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FA Cup 3rd Round Draw – 2007/2008



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FA Cup 3rd Round Draw – 2007/2008

It seems that they are destined for each other, rather to play against each other. The draw for the English FA Cup was made on Sunday and an almost inevitable pairing was announced. Manchester United and Aston Villa have locked horns in the FA Cup three times in the last six seasons and they will be fighting each other again this year, this time in the third round that will played out in the first weekend of the new year.

Manchester United and Aston Villa met at the same stage last year at Old Trafford where Sir Alex Ferguson’s side beat them 2-1. This year though there could be a slight alteration in the result as an in-form Villa are inching towards a likely UEFA Cup place and possibly more and Manchester United have started picking up form at exactly the right moment after some early season bumps.

Another interesting all-Premiership tie would be between strugglers Tottenham Hotspurs and Reading at White Hart Lane. Spurs were tipped by many to wrestle out a UEFA Champions League place for themselves this season but all those lofty predictions have flown out of the window long back and the only discernible way to rescue the season would be a great Cup run. But Juande Ramos’ side won’t find Steve Coppell’s Reading an easy side to blow away.

In the two all-Premiership ties in the third round, Sunderland host Wigan Athletic at the Stadium of Light while Manchester City travel to West Ham United.

The glamour tie of the round is of course at Stamford Bridge where Premiership heavyweights and FA Cup holders Chelsea take on fellow Londoners Queens Park Rangers. QPR are third from bottom in the Championship but with a loyal and a passionate following and history behind them, they do have the potential to be a banana skin for Avram Grant’s Chelsea.

QPR goalkeeper Lee Camp is looking forward to the special occasion:

It is without doubt the tie all the fans were looking for. It is a great opportunity for the players at this football club to pit their wits against not only some of the best players in England, but also the world. It will probably be the biggest game of my club career.

The remaining two of the Big Four have lower league oppositions. While Arsenal travel to Burnley, Liverpool play either Luton or Nottingham Forest and it’s needless to say that both Arsenal and Liverpool should be safely through to the fourth round.

But the same cannot be said of Newcastle United though. Although Sam Allardyce’s Geordies are comfortably placed in mid-table, they have been inconsistent so far this season in the Premiership and have blown hot and cold. That inconsistency could play a pivotal role when they travel to Championship side Stoke, who are gunning for a play-off place for promotion to the English Premier League.

All the FA Cup third-round ties are as follows:

Preston v Scunthorpe
Chasetown v Cardiff
Colchester v Peterborough
Bolton v Sheffield United
Blackburn v Coventry
Brighton v Mansfield
Walsall v Millwall
Charlton v West Brom
Watford v Crystal Palace
Luton v Liverpool
Plymouth v Hull
Aston Villa v Manchester United
Tranmere v Hereford
Tottenham v Reading
Burnley v Arsenal
Bristol City v Middlesbrough
Fulham v Bristol Rovers
Huddersfield v Birmingham
Swansea v Havant & Waterlooville
Sunderland v Wigan
Southend v Dagenham & Redbridge
Everton v Oldham
Derby v Sheffield Wednesday
Southampton v Leicester
West Ham v Manchester City
Ipswich v Portsmouth
Wolves v Cambridge
Barnsley v Blackpool
Chelsea v QPR
Stoke v Newcastle
Swindon v Barnet
Norwich v Bury