Friday, February 23, 2024
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FA Cup draw with two big matches

The third round of the FA Cup, in which the first and second division teams enter, features a top match at Emirates – and a hot derby at Sunderland.

In 2022, Jürgen Klopp won the FA Cup for the first time with Liverpool FC, but otherwise he has not even reached the quarter-finals of the world’s oldest cup competition during his tenure. And that will be no easy feat in 2023/24 either.

When former Everton professional Trevor Steven and Arsenal defender Jennifer Beattie drew lots for the third round on Sunday, they drew a real cracker in third place: Premier League leaders Arsenal FC will host Klopp’s Reds, who are just two points behind the Gunners in second place after 14 matchdays. A top team will therefore fall at their first hurdle. In the first two FA Cup rounds, the lower-ranked teams are still among themselves

Sunderland against Newcastle for the first time since 2015/16

However, AFC Sunderland supporters are also in for a highlight. The current second division side, who returned to the Championship in 2022 after four years in the third tier, will face local rivals Newcastle United in the first Tyne-Wear derby since 2015/16, when the neighbors were still in the Premier League together. The last time they even met in the FA Cup was in 1956.

Defending champions Manchester City were lucky with their draw. Coach Pep Guardiola’s team are clear favorites at home against Championship basement dwellers Huddersfield Town. Manchester United face a short away trip to third-division side Wigan Athletic. Tottenham face league rivals Burnley FC.

The two remaining amateur clubs, Maidstone United and Ramsgate, had certainly expected a little more. Maidstone drew the remaining winner of the League One tie between FC Port Vale and FC Stevenage; Ramsgate, who play AFC Wimbledon in the second round this Monday, would face second division runners-up Ipswich Town if they progress.

The FA Cup third round will be played on the weekend of January 6/7.

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