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Gillingham vs Luton Town Predictions

  • 15:00
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  • Priestfield Stadium

      odds when tipped

      odds when tipped

      Tip Reasoning

      After seemingly putting themselves back on an upward trajectory, the Gills have started to struggle again in recent weeks. They’ve lost each of their last two league matches, while they required a penalty shootout after failing to beat non-league opponents for the second time in the FA Cup on Tuesday evening. Their performance on that occasion wasn’t great, so manager Steve Lovell will be hoping his side can do much better when they welcome a strong Luton side to Priestfield on Saturday afternoon.

      There must have been some optimism from Gills fans when they witnessed their side beat Bradford by four goals to nil before watching them trounce Fleetwood by three goals to nil, though that optimism will have now turned to disappointment. Since beating that pair, Gillingham have got back to performing poorly. Their showing away at Oxford, where they emerged with an expected goal difference of -1.83, was simply terrible. Much more will be needed against the Hatters.

      Fortunately, Steve Lovell’s men have found some solace at home, but their performances don’t exactly suggest that they’ll have what it takes to topple a Luton side that is very, very tough to face.

      It is at the back where Gillingham struggle; they’ve kept just two clean sheets at home this season, while they’re giving up an average of 1.53 expected goals at Priestfield. By averaging 1.74 expected goals, they have made their presence felt at the other end of the pitch, though this is a match that may need to be won in the defensive third, so it’s not at all hard to see the hosts coming up short.

      Luton are very good going forward, but they’ve also got something about them at the back, which cannot be said for the Gills. The Hatters come into this fixture having kept three clean sheets in their last five League One matches, while they’ve shut their opponents out in each of their last two travelling matches.

      However, the Hatters are conceding an average of 1.49 expected goals on their travels, which is barely better than Gillingham’s figure at home, so perhaps there is hope for the hosts. What’s more, even if Luton can put pressure on a weak home back-line, which they certainly should do, the Gills should enjoy playing on the counter. After all, Steve Lovell’s men have tended to thrive when teams come on to them, as their performances against Doncaster, Portsmouth, Peterborough and Burton suggest. Gillingham scored at least twice against each of those four attack-minded sides.

      From a betting point of view, with both teams looking useful in the final third and with the hosts’ habit of being involved in high-scoring matches against attacking opponents, the bet that stands out is ‘Over 2.5 Goals & Both Teams to Score’. If the hosts play to their average of 1.74 expected goals for at home and the visitors can play to their average of 1.67 expected goals for on the road, then it would be a surprise if the fans at Priestfield weren’t treated to a high-scoring encounter on Saturday afternoon.

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