PREVIEW: Hatters will be as big a test as Aston Villa

Former Luton striker Jack Marriott in action for Posh at Aston Villa. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
Former Luton striker Jack Marriott in action for Posh at Aston Villa. Photo: Joe Dent/theposh.com.
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Peterborough United manager Grant McCann insists playing Luton Town at Kenilworth Road is just as tough a fixture as facing Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Posh became FA Cup giantkillers when triumphing 3-1 at Championship promotion hopefuls Villa in a third round tie on Saturday (January 6) so surely League Two leaders Luton Town in a last-16 tie in the Checkatrade Trophy tonight (January 9, 7.45pm kick off) will hold no terrors for McCann’s men?

Midfielder Michael Doughty could be back in the Posh team at Luton.

Midfielder Michael Doughty could be back in the Posh team at Luton.

Not so, says McCann, who is a big fan of ‘the Hatters’ and manager Nathan Jones. He will field a strong starting line-up even though Posh have a tough game at League One leaders Wigan on Saturday (January 13).

Midfielder Chris Forrester and striker Ricky Miller are suspended, while elder statesmen Anthony Grant and Steven Taylor have been rested in previous Checkatrade Trophy ties.

“This is every bit as tough a fixture as Villa away,” McCann insisted. “Sometimes after a big win in the FA Cup you can become a bit de-motivated for the next game, but we can’t allow that to happen tonight.

“Luton play a great brand of football. They are fluent, they play well between the lines, they score loads of goals and they have prolific goalscorers. They will be a threat no matter what team they put out.

Club captain Jack Baldwin could return for Posh at Luton.

Club captain Jack Baldwin could return for Posh at Luton.

“Our focus had switched to Luton straight after the Villa game. Our preparation had been through anyway as we’ve watched them a few times because this competition has always been one of our main aims this season.

“If we win tonight we will be two wins away from Wembley. We want to play there again. The chance doesn’t come along very often.

“We are travelling in good form and in great spirits. I will field a strong team and we will worry about Wigan from Wednesday onwards.”

Top scorer Jack Marriott is expected to play against the club who sold him to Posh. Club captain Jack Baldwin could return to the starting line-up in place of centre-back Taylor, while striker Junior Morias is pushing for a start.

Jermaine Anderson and Michael Doughty are in contention to replace Forrester.