Couch for Crouch after drawing Reds with United

LONDON • Manchester United will host Liverpool in the fourth round of the FA Cup after the two arch-rivals were drawn together on Monday, with the Jan 23 game set to be played a week after their Premier League summit clash.

The two sides, who are both top of the Premier League table and go head-to-head in the league on Sunday, meet in the Cup for the first time since Dirk Kuyt scored a late winner as Liverpool beat United 2-1 in January 2012.

United have not beaten Liverpool since March 2018, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer yet to taste victory against the Reds in four attempts as manager and another time as Cardiff boss. But with the Red Devils neck-and-neck with Liverpool at the top of the league, this will be a tough test for the visitors.

Former Liverpool striker Peter Crouch made both the draws for the fourth and fifth round - the Premier League's "Big Six" will avoid clashes against one another should they advance - and his wife, model Abbey Clancy, joked that her partner had upset her Liverpool-born father.

She tweeted: "My dad is gonna kill you Man U v Liverpool."

Crouch replied he would head "straight to the spare room".

Manchester City travel to fourth-tier side Cheltenham while Tottenham travel to second-tier Wycombe. Chelsea host Championship side Luton while Premier League basement club Sheffield United, who recorded their first win of the season at Bristol Rovers, host Plymouth.

Fulham take on Burnley in an all-Premier League match-up while League Two's Crawley, who upset Leeds, are away at Championship side Bournemouth.

West Ham, who laboured into the fourth round after a late Craig Dawson header gave them a 1-0 win at non-league Stockport, will take on League One's Doncaster.

Holders and record 14-time winners Arsenal will be on the road and play either Southampton or Shrewsbury, with the third-round tie yet to be decided after the game was called off when the third-tier side reported several Covid-19 cases within their squad.

The Football Association will meet this week to determine the fate of that game.

Although a rising number of Covid-19 infections - 36 in the last round of tests in the Premier League and four fewer than last week's all-time high - has forced many to call for a break in the season, authorities have insisted there will be no pause, vowing to complete all fixtures by May. Since the start of the Premier League season, 207 players and staff have tested positive for the coronavirus in 21 rounds of testing.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2021, with the headline 'Couch for Crouch after drawing Reds with United'. Print Edition | Subscribe