent Championship encounter at Kenilworth Road, Simon Lappin scored a free-kick in injury time to seal a 3-2 victory for City.
Additionally, this match-up will remind Luton’s supporters of a famous day in their history, as they defeated Norwich at Carrow Road in the FA Cup in 2013, despite being four divisions below their hosts at the time.
How to watch
This match will kick off at 7:45pm on Wednesday December 2 and is available to watch behind the red button on Sky Sports Football. Alternatively, it is possible to view the game by purchasing an iFollow match pass for £10.
What the managers have said
Speaking ahead of the match, Luton boss Nathan Jones revealed that he and his team are very excited to play in front of the Hatters supporters for the first time this season.
He said: “It will be great to have fans back at the Kenny [Kenilworth Road] and it’s a start, it will be trial and error I’d imagine, but we’re delighted to have a little bit of atmosphere there, and we’ve missed them, we really have. I would imagine it’s slightly better than background noise, but it’s going to be strange, everything’s going to be strange.
“It’s just about getting back to normal as soon as we can, obviously it was a full house in January, February, March it was lockdown then June we were back and with no fans, so it was strange then, then it was no fans, then the odd noise from staff, now we’re up to 1,000.
“Hopefully that can double quite quickly, then double again, double again and then we’re back to full capacity, so it will be strange, but I think everything is readjusting to the new normal now.”
Norwich head coach Daniel Farke was in agreement with his opposite number on the return of fans to stadiums, despite the fact that no away supporters will be attendance on Wednesday evening.
Farke stated: “We're happy to play in front of audiences because we can start filling stadiums again.
“We need to create a feeling in the stadium that everyone feels safe. We have to be disciplined in our protocols, ours are really good and we look forward to having supporters back at Carrow Road.
“I think everyone is desperate to have live football again, not in front of the TV. A late winner would've had Carrow Road exploding. Football is a game for human beings, so we're happy fans will be returning sooner rather than later.
“I'm looking forward to some yellow shirts in the away end, but for that we have to wait a bit longer, but it's a good step back towards normality.”