Football: Chelsea's chance for revenge over United

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The Independent Online
All but two of those clubs with any realistic ambitions of reaching the FA Cup final at Wembley next May were able to draw a huge sigh of relief when the draw for the third round was made yesterday.

Manchester United and Chelsea are currently the Premiership's two outstanding teams and their pairing produced the outstanding tie of the round. The sides have already met once this season, United coming from behind to draw 2-2 at Old Trafford.

Chelsea, who will have home advantage, have performed well against United in the Premiership in recent years, but this will be an opportunity for Ruud Gullit's team to avenge two Cup defeats. United beat Chelsea in the final in 1994 and in last year's semi-finals.

Dennis Wise, who captained Chelsea to victory at Wembley last season, welcomed the draw. "We've always done well against them, so we're looking forward to it," he said. "I think they will be a little bit disappointed - especially that they have to play us at our place."

There are four other all-Premiership ties. Liverpool entertain Coventry, Derby are at home to Southampton, Barnsley face Bolton, and Everton meet Newcastle. Everton will be hoping to repeat their quarter-final victory on the way to Wembley success in 1995. Newcastle, meanwhile, will have to play four games against Merseyside clubs - three against Liverpool - in five weeks immediately after Christmas.

Kevin Keegan will enjoy his first return to the big time after leaving Newcastle when he takes his Second Division Fulham team to Tottenham. Arsenal also have a home tie against lower division opposition when they entertain Port Vale.

One non-League team will definitely play in the third round. Cheltenham Town and Boreham Wood replay next week for the right to entertain Reading.

Three others, Emley (UniBond League), Basingstoke (Ryman League) and Ilkeston (Dr Martens League) face replays with the incentive of away draws against Premiership opposition.

Emley, the Yorkshire village club denied victory over Lincoln City by an injury-time equaliser on Saturday, will play away at West Ham if they win their replay, while Basingstoke entertain Northampton next week in their 11th FA Cup game this season with a trip to Leicester at stake.

Ilkeston meet Scunthorpe for the right to visit Crystal Palace. Paul Millership, the Ilkeston chairman, said he had two special reasons for wanting to get through to the third round. "Crystal Palace are a Premiership side, but also because we are affiliated to Manchester City," he said. "Steve Coppell left Manchester City and went to Crystal Palace, so we'd like to have a go at Steve Coppell's team."

Of the two remaining GM Vauxhall Conference teams, Hereford United will entertain Tranmere Rovers if they win their replay against Colchester, while Stevenage Borough will travel to Swindon if they can beat Cambridge United at the second attempt.

FA Cup third-round draw

Arsenal v Port Vale

Barnsley v Bolton Wanderers

Blackburn Rovers v Wigan Athletic

Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town

Bristol Rovers v Ipswich Town

Cardiff City v Oldham Athletic

Charlton Athletic v Nottingham Forest

Chelsea v Manchester United

Cheltenham Town or Boreham Wood v Reading

Colchester United or Hereford United v Tranmere Rovers

Crewe Alexander v Birmingham City

Crystal Palace v Scunthorpe United or Ilkeston Town

Darlington v Wolverhampton Wanderers

Derby County v Southampton

Everton v Newcastle United

Grimsby Town or Chesterfield v Norwich City

Leeds United v Oxford United

Leicester City v Northampton Town or Basingstoke Town

Liverpool v Coventry City

Manchester City v Bradford City

Peterborough United v Walsall

Portsmouth v Aston Villa

Preston North End or Notts County v Stockport County

Queen's Park Rangers v Middlesbrough

Rotherham United v Sunderland

Sheffield United v Bury

Swindon Town v Cambridge United or Stevenage Borough

Torquay United or Watford v Sheffield Wednesday

Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham

West Bromwich Albion v Stoke City

West Ham United v Lincoln City or Emley

Wimbledon v Wrexham

(Matches to be played on weekend of 3 January)

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