After beginning the New Year with successive defeats to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup and then to Derby County in the league, Sheffield United threw a two-goal lead away against 10-man Preston North End to draw 2-2 on Tuesday.
Jayden Bogle opened the scoring for the visitors before Andrew Hughes was sent off for his challenge on Rhian Brewster inside the penalty box as the last man, which resulted in Billy Sharp converting from 12 yards.
However, Preston came out fighting in the second half and they managed to rescue a draw thanks to strikes from Alan Browne and Emil Riis Jakobsen, with the latter equalising in the 89th minute.
Paul Heckingbottom’s side remain just inside the top half of the table on goal difference – two points and one place behind Saturday’s opponents Luton – but they are now 11 points adrift of the playoffs, albeit with up to three games in hand on some of the teams above them.
Sheffield United are unbeaten in each of their last four meetings with Luton, including their last two home matches, winning by an aggregate score of 5-0.
The Blades, however, were unable to breach Luton’s backline in the reverse fixture earlier this season, which finished goalless, so Heckingbottom will be hoping that his team can improve in the final third this weekend.
Luton Town extended their unbeaten run across all competitions to five matches when they secured a 2-0 win away against Reading on Wednesday night.
An own goal from Royals defender Tom Holmes gave the Hatters the lead just after the half-hour mark before Allan Campbell tapped in from close range in the 58th minute to seal all three points.
Nathan Jones’s men have now accumulated 10 points from their last 12 available which has moved them up to 11th in the Championship standings, though like Sheffield United, there is still an 11-point gap to the top six.
Luton are now preparing for their first visit to Bramall Lane since November 2005, when they were thrashed 4-0, a result that Jones will be confident of avoiding given their upturn in form.