Bournemouth might welcome the distraction of an FA Cup tie after suffering a 4-0 defeat at the Hammers, especially given their visitors are struggling for form themselves.
That was the Cherries’ eighth defeat in 10 outings and they’ve mustered just two goals across the last seven of these games, so they could really do with a morale boost at present.
Luton were expected to struggle following back-to-back promotions and were in the fifth tier as recently as 2013/14, though while they’re rock bottom in the Championship, they remain within touching distance of the three teams above them.
However, they head into this fixture with 11 defeats from their past 14 outings, including five from their last six winless efforts, while what little success they’ve enjoyed has come at Kenilworth Road.
Away from home, Luton have now lost nine on the trot, conceding at least twice in every game and three times or more in five of the last six.
They’ve managed just two goals themselves in those past six trips as well, losing by at least two strikes in all but one of these and by a three-goal margin or greater in four, so it’s hard to make a credible case for Graeme Jones’ men.
A potential saving grace for the visitors is that Bournemouth have hardly excelled when taking on lower league opposition this season.
Their two Carabao Cup matches saw fourth-tier Forest Green take them to penalties at the Vitality Stadium and third-tier Burton Albion beating them 2-0 at the Pirelli Stadium, while Eddie Howe’s men don’t have a great recent record in this tournament.
Indeed, they’ve lost four of five winless games since February 2016, including 3-0 defeats away to Millwall and Wigan, as well as a 2-2 draw with the later at this venue.
Over 2.5 Goals
With that in mind, we’d avoid getting behind the hosts too strongly, especially as they could rest one or two given their lengthy injury list (particularly in defence) and it is output we’d focus on instead.
Eight of Bournemouth’s nine matches in this competition over the past five years have seen at least three goals, including all six versus lower league sides, and they should have the firepower to take the game to Luton.
Graeme Jones’ side have seen a minimum of three strikes in 14 of their past 15 matches, as well as 12 of 13 road trips since late August, while the same has occurred in all three of their League Cup matches this season.
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