Rafa Benitez responds to questions about his FA Cup team selection at Newcastle

Rafa Benitez has pledged to name a "strong" team for Newcastle United's FA Cup tie against Luton Town.

Friday, 5th January 2018, 1:33 pm
Updated Friday, 5th January 2018, 2:40 pm
Rafa Benitez

Benitez's side take on the League Two leaders in a third-round tie at St James's Park tomorrow.

United manager Benitez, mindful of next Saturday's home league game against Swansea City, will make changes for the game.

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However, Benitez will name a number of first-choice players in his starting XI.

"I think we will have a strong team," said Benitez. "We will try to put out a team that is enough to win the game.

“We have same problems, (Aleksandar) Mitrovic, (Jesus) Gamez, (Florian) Lejeune and (Rob) Elliot. The same we had before.

“I will try to play a strong team to make sure we try to win, maybe a few youngsters included.

Rafa Benitez

"Everybody's happy, been training well. This group of players have trained well all season. You see them with smiles on faces. They are very positive."

Luton manager Nathan Jones could also make changes.

"We change our side for some cup games, and all those come out with a real ambition and a real desire to do well, because they want to be in the side," said Jones.

"So one, it could weaken them, or two, they could come out with a point to prove.

Rafa Benitez

"Lets bear in mind, whatever happens, he’s going to be putting Premier League squad players into a game, and that’s what we have to remember.

"It’s a wonderful game, but it’s going to be very difficult to go there and win it."