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Frank Lampard seems to be under serious pressure at the moment as his Chelsea side have a battle on their hands if they want to secure European football for next year, though in truth they have a good chance of getting to the quarter finals in this competition as they face Championship opposition in the next two rounds should they progress here.
Since the 1993/94 season when Luton reached the semi-final, they’ve only managed to progress further than this stage once in 26 years, while this is the furthest they’ve managed to get in the last eight seasons, so they’ll need a special performance if they want to come through proceedings.
They’ve won just one of their seven meetings against Premier League opposition this century, with the five defeats coming by an aggregate score of 21-4.
Chelsea -2 Handicap
The Blues have an incredible record in this competition, especially in avoiding slipping on banana skin teams like Luton.
Indeed, they’ve now come through 51 of their last 53 FA Cup ties against lower league opponents having beaten Morecambe a fortnight ago, with a remarkable 26 of their last 27 such wins coming by at least two clear goals.
It’s difficult to make a case for the visitors here considering they’ve won just once in their last eight road trips, and up against a side with the squad depth that Chelsea have, they’ll need the some serious slices of luck and for their hosts to be completely off their game in order to progress.
‘Big Six’ sides have an impressive 74% win rate against lower league sides from the 4th round onwards in the period from 1998/99 to the beginning of last season, so we’d expect this game to follow that trend and a comfortable Chelsea victory should help them to get back on track.
Chelsea Win/Win HT/FT
With the hosts understandably short on the outright, the Half Time/Full time market appeals as well as the handicap. Of those wins up against lower league opposition, nine of the last 11 have seen the Blues ahead at both the interval and the final whistle, including up against Morecambe in the previous round. The Hatters have actually been behind at the break in each of their last four defeats against top-flight sides, and we’ll opt for the hosts to get off to a strong start and maintain it for our other bet here.