Luton vs Portsmouth Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 03 November 2017

Pompey will be looking to improve on their recent wretched record in the F.A. Cup when they take on Luton at Kenilworth Road tomorrow.

Team News

Ollie Hawkins is a doubt with an ankle injury whilst Damien McCrory and Jack Whatmough are still absent with knee injuries. Adam May could return to the side following a spell on the sidelines.

Defender Glen Rea is suspended for the hosts who are also without Alan McCormack and Johnny Mullins. Harry Isted could play against the team he was on trial with during the summer.

The Match

A huge groan filled the Kings Theatre as Pompey fans gathered to see the Life and Chimes show discovered who their team's first round opponents would be in the F.A. Cup this season.

A trip to one of the worst towns in England for what will be a difficult game was not the draw Portsmouth supporters were hoping for as Kenny Jackett looks to improve on the Blues' poor recent record in football's oldest cup competition.

The 2014/2015 season aside, Pompey have fallen at the first hurdle in the F.A. Cup since reaching the final in 2010. Defeats to Brighton, Chelsea, Notts County, Stevenage, Aldershot and Wycombe were hardly matches to remember and given Pompey's away form this season, Luton could well be added to that list soon.

It depends on how seriously the Hatters want to treat the competition this season baring in mind they are currently third in League Two. Jackett has already said that he will play a strong side, although whether that means fringe players like Danny Rose and Kal Naismith get a chance to prove themselves is anyone's guess.

After three straight defeats in the league, perhaps a cup fixture will prove to be just the tonic for Pompey? In all likelihood, a season of mid-table mediocrity beckons in League One and so a cup run would certainly keep the fans interested, especially if they can pull off a shock or two.

But despite the league difference between the two clubs, this is a tie that could really go either way as Luton have never lost to Pompey in the F.A, Cup, but failed to beat the Blues when both sides were in League Two.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Luton

GK: Marek STECH

RB: Jack STACEY

CB: Scott CUTHBERT

CB: Johnny MULLINS

LB: Dan POTTS

RM: Harry CORNICK

CM: Ollie LEE

CM: Luke BERRY

LM: Pelly RUDDOCK

CF: James COLLINS

CF: Danny HYLTON

Pompey

GK: Luke McGEE

RB: Nathan THOMPSON

CB: Christian BURGESS

CB: Matt CLARKE

LB: Dion DONAHUE

DM: Ben CLOSE

DM: Stuart O'KEEFE

RM: Jamal LOWE

AM: Kyle BENNETT

LM: Matty KENNEDY

CF: Brett PITMAN

Last Time: Luton Town 1 Portsmouth 3 (League Two - 22/11/2016)

Danny Hylton gave the hosts an early lead but a strike from Michael Smith and a goal from Gareth Evans following a corner turned the game on its head. Kal Naismith then lashed in a third goal as the dominant visitors claimed a deserved victory on a cold Tuesday night.

My Prediction

Luton have got plenty of goals in them with Collins, Hylton and Berry all capable of playing at a higher level but their defence shipped three against Coventry last weekend and so Pompey also have plenty of attacking players to do some damage. I expect a high scoring draw and a replay to follow.

Luton Town 2 Portsmouth 2

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