Top guns face lower-tier opponents

LONDON • Holders and Premier League leaders Arsenal will be at home to Championship side Burnley in the fourth round of the FA Cup after most of the big guns avoided top-flight opponents in Monday's draw.

Arsene Wenger's side, hoping to become the first club to win the trophy three times in a row since Blackburn Rovers in the 19th century, should have little to worry about even in a competition renowned for upsets.

Crystal Palace's home tie against Stoke City was the only definite all-Premier League tie, although Liverpool will play West Ham United at Anfield if the Reds beat fourth-tier Exeter City in a replay after Friday's 2-2 draw.

The ties are due to be held between Jan 29 and Feb 1.

Manchester City will travel to last season's runners-up Aston Villa, rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, or fourth-tier Wycombe Wanderers depending on the outcome of a replay.

  • FA Cup 4th rd draw

  • Arsenal v Burnley

    Bury or Bradford v Hull

    Carlisle or Yeovil v Everton

    Colchester v Tottenham or Leicester

    Crystal Palace v Stoke

    Derby v Manchester United

    Eastleigh or Bolton v Leeds

    Exeter or Liverpool v West Ham

    Huddersfield or Reading v Walsall

    Ipswich or Portsmouth v Bournemouth

    Northampton or MK Dons v Chelsea

    Nottingham Forest v Watford

    Oxford v Newport or Blackburn

    Shrewsbury v Sheffield Wednesday

    West Bromwich Albion or Bristol City v Peterborough

    Wycombe or Aston Villa v Manchester City

Louis van Gaal has been handed another potentially embarrassing FA Cup test after Manchester United were drawn against Derby.

The Dutchman came under fire from United fans after his spluttering side laboured to a 1-0 victory over third-tier Sheffield United in the third round at Old Trafford on Saturday.

It took a stoppage-time penalty from Wayne Rooney to spare United from a replay against the Blades.

But Championship promotion-chasers Derby are likely to provide another tricky tie for van Gaal's side. Derby, managed by former Chelsea and Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement, are second in the Championship as they chase promotion to the top flight.

Premier League champions Chelsea are also waiting on a replay before knowing whether they face a trip to fourth-tier Northampton Town or Championship side Milton Keynes Dons.

The winners of the third round replay between high-flying Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City, who drew 2-2 on Sunday, will travel to League One (third tier) Colchester United.

Giant-killers Oxford United, who beat Premier League side Swansea City 3-2 on Sunday, have a less glamorous home tie to fourth-tier rivals Newport County or second-tier Blackburn.

Minor league side Eastleigh, the lowest-ranked club remaining in the draw, were handed the appetising prospect of a visit from Leeds United if they make it through the replay against Bolton Wanderers.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2016, with the headline 'Top guns face lower-tier opponents'. Print Edition | Subscribe