The glamour and excitement of the FA Cup….but what will be the Newcastle team v Luton?

With the visitors bringing just under eight thousand fans it makes it a more interesting game and little doubt that the League Two leaders will throw everything at the match.

What about Rafa Benitez and Newcastle though?

Well the United boss has been asked if he is looking forward to the third round clash and whether it will be a ‘welcome distraction’ from the relegation battle:

“Not really.

“We have two or three injuries and maybe they will need (more) time…we don’t have too many players.

“Playing two games in a few days, we needed to change players (for the match at Stoke).”

I am guessing that this game on Saturday will be pretty much top of the 19 FA Cup matches played under Mike Ashley (see details of the 18 previous ones below), whereby the Newcastle fans will be most understanding when it comes to the manager’s team selection.

Newcastle don’t have that many quality players anyway and the few he does have, there is no way Rafa Benitez will risk the likes of Jamaal Lascelles and others, with a crunch relegation clash against Swansea only seven days later.

Just look at what Rafa did earlier in the season for the League Cup.

Newcastle team that started in 1-0 Premier League defeat at Huddersfield – 20 August 2017:

Elliot, Manquillo, Lascelles, Clark, Mbemba, Atsu, Hayden, Merino, Ritchie, Gayle, Perez

Newcastle team that started in 3-2 League Cup defeat at home to Forest – 23 August 2017:

Darlow, Gamez, Hanley, Mbemba, Sterry, Aarons, Saivet, Barlaser, Murphy, Diame, Mitrovic

The Newcastle manager made 10 changes for that Forest game and I am expecting a very similar line-up for Luton, potentially even weaker (on paper).

I think Paul Dummett will get a game to help get him fully fit and add a bit of experience, maybe alongside Chancel Mbemba at centre-back, to protect Lascelles and Clark.

Then possibly Sterry and Haidara full-backs, with other fringe players such as Barlaser, Saivet and Aarons also playing. Could even Jack Colback get a game to remind people he is still here and help hasten a move?

Maybe the big question will be what is the state of play with Aleksandar Mitrovic? The line from the club has been he is suffering from a minor back problem but Mitrovic himself claimed in an interview with Serbian media that he is fighting fit and desperate to play football again.

No doubt many of the kids turning up on Saturday will be hoping that Mitro is involved for added interest.

Remember as well, if you are going to go to the Luton game, get your tickets before Saturday, as the £10 adults £5 concessions doubles on the day of the game.

Look at the game as a positive, hopefully some of those fringe players looking to prove a point, Newcastle win the game, get another nice home draw, beat Swansea and Manchester City then we can attack that fourth round…

All 18 FA Cup matches played so far by Newcastle under Mike Ashley:

Oxford 3 Newcastle 0 – 28 January 2017 (Fourth round!)

Newcastle 3 Birmingham 1 – 18 January 2017 (Third round replay)

Birmingham 1 Newcastle 1 – 7 January 2017

Watford 1 Newcastle 0 – 9 January 2016

Leicester 1 Newcastle 0 – 3 January 2015

Newcastle 1 Cardiff 2 – 4 January 2014

Brighton 2 Newcastle 0 – 5 January 2013

Brighton 1 Newcastle 0 – 28 January 2012 (Fourth Round)

Newcastle 2 Blackburn 1 – 7 January 2012

Stevenage 3 Newcastle 1 – 8 January 2011

West Brom 4 Newcastle 2 – 23 January 2010 (Fourth round)

Newcastle 3 Plymouth 0 – 13 January 2010 (Third round replay)

Plymouth 0 Newcastle 0 – 2 January 2010

Newcastle 0 Hull 1 – 13 January 2009 (Third round replay)

Hull 0 Newcastle 0 – 3 January 2009

Arsenal 3 Newcastle 0 – 26 January 2008 (Fourth round)

Newcastle 4 Stoke 1 – 16 January 2008 (Third round replay)

Stoke 0 Newcastle 0 – 6 January 2008

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  • mentalman

    any player who rafa is willing to let go will be nowhere near the squad, why risk injury and being cup tied.

    The likes of Hoss will play with the hope that he can score and go on a scoring run.

    I would have expected the likes of saivet to feature but again if he’s up for sale i can’t see it

    • Kev Newcastle England

      How sad the FA Cup has become meaningless to even football fans now…

      • Michael Lisle

        It saddens me that Newcastle fans accept this state of affairs and are conned every year into accepting that a cup defeat is a good thing. Home fans deserve better-you can probably count the number of exciting games at St Jamess in recent years on one hand !

        • gallowgate26

          That list of FA cup results under Ashley really hits home, what a disgrace. For many top Championship/ bottom Premier clubs, the top division is now so financially important, it has killed the FA cup for many average fans. The league is the be all and end all. It’s only the lower league clubs, where there IS financial advantage/ media exposure from cup progression and the top PL clubs, who have two squads worth of PL players to pick from, who progress in the 3rd and 4th round. What a pathetic state of affairs!

          • nufcslf

            My thoughts exactly. The FA Cup is only on the pay per view channel here and our hapless lot are not one of the chosen matches anyway. Won’t even bother my ars to get up at 7am to listen to it. Simply not worth it with the pathetic effort that the club has put into it since fatso took charge. F**king joke.

    • Guest 2

      The bloke isn’t going on a run even if you set fire to his feet.

  • ghostrider

    I don’t think Rafa will risk injury to players he wants shipping out this month.
    He will use what he has of the youngsters with a little bit of experience added in.

    It likely won’t be pretty and is a lottery as to how it pans out.
    Most likely will be a major spectacle for the Luton team and fans and run of the mill for us.

    Mitro will only start if Rafa is not shipping him out till the summer, same as any other player on the exit list in the summer.
    January exits will be wrapped up for cash.

  • Paul Patterson

    Woodman, Haidara, Mbemba, Lejuene, Dummett, Saivet, Barlaser, Aarons, Murphy, Diame, Joselu.

    • Paul Busby

      Probably on the money there. Perhaps we will even see some of the otherwise unheard of youngsters.

  • Michael Smith

    why bother, they never give it a go

  • nevfur

    We will be a patched up team of reserves, returnees from injuries and youngsters. Interesting to see them and how they perform but at roughly 7-1 Luton look a good bet

    • Kev Newcastle England

      7/1 absolutely outstanding value

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    We have got a week before the Swansea game so no excuse not to play a good team. Ritchie, Merino, Shelvey, Atsu, Arrons and Murphy must play with Perez and one striker. Need to win this one or the hangover for the rest of the season might send us down. No excuses need to win .

    • Guest 2

      Man, you do talk some [email protected] No point trying to win when the odious owner who you adore has no intention of strengthening the side. Last thing this squad needs is even more games.

      • Monkseaton Magpies

        Would rather have a great run in the cup and have a go at winning it than stay in the Premier league. The cup should be the priority as got no chance of winning the league. Most older fans brought up on the cup not the boring league with nil nil draws against brighton.
        The F. A Cup must be the priority if relegation is the cost so be it..

        • Guest 2

          Just proves what an utter [email protected] you are. We have no chance of winning a cup – and risking PL status to do so is acceptable to you.
          Brains of a rocking horse…

          • Monkseaton Magpies

            You dream of nil nil draw against Brighton I dream of winning a cup Oxford, Boro Luton ,Coventry, Swindon have all done it but not us and even Sunderland. Think there are over seventy teams who have won a cup since us but the likes of you and this site have no ambition or hope that will remain even if the club is taken over.

          • Guest 2

            No ambition? Lol! You dream of any cup win at the expense of PL football? Top 6 again, CL, and entertaining football is what I dream of. Clearly your sights are as low as Ashleys

  • Phil

    Should be a good game. They are flying in their own league and score lots of goals. They are bringing a good following. It is a Saturday 15.00 kick off! And my daughter is due on Saturday! Hopefully she can wait until after 17.00 to arrive. If not the maternity ward is only a short jog from SJP!! Nice 4-3 win and a lovely healthy baby will do just nicely!!

    • Mitros gotta start

      You might as well miss the birth….you probably missed the conception

      • Wor Lass

        He said his daughter`s due! keep up!!

        • Mitros gotta start

          Haha….must be a mackem then

          • Phil

            Deary me!! 🙄

        • Mitros gotta start

          Yes….he knows the sex of “his” baby daughter which is due….you 4rse clown

          • Wor Lass

            Ha ha – you must have gone out and had a few then decided to have a go.

          • Mitros gotta start

            Nah…just waited for him to confirm it was you that dropped the b0ll0ck not me……lol

          • Wor Lass

            So …. is he a mackem or not?

          • Mitros gotta start


          • Wor Lass

            Snake! lol

  • Mitros gotta start

    I thought Rafa said he was gonna give it a go in the cups when he came in….or was that just more lies from the spanish waiter?

    • gallowgate26

      Every manager since the year dot says they will have a go in the cups, when they join a new club…

  • Wor Lass

    “Forest game and Rafa Benitez tell us what Newcastle team v Luton” Congratulations on such an inspirational and informative headline. I couldn`t wait to read the article after that!