How the Bookies See it:
- Match Winner: Luton 13/10, Blackpool 9/4, Draw 5/2 - Bet365
- First Goalscorer: Danny Hylton (LUT) 4/1, Jack Marriott (LUT) 11/2, Kyle Vassell (BLA) 13/2 - BetVictor
- To Qualify: Blackpool 4/9, Luton Town 13/8 - BetVictor
What Happened in the First Leg?
Blackpool’s Mark Cullen came back to haunt his old team as the former Luton striker grabbed a hat-trick to hand the Tangerines a first leg advantage. The 25-year-old notched his first with a low drive after 19 minutes to hand his current employers an early lead, but two goals in two minutes from Dan Potts and Isaac Vassell gave the Hatters the upper hand heading into the interval.
However, the Lancashire side hit back hard as Cullen, who left Luton to join the former Premier League club for just £150,000 in 2015, netted less than two minutes after the restart, before picking up his third of the match from the penalty spot to secure the home side a 3-2 victory. The win means that Gary Bowyer’s team, who hadn’t beaten Luton in their two league meetings this season, take a slender one-goal advantage into their second leg meeting this Thursday.
Despite being behind in the contest, Luton will certainly not be writing themselves off just yet. The Hatters will enter this game confident of securing the win needed to progress, especially given that they picked up 40 of their 77 league points at home over the course of the season. In Danny Hylton, the Bedfordshire outfit will fancy their chances of snatching an early goal to level the tie. The former Oxford striker will be anything but accommodating for the Blackpool backline and looks well-priced to score the opening goal at 4/1 with Betfred. Manager Nathan Jones could also look to utilise youngster Jack Marriott if the goals aren’t free flowing. The 22-year-old is 6/1 with Paddy Power to grab the last goal of the game, a strike that could determine whether or not Luton head to Wembley for an encounter with Exeter or Carlisle.
Blackpool will be aiming to reach their first play-off final since 2012 and, following their first leg victory, Gary Bowyer will be hopeful that his team can remain cool, calm and collected under the lights in Luton. The Tangerines are 4/9 to qualify for the League Two Wembley showpiece and 9/4 to head there on the back of a first win at Kenilworth Road since 2003. The going will be tough, though, and the Bloomfield Road side will probably need to score, especially if the home side hit their stride. With that in mind, a 1-1 draw looks tempting at 6/1 (BetVictor), while the odds on another goal-fest are also eye-catching - 5/1 (BetVictor) for there to be more than 4.5 goals.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Danny Hylton to score first 4/1 - Betfred
*Please note, odds may fluctuate.