The 4th round draw for the FA Cup has yet again thrown up little in the way of titanic ties but the romance of the cup continues with the lowest ranked side, league two Cambridge United hosting Manchester United.
With 3rd round ties still yet to be played, some fixtures are not yet settled, but there are some intriguing fixtures with Arsenal having to travel to ex Tottenham Hotspur man, Chris Hughton`s Brighton and Neil Lennon's revival at Bolton will be put to the test at Anfield should Liverpool overcome AFC Wimbledon.
There is history between Brighton and Arsenal with both teams playing each other in the 5th round of this competition back in January 2013 with Arsenal winning 3-2. Bolton famously knocked Liverpool out in the FA Cup at Anfield in a replay during the 1992/93 season 2-0, Liverpool exacted revenge in 1995 when they beat Bolton 2-1 at Wembley in the League Cup final.
Swansea City face a tough away trip to the North West at 9th placed Blackburn Rovers whilst should Millwall win at Bradford City in a 3rd round replay, they will face a tasty away trip to Chelsea.
Preston North Ends reward for knocking out championship Norwich is a home time to fellow league one side Sheffield United who completed a convincing 3-0 away at QPR.
There is an all Midlands affair at St Andrews as Birmingham host Tony Pullis`s West Brom which could possibly offer up a shock, but my favourite for a shock would be AFC Bournemouth winning away at Aston Villa who struggle to score.
An all premier league tie will see either Burnley or Tottenham host Leicester City and Mark Hughes`s Stoke will not relish a trip to Spotland to face Rochdale who knocked out championship Nottingham Forest and Leeds in last year’s competition. Another money spinner for the Lancastrians.
2011 winners, Manchester City host high flying championship side Middlesbrough at the Ethiad.
So no major ties to talk about, but still the possibility of a few shocks and the chance of some smaller sides to make some money and get excited at the prospect of television cameras coming to their grounds and the big boys turning up.
The full draw:
Southampton/Ipswich v Crystal Palace
Cambridge United v Manchester United
Blackburn Rovers v Swansea City
Chelsea v Millwall/Bradford
Derby v Scunthorpe/Chesterfield
Preston v Sheffield United
Birmingham v West Brom
Aston Villa v AFC Bournemouth
Cardiff v Reading
AFC Wimbledon/Liverpool v Bolton
Burnley/Tottenham v Leicester
Brighton v Arsenal
Rochdale v Stoke
Sunderland v Fulham/Wolves
Doncaster/Bristol City v Everton/West Ham
Manchester City v Middlesborough
Ties to be played over the weekend of 24th & 25th January 2015.
Written by Ian Hope [@74hopey]