Widely tipped to go down in their first top-flight campaign in 31 years, Luton Town are on pace to beat the odds and stave off relegation. The Hatters currently sit 17th in the English Premier League table, one point behind Nottingham Forest, one point above Everton, seven above Burnley and 10 above Sheffield United – with a game in hand on all four – and two points behind Brentford. There are plenty of factors behind their surprisingly successful start to their first-ever Premier League campaign under Rob Edwards, and one of them has been the renaissance of Ross Barkley.
It has been a decade since Barkley broke onto the scene for Roberto Martinez’s Everton, leading the Toffees to a fifth-place finish and securing a spot in England’s World Cup squad. Since then, he has bounced around from Chelsea to Aston Villa to Nice, but at 30 years of age, he is finding a new lease on life at Kenilworth Road.
When Barkley joined Luton on a free transfer in August, he was in desperate need of a fresh start following a lackluster season in France, and he’s gotten that at a club that is defying expectations. Reinvented in a deep-lying midfield role alongside Arsenal loanee Albert Sambia Lokonga, Barkley is nevertheless showing off the creativity and dynamism that saw him emerge as a highly rated attacking midfielder for Everton. He is a surefire addition to your player prop bets.
After a December that saw him score against Arsenal and Chelsea as well as assist Andros Towsend’s winning goal vs. Newcastle in a 1-0 victory, Barkley closed out January with an assist in Luton’s 4-0 humiliation of Brighton before equalizing before the break at Newcastle. He also assisted on the fourth goal shortly after, but Newcastle would storm back and secure a 4-4 draw at St. James’ Park.
If Luton are to come away with a victory against visiting Sheffield United on Saturday, you can bet on Barkley having a big role to play.
Sheffield United in Freefall
The Premier League betting odds are not in Sheffield United’s favor as they look to win their first league match since Dec. 9.
Sheffield United kicked off their return to the Premier League with a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Aug. 12. Since then, the Blades have conceded 2+ goals in all but four of their following 22 Premier League matches, a run that has included an 8-0 walloping to Newcastle and three 5-0 losses, the latest coming on Saturday against Aston Villa.
Chris Wilder’s first managerial spell at his boyhood club would see Sheffield United go to the bottom reaches of League One to a ninth-place finish in the Premier League, leaving Bramall Lane in March 2021 after five years at the helm with the Blades on track for relegation after accumulating 14 points from 28 matches.
His second spell, however, has been far from fruitful, with the South Yorkshire side picking up just two points from their last seven and exiting the FA Cup following a 5-2 loss to Brighton. They have struggled against the league’s bottom-ranking sides, losing 3-2 to Crystal Palace and Luton Town, 2-1 to Nottingham Forest and 5-0 to Burnley.
The odds are against them as they look to pick up their first point on the road since Dec. 22, with our sportsbooks backing Luton to come away with the victory at -134 in contrast to Draw (+288) and Sheffield United Win (+346).
The Blades have not won away from Bramall Lane this season, with their sole two league victories coming on Dec. 9 vs. Brentford and Nov. 4 vs. Wolves. They have the fewest wins (2), the most losses (17), the fewest goals scored (19) and the most conceded (59) in the entire league, and they look headed for an immediate return to the EFL Championship.
Wilder’s side have a Herculean task ahead of them as they look to come out victorious in a relegation six-pointer and defeat a Luton side that has proven a stubborn opponent at Kenilworth Road, having beaten Brighton, Newcastle and Palace while holding Liverpool and Wolves to a draw at home thus far. We’re expecting them to continue their strong home form with a win against Sheffield United in our Premier League best bets.
Questions Of The Day
Which Premier League player is a worthy addition to my player prop bets?
Ross Barkley is clicking on all cylinders for Luton Town, and we’re expecting him to continue his stellar form against Sheffield United.
Which Premier League side is likely to score 2+ goals this weekend?
Luton Town have scored four goals in their last two matches, and they have what it takes to make it rain against a Sheffield United side that can’t seem to buy a clean sheet at the moment.