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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Injury-hit Barnsley may struggle to beat Luton

Goalie Adam Davies and key midfielder Kenny Dougall on international duty

Luton Town could be all smiles
1 of 1

Sky Bet League One
Sky Sports Football, midday Saturday

Barnsley and Luton are first and second in the Sky Bet League One shots-on-target statistics this season with tallies of 77 and 68 so there are expectations of a goal-glut at Oakwell with over 2.5 goals and both teams to score priced up at odds-on.

Given the attacking mentality of both teams it promises to be a hugely entertaining game and there is value in siding with visitors Luton, who can be backed at odds-against with a 0.25-goal start on the Asian handicap – meaning a half-stakes profit if they draw and a full-stakes profit should they win.

Barnsley have won the shot count in all of their 11 league matches this season but triumphed in just six of them.

There have been a few occasions when they have blown teams away, including last Saturday's clash at highflying Peterborough which they won 4-0.

However, the victory came at a cost with top scorer Kieffer Moore injuring his ankle, making him a major doubt to face Luton.

Barnsley are definitely without first-choice goalkeeper Adam Davies and key midfielder Kenny Dougall (on international duty with Wales and Australia) and the absence of key players is a major blow, considering the quality of the opposition.

Luton were promoted last season and took a while to adapt to the higher level.

They took just one point from their first three games but soon got the hang of things and are unbeaten in their last six games.

The Hatters climbed into eighth after winning 3-2 at home to Scunthorpe last Saturday but might feel they should be even higher, having won the shot count in ten of 12 matches.

Often they have lacked a killer touch in front of goal but that may be about to change because star striker Danny Hylton is fully fit after a hamstring strain and poised to make his first start since August.

Hylton has scored 21 league goals in each of the last two seasons and his eye for goal could make the difference as Luton target back-to-back promotions.

Until now Luton have had a poor record against the leading higher placed clubs – losing away to Portsmouth (0-1), Peterborough (1-3) and Doncaster (1-2) and drawing at home to Sunderland (1-1).

However, they have been gaining in confidence in recent weeks and have a good chance of securing a point, or perhaps all three, against the injury-hit Tykes, who need key players to return as quickly as possible.

Recommendations
Luton +0.25 on Asian handicap
2pts 43-40 bet365

Bet on this game at Soccerbase.com

Team news
Barnsley
Kieffer Moore (ankle) is a major doubt, left-back Dani Pinillos has only just returned to training and Zeki Fryers, Lloyd Isgrove and Cauley Woodrow are injured. Adam Davies and Kenny Dougall are on international duty.

Luton
Danny Hylton (hamstring) has been back in full training for over a week and is in contention to start but Luke Berry, Lloyd Jones, Marek Stech, Elliot Lee, Dan Potts and Frankie Musonda are injured.

Key stat
Luton have lost one of their last 11 matches.


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Barnsley have won the shot count in all of their 11 league matches this season but triumphed in just six of them
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