Monday, January 7, 2008

FA Cup 4th Round Draw

The draw for the 4th Round of the FA Cup was conducted today and once again, we'll be able to look forward to some potentially entertaining ties. Once the 3rd Round replays are played on January 15 and 16, the 4th Round matchups will become set in stone.

The 4th Round is made up of the last 32 teams in the competition and its pairings will be played the weekend of January 26 and 27. I'm hoping to see a Manchester United-Tottenham affair and that would come to fruition only if Spurs can go to Reading and win in their 3rd Round replay. I'm also excited about the battle of the "mouths" as Portsmouth will welcome Plymouth Argyle to Fratton Park.

The Cinderella story of this year's 127th edition of the FA Cup, Havant & Waterlooville, got either a dream draw or a nightmare draw, depending on how you want to look at it. On one hand, if they beat Swansea City in their 3rd Round replay, they'll get a chance to slay Goliath and beat Liverpool at Anfield. The national media exposure and publicity for the Blue Square South side would be immeasureable. On the other hand, they likely wouldn't progress in the competition and their dreams of winning the whole thing would come crashing down on them. This whole dilemma would be moot, of course, if Luton Town goes to Liverpool and wins but that doesn't appear likely.

Both Oldham Athletic and Huddersfield Town have to like their chances to advance to the last 16 as the two sides will square off at Oldham, and the same can be said for Southend United and Barnsley.

Here's the complete list of 4th Round matchups, with the home team listed first:

Arsenal vs. Stoke City/Newcastle United
Coventry City vs. Walsall/Millwall
Oldham Athletic vs. Huddersfield Town
Swindon Town/Barnet vs. Fulham/Bristol Rovers
Wigan Athletic vs. Chelsea
Luton Town/Liverpool v Swansea/Havant & Waterlooville
Southend United vs. Barnsley
Southampton vs. Norwich City/Bury
Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur/Reading
Portsmouth vs. Plymouth Argyle
Derby County/Sheffield Wednesday vs. Preston North End
Watford vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
Peterborough United vs. Charlton Athletic/West Bromwich Albion
Sheffield United vs. West Ham United/Manchester City
Mansfield Town vs. Middlesbrough
Tranmere Rovers/Hereford United vs. Cardiff City

Note: Premiership teams are in bold

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