Luke Wilkinson is calling on Luton Town fans to spur the League Two side on to a major upset in the League Cup when Stoke City head to Kenilworth Road for their second-round clash on Tuesday.
Luton already have one scalp to their name in the competition this term having beaten Championship side Bristol City 3-1 earlier this month, and they are relishing the opportunity to do it all over again.
Like Stoke, Bristol City were also visitors to Kenilworth Road and, although Luton’s run of four league games without a win has proven an unimpressive start to the season, the chance to pull off a shock gives John Still’s men extra motivation.
And midfielder Wilkinson is raring to go, urging his team-mates to prove themselves against their Premier League opposition.
He said: “They’ve got some top quality players that play in the Premier League week in, week out, so it’s going to be tough, but we’ll all be buzzing for it.
“It will be good to test ourselves against top players – [it will be] another big night.
“Hopefully we’ll get the stadium packed out with all the fans and hopefully we can give them something to cheer about.”
Defeats to Yeovil Town and Bristol Rovers followed stalemates with Oxford United and Accrington Stanley in Luton’s opening four games of the League Two season, form that is unlikely to cause much reason to panic for Stoke.
But Mark Hughes’ Stoke head into the match in a transitional phase, as new players continue to bed into the squad.
Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Norwich City saw Stoke outplayed for long periods, with some players still not quite on the same wave length as others.
And Hughes is hoping the Luton clash will help Stoke become consistent, as he looks for Xherdan Shaqiri to develop his understanding with his new team-mates.
“We were pleased that he [Shaqiri] played a key role in the game [against Norwich in his debut],” said Hughes.
“That can only be good for him so he will only get better with each game he plays.
“It’s still early days for him and for everybody in the team with him. They will get to know him and understand when and what situations he wants the ball.”
Ryan Shawcross (back) is definitely out for Stoke, while Peter Odemwingie (hamstring) and Bojan Krkic (knee) may be in line for a return after picking up a serious injury in January.
For Luton, Nathan Doyle, Dan Potts (both knocks) and Magnus Okuonghae (Achilles) are all doubts.
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