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Match Previews


5 January 2018

Match Previews


5 January 2018

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The Hatters head to St James' Park tomorrow hoping to cause the 'Cup-set' of the third round as Nathan Jones' side take on Newcastle United.

Some of the biggest ever away following at the home of the Toon are already on their way there, with over 7,500 Luton fans expected at the game – something everyone at LTFC is incredibly proud of and we thank you for your unbelievable support.

The Town head into the fixture having only suffered two defeats in their last 25 matches in all competitions, and once in their last 14.

After defeating League One side Portsmouth in the first round 1-0, Town went about their business in a thoroughly professional manner by putting five past Gateshead without reply in the second round at the beginning of December.

After a slow start to life back in the top tier, the current Sky Bet Championship champions Newcastle now sit 13th, having picked up two wins in their last four games against Stoke City and West Ham United.


On facing the Magpies: "We'll have realistic ambitions. I'm not going to sit here and say we're going to beat a Premier League team, what we will do is we will be thoroughly prepared. We're in good form ourselves, so we'll go up there with no fear, but we'll have an element of realism about it.

"We won't go gung-ho, we won't try and think we're going to tear a Premier League side apart, because that's not going to be the case. We have to respect the fact that they're a Premier League side with internationals in their side, with a lot of good players who won the Championship last year, and to do that you have to be a fantastic side.

"Newcastle are in varied form if you like, without being disrespectful, or saying something that's not true. But it will be a difficult tie, because of where we are in the leagues.

"It will be a wonderful occasion in terms of pitting our wits against a Premier League outfit and it's the beauty of the Cup – the romance of the Cup. It's about time we had a real romantic one and it will be a fantastic occasion going up there.

"It's a wonderful stadium full of tradition and they're coming back to good times as well, so it's a great tie for us."

On the side Magpies boss Rafa Benitez could potentially play: "We change our side for some cup games and all those players come out with a real ambition and a real desire to do well, because they want to be in the side. So one, it could weaken them, or two, they could come out with a point to prove.

"Let's bear in mind, whatever happens, he's going to be putting Premier League squad players into a game and that's what we have to remember. It's a wonderful game, but it's going to be very difficult to go there and win it."


The Magpies celebrated their 125th birthday in 2017, and what better way to mark it than by winning promotion back to the Premier League. Amongst many other trophies, the club have won the FA Cup on six occasions, although the most recent came in 1955 when they beat Manchester City 3-1 at the old Wembley. With a capacity of over 52,354, St James' Park is one of the biggest grounds in the country and hosts average crowds of just over 52,000 for each home game.


Kick-off is at 3pm on Saturday 6th January at St James' Park.


Tickets for the fixture are now off sale and no tickets are available for away fans on the day.


Hatters supporters have been invited to visit Newcastle United's sports bar for food and drink before the match. 'Nine' Sports Bar & Lounge is located under the South Stand at St James' Park on Strawberry Place, where special offers include two bottles of Coors or Grolsch lager for £5 and 15% discount off any food purchased.


Our last meeting with the Magpies actually came in an FA Cup fourth round tie in 1994 – a 1-1 draw at Newcastle was followed up by a 2-0 win for the Hatters at Kenilworth Road, with over 12,000 watching on as John Hartson and Scott Oakes scored. That was our 17th win in 50 meetings against Newcastle, whilst the Magpies have won 22 of those games. The Hatters also won an FA Cup fourth round tie at St James' Park in February 1973, when John Aston netted twice in a 2-0 victory.


You can follow the Hatters' Twitter feed on @LutonTown, or stay up to date on the LTFC website in the match centre. iFollow Hatters subscribers can tune in for Simon Pitts' match commentary. Due to this fixture being in a cup competition, international subscribers will unfortunately NOT be able to watch the game live. Highlights will be on Match of the Day on BBC1 from 10.30pm on Saturday.

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