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Luton V Millwall at Kenilworth Road : Match Preview
Updated published : 15 Feb 2013 16:35:46Rss feed
Luton V Millwall - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.
Rendell aiming for Giggs showdown
Luton's FA Cup hero Scott Rendell hopes his team can overcome Millwall so he stands a chance of lining up against his boyhood idol Ryan Giggs in the quarter-finals.
Rendell fired Luton to the biggest shock of the fourth round last month when he scored the winner for the conference side against Barclays Premier League outfit Norwich at Carrow Road.
Victory for Luton tomorrow will make them the first non-league team to reach the quarter-final of the world's most famous cup competition in 99 years.
Rendell did his best to insist Luton were not thinking past this game, but he could not help but let his mind wander when asked about the prospect of a potential quarter-final meeting with Manchester United, the team who the striker has supported all his life.
"I am a United fan so I'd love to play them in the next round," Rendell said.
"If we do get past Millwall then I will be sitting on the edge of my seat to see if we draw United. My favourite memory of the FA Cup growing up was watching that Ryan Giggs semi-final goal against Arsenal. It was just a fantastic moment and it just gave me hope as a kid to emulate him and do something similar."
There is no reason to suggest that should Luton, finalists in 1959, can not reach a Wembley semi-final if they beat an out-of-sorts Millwall and get a favourable draw in the last eight.
After all, shocks have become the norm in domestic cup competitions this year. Norwich, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Tottenham have all bowed out of the FA Cup to lower league opposition, but the biggest giant-killings have come in the Capital One Cup courtesy of npower League Two side Bradford.
Rendell admits the Yorkshire club's exploits in the League Cup, where they knocked out Arsenal and Aston Villa, mean this game against a team sitting 67 places below them in the league suddenly becomes less daunting.
"They are an inspiration to us," the 26-year-old added. "Look at the teams they have beaten. They went and beat Aston Villa over two legs. It proves that it can be done.
"It showed you can beat anyone on your day like we did against Norwich. "We weren't massively outclassed against Norwich so the boys have nothing to fear against Millwall.
"There is definitely a feeling in the squad that we can pull off another shock. We have beaten Wolves at home, we beat Norwich away so why can't we beat Millwall here?"
Luton boss Paul Buckle will again be forced into a reshuffle for the tie.
Defenders Simon Ainge and Steve McNulty and midfielders Dave Martin and Scott Neilson are all cup-tied and will not take part.
Simon Hackney could make his debut, though, after joining on a free transfer earlier this week.
JJ O'Donnell, Matt Robinson and Greg Taylor are all expected to be involved as Buckle looks to fill the gaps.
No one at Millwall will underestimate the challenge of facing the Hatters, according to manager Kenny Jackett.
The two sides meet in a repeat of the 1985 FA Cup quarter-final clash which was marred by crowd problems and hooliganism and led to a blanket ban on away supporters by Luton which lasted for four years.
Despite facing a side three divisions below them in the league pyramid, Jackett is expecting a close game at Kenilworth Road.
"We won't be underestimating Luton in any way, shape or form when you see them beating the calibre of Norwich and Wolves this season," he told Press Association Sport.
"It (Norwich) was a great win, I've watched the game and Luton went to Carrow Road and they played very, very well on the day.
"It was a fantastic performance, they got their goal when they needed to and defended well."
Jackett believes, with the right application, Millwall can put themselves in a great position to secure a place in the last eight.
He said: "What we have to do is recognise this opportunity and do our homework, make sure that in no way do we underestimate our opponents, which we don't do.
"After that we have to put on a performance that gives us the best chance of getting through.
"We understand it is cup football and it's all on the day and a one-off occasion, but performances generally look after results.
"We have to concentrate, stay level-headed and identify the key things we do well and if we do that then the performance I'm sure will be fine.
"It is dangerous to do that. You just have to focus on the next game and it is a tough game."
Jackett will be without cup-tied duo Benik Afobe and Martyn Woolford.
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