Football: Arsenal's allure motivates Moyes

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The Independent Online
DAVID MOYES found out what FA Cup fever is all about when the third-round draw was made last night and paired his team with Arsenal.

The Preston manager was planning a quiet meal out with his wife and children when North End were picked to face the Gunners in one of the most intriguing pairings of the round.

"The pub just erupted when the draw was made," the former Celtic centre- half said. "It's the biggest game the club has had for years and I could tell straight away what it means to our fans."

Moyes and his ambitious club could pick up a small fortune from the tie against the holders, with a sell-out 21,000 crowd expected and perhaps live television revenue as well. However, Preston are going all out to reach the First Division and Moyes said: "I hope this does not take away from our main job of promotion. But on the plus side it will keep the players on their toes and desperate to make the team for the Arsenal tie."

Manchester United, the winners in 1996, have an attractive home encounter with Middlesbrough, managed by the former Old Trafford stalwart Bryan Robson, in one of two all- Premiership ties. United have been installed by bookmakers as the 5-1 favourites for the Cup.

Leeds United, currently in third place in the Premiership, must face a non-League team, with the winners of the Rushden & Diamonds against Doncaster Rovers replay next week lying in wait.

Chelsea, the 1997 winners and the joint second favourites at 6-1 with Arsenal, are also forced to travel to lower-league opposition in Oldham Athletic or Brentford.

Southport, one of two non-League clubs definitely in the third round, were drawn at home to the winners of the Leyton Orient against Kingstonian replay. The other, Yeovil Town, along with Southport the outsiders at 1,000-1, must travel to Cardiff City, the Third Division leaders.

In the other all-Premiership tie, Charlton Athletic must make a swift return to Blackburn Rovers, where they lost in the league on Saturday. Kevin Keegan takes his Fulham side to Southampton, where he had a spell as a player late in his distinguished career.

Port Vale will take a break from their battle to stay in the First Division with a home tie against Liverpool in a game that provides Gerard Houllier's team with plenty of potential for embarrassment.

Hull City, bottom of the Nationwide League but unexpected winners at Luton on Saturday, have a splendid reward: a trip to Birmingham to face the Premiership leaders, Aston Villa. It will be a big test for Warren Joyce, the Tigers' new player-manager, and his side, but at least it should earn them some much-needed funds to put towards strengthening their squad and trying to stay out of the Conference.


Sheffield Wednesday v Norwich City

Manchester Utd v Middlesbrough

Sheffield Utd v Notts County or Wigan Athletic

Southampton v Fulham

Tranmere Rovers v Ipswich Town

Swindon Town v Barnsley

Blackburn Rovers v Charlton Athletic

Nottingham Forest v Portsmouth

Bournemouth v West Bromwich

Wycombe Wanderers or Plymouth Argyle v Derby County

Leicester City v Birmingham City

Queen's Park Rangers v Huddersfield

Tottenham Hotspur v Watford

Doncaster Rovers or Rushden & Diamonds v Leeds Utd

Oldham Athletic or Brentford v Chelsea

Southport v Kingstonian or Leyton Orient

Port Vale v Liverpool

Wimbledon v Darlington or Manchester City

Newcastle Utd v Crystal Palace

Bradford City v Grimsby Town

Bristol City v Everton

Crewe Alexandra v Oxford Utd

Bolton Wanderers v Wolves

Preston North End v Arsenal

Coventry City v Macclesfield

Rochdale or Rotherham v Exeter or Bristol Rovers

West Ham Utd v Swansea City

Wrexham v Scunthorpe Utd

Aston Villa v Hull City

Bury v Stockport County

Lincoln City v Sunderland

Cardiff City v Yeovil Town

Ties to be played Saturday 2 or Sunday 3 January