Northumbria Police have released a statement ahead of the Newcastle v Luton match saying they have plans in place to deal with a bigger than expected crowd on Saturday.

The FA Cup match will see the biggest ever away following of recent decades at St James Park, with Luton by Thursday night only having a few hundred of their 7,853 allocation, an allocation that was increased a number if times due to the demand.

Amazingly, despite Rafa Benitez being set to play a reserve side, the game will also see the largest ever SJP FA Cup crowd under Mike Ashley, with Newcastle fans also buying up tickets at a rapid rate.

By this (Friday) morning it looks as though over 45,000 will be there in total for the third round cup-tie.

A rarity as well on Saturday as all three north east clubs play in the region on the same day, with the Mackems travelling to Middlesbrough for a 1pm kick-off tomorrow.

Police Commander – Chief Inspector Jamie Pitt:

We are delighted to be involved in the policing of a good old fashion 3pm FA Cup third round game and are expecting an excellent atmosphere this weekend.

Luton Town fans will be travelling in large numbers so it is appropriate and proportionate for us to put a policing operation in place to minimise any disruption to the city.

“We will be working closely with the football club, the local authority and the British Transport Police to make sure we can enjoy the atmosphere and tradition of the FA Cup third round weekend.

“However if anyone does have any concerns, whether you are a visitor to the city or a football fan, then please do stop our officers and say hello.”