It is Newcastle v Luton on Saturday and Mark Lawrenson has been looking forward to the game.
Not that Rafa Benitez has, the Newcastle boss admitting that the FA Cup is an unwelcome distraction away from the job of keeping United in the Premier League.
The Newcastle boss played a reserve side when losing to League One side Oxford last season in the competition, whilst in August he did the same when losing to Forest in the League Cup.
Saturday is certain to see a similar scenario, Rafa having made 10 changes for that Forest match, Newcastle fans are unlikely to see many, if any, this time of the side who started the last home match against Brighton a week ago.
One exception might be Paul Dummett, the defender needing game time after returning from injury in that Brighton match, and another match ideal for him if not the rest of his teammates.
Mark Lawrenson says that Newcastle fans shouldn’t worry though, as whatever team Rafa picks will see NUFC into the fourth round.
There will be a fair few Newcastle supporters who don’t share Lawrenson’s (over) confidence.
The Luton game will see the largest ever FA Cup crowd at St James Park in the Mike Ashley era…no wonder he chose Newcastle United to own.
Mark Lawrenson speaking to BBC Sport:
“Newcastle have got home advantage against Luton in their tie and I think that will see them through, no matter what team Magpies boss Rafa Benitez picks.
“I hope the Hatters fans who are travelling in numbers get something for their money though.
“Stoke boss Mark Hughes is under more pressure following his side’s defeat by Newcastle on Monday but I think he will get some respite on Saturday (when playing away to Coventry).
“I hope so anyway.”
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