December 2, 2019 10:54:23 PM
The FA Cup third-round draw has produced some fascinating ties that will be fought out between January 3-6.
Here, the PA news agency looms at some of the eagerly-awaited encounters.
The fierce Merseyside rivals will meet at Anfield, and there is a dress-rehearsal on Wednesday when they clash in the Premier League. Leaders Liverpool are 26 points and 16 places above the Toffees in English soccer’s top flight, while Everton boss Marco Silva’s future at Goodison Park is under a fierce spotlight. Will he still be in charge, come third round weekend?
National League club AFC Fylde could hardly have landed a better third round debut tie, with Chris WIlder’s Sheffield United awaiting them at Bramall Lane. Managed by former Morecambe boss Jim Bentley, Fylde face a severe examination against one of the Premier League’s form teams, but they are sure to relish the occasion.
Leeds and their manager Marcelo Bielsa will be fancied by many to inflict third-round misery on record 13-time FA Cup winners Arsenal. Unai Emery’s permanent managerial successor is likely to have been appointed by the time Bielsa and company arrive in north London, and if so, Leeds will provide a stern early test.
Manchester United have been reunited with indecent haste with the club that knocked them out of the FA Cup last season. On that occasion, it was a quarter-final defeat, and United’s wildly-erratic form this season will produce short odds on another Molineux defeat. The draw could certainly have been a lot kinder.
National League North Boston have every incentive going to defeat Rochdale in a second-round replay after drawing at Spotland on Sunday. The prize is a York Street appointment with Steve Bruce’s Newcastle, where the compact 6,600-capacity stadium would stage Boston’s biggest day. Rochdale, though, will have cup dreams of their own.