Luton Town vs Chelsea: 3 things to look out for at Kenilworth Road

In the final match of 2023, Chelsea travel north to Luton with a chance to make even more inroads on Brighton and Hove Albion and Newcastle in eighth and ninth respectively.

Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Chelsea FC v Crystal Palace - Premier League / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages
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Ross Barkley
Luton Town v Newcastle United - Premier League / Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

3. Ross Barkley making life difficult for his former club in the midfield

It goes without saying that Luton Town's best move in the summer transfer window was securing the services of the man who closed the book on the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea. It didn't cost Edwards' side a dime in August after he announced his departure from French outfit Nice.

Edwards himself called him an artist. Rightly so given the kind of influence he has had on this Luton team so far. Outside of netting a marvelous goal against Arsenal, Barkley has flourished in a slightly deeper role in the midfield alongside Albert Sambi Lokonga. He is at the epicenter of everything the Hatters do in the build-up.

Only Alfie Doughty, who has competed in far more minutes than Barkley has more completed passes. His 57 progressive passes are 12 more than any other player on Luton. Edwards has not put the ex-Everton youngster on a leash, allowing his best to come out. Arsenal was shredded by No. 6's expertise as he completed six of his eight take ons on December 5.

Though he is not going to say it publicly, Luton's No. 6 will have a chip on his shoulder seeing the west Londoners on the other side. The Blues played him in less than 225 minutes in the Premier League over his final two campaigns in London. Given the form he is in, expect many bright moments for the man who used to call west London his home.