FA Cup fourth-round draw hands Manchester United trip to Derby County
• Only Arsenal of the Premier League top six will play at home, against Burnley• Chelsea go to Northampton or MK Dons; Manchester City could face Aston Villa
An intriguing draw for the fourth round of the FA Cup has thrown up a maximum of three all-Premier League ties, with Arsenal the only top-six side who will play at home.
The Cup holders will host Burnley, having won their last five meetings in the competition with the promotion-chasing Championship side by an aggregate score of 16-1.
Eastleigh, the only non-league side still in the competition, were once again drawn at home to Championship opposition – Leeds United on this occasion – though they will first have to survive a replay against Bolton, with whom they drew 1-1 on Saturday, at the Macron Stadium.
“It’s a great tie,” said their manager, Chris Todd. “It’s unbelievable for teams like Leeds and Bolton to be mentioned in the same breath as Eastleigh, that’s a massive achievement. We’ve done extremely well to get where we are and we’re very excited to have that challenge in front of us, against Bolton, and then the prize that we could achieve of playing Leeds at home which would be incredible really.”
The only totally top-flight tie certain to be played sees Crystal Palace, who also had to beat Premier League opposition in the third round when they won 2-1 at Southampton, host Stoke. If Liverpool win their home replay against Exeter City they will welcome West Ham United, a prospect the Hammers’ chairman David Sullivan described as “not ideal but certainly not impossible”. Manchester City could also face Premier League opposition but only if Aston Villa come through their tie against Wycombe, who held them to a 1-1 draw at Adams Park on Saturday.
Oxford United, whose 3-2 victory over Swansea was perhaps the finest of the third round so far, were rewarded with another home tie, even if their opponents – either Blackburn Rovers or Newport County – are probably not those they had dreamt of, with their appetites whetted by a pairing with Chelsea in the rehearsal.
It may however present an opportunity to settle some personal scores. Oxford’s manager, Michael Appleton, endured a miserable 67-day stint at Ewood Park in 2013 while his assistant, Derek Fazackerley, is Blackburn’s record appearance-maker, having represented them 596 times in the league.
Colchester, 23rd in League One, were rewarded for a victory over Charlton with a home game against either Tottenham or Leicester City. “It’s a great draw,” said their captain, Chris Porter. “They both have a lot of quality players so regardless of who they put out, it will be a good test. We’ve got to expect they’ll have a bit of possession, but the way we played against Charlton shows we can be hard to break down. If we can get a goal or two on the counter, who knows?”
Manchester United will travel to Derby, second in the Championship, a match almost certain to become their 48th consecutive televised FA Cup tie. “It’s a fantastic draw and I am so pleased that we are at home as well,” said Paul Clement, the Derby manager. “It is certainly a game and an occasion to look forward to, one that we will all relish.”
Chelsea will visit either Northampton, second in League Two, or the Championship side MK Dons. Of the remaining Premier League sides Watford will visit Nottingham Forest while Bournemouth travel either to Ipswich or Portsmouth. Carlisle United and Yeovil will be motivated for their replay by the prospect of welcoming Everton.
“Everyone enjoys the FA Cup draw, and the excitement it brings but we have to make sure we keep our eyes on what is important,” said the Carlisle manager, Keith Curle. “The next challenge we face is Barnet, that’s where all of our thoughts will be focused this week.”
FA Cup fourth round draw
Ties to be played over the weekend of Friday 29 January
West Bromwich Albion or Bristol City v Peterborough United
Eastleigh or Bolton Wanderers v Leeds United
Arsenal v Burnley
Derby County v Manchester United
Huddersfield Town or Reading v Walsall
Exeter City or Liverpool v West Ham United
Wycombe Wanderers or Aston Villa v Manchester City
Shrewsbury Town v Sheffield Wednesday
Nottingham Forest v Watford
Carlisle United or Yeovil Town v Everton
Crystal Palace v Stoke City
Oxford United v Newport County or Blackburn Rovers
Ipswich Town or Portsmouth v Bournemouth
Colchester United v Tottenham Hotspur or Leicester City
Bury or Bradford City v Hull City
Northampton Town or MK Dons v Chelsea