If simply staying involved in the FA Cup were not incentive enough for the players of Burton and Burscough the reward awaiting the winners of tomorrow's rearranged second-round tie will give the game an extra edge. The non-League clubs meet in the knowledge that a home game against Manchester United will be their third-round prize.
The meeting is the pick of the draw, in which there are no all-Premiership ties, and is one of three which puts top-flight teams up against non-League opposition.
For Burton, victory would give them a chance to renew acquaintances with United, having faced them on 14 November in a friendly to mark the opening of their new Pirelli Stadium. The Brewers won 2-1 that night against a United reserve-team line-up, but can be fairly confident they will face a far stronger side in the Cup.
Nuneaton or Histon will play against Middlesbrough after the first meeting between the sides ended in a 2-2 draw on Saturday. All now depends on the replay at the Glassworld Stadium. Histon's manager, Steve Fallon, said: "The winner will take all and the loser will be absolutely devastated, so there's a lot of pressure on all the players. If you get into the third-round draw you want a big club. We're really pleased with the draw.
"The gate receipts would be a big boost for us. At our level you live day by day, if we can get through the replay then you're talking about a whole new level. Everybody is buzzing but we've got a difficult replay before we even think about Middlesbrough."
Fallon's Nuneaton counterpart, Roger Ashby, said: "It's amazing - Middlesbrough at home. It's a great incentive to win the replay."
The third such tie features the Premiership's bottom team, Sunderland, at home to either Woking or Northwich, a game Mick McCarthy's struggling side are sure not to relish.
The holders, Arsenal, will face Cardiff at Highbury in a repeat of the 1927 final that the Welsh side won - the only time the Cup has left England. Torquay, bottom of the Football League, will host Birmingham City while fellow League Two side Leyton Orient go to Fulham.
Huddersfield beat Worcester yesterday and now travel to the Premiership champions, Chelsea. Peter Jackson, the Terriers manager, said: "We couldn't have asked for a better draw. Going to Stamford Bridge - we're all looking forward to it."
Conference side Tamworth's reward for their surprise win over Hartlepool is an away tie against Stoke and their manage,r Mark Cooper, said: "We will go there with confidence. Why not? We always seem to do better away from home."
Luton Town at Kenilworth Road await the European champions, Liverpool, while another club to have lifted the European Cup, Nottingham Forest, will have to watch, having been knocked out by Chester, who are a division below them, and have added to the pressure on their manager, Gary Megson.
The Championship leaders, Reading, will be confident of causing an upset at West Brom while Tottenham and Bolton have tricky ties away to Leicester and Watford respectively. Aston Villa, knocked out of the Carling Cup by Doncaster this week, face a return cup trip to Yorkshire to face Hull.
In the Carling Cup. Doncaster have been drawn at home against Arsenal in the pick of the quarter-final ties.
FA Cup third round draw
West Bromwich v Reading
Fulham v Leyton Orient
Brighton v Coventry
Wolves v Plymouth
Port Vale or Bristol Rovers v Boston or Doncaster
Sheffield Wed v Charlton
Torquay v Birmingham
Man City v Scunthorpe
Newcastle v Mansfield
Luton v Liverpool
Preston v Crewe
Stoke v Tamworth
Derby v Burnley
Southampton v Milton Keynes Dons
Blackburn v QPR
Arsenal v Cardiff
Stockport v Oldham or Brentford
Norwich v West Ham
Ipswich v Portsmouth
Wigan v Leeds
Sunderland v Woking or Northwich
Chelsea v Huddersfield
Cheltenham or Oxford v Chester
Leicester v Tottenham
Watford v Bolton
Sheffield Utd v Colchester
Nuneaton or Histon v Middlesbrough
Hull v Aston Villa
Barnsley or Bradford v Walsall
Burton Albion or Burscough v Manchester Utd
Crystal Palace v Stevenage or Northampton
Millwall v Everton
Ties to be played 6/7/8 January 2006.
Carling Cup quarter-finals
Birmingham v Man Utd
Doncaster v Arsenal
Middlesbro v Blackburn
Wigan Athletic v Bolton
Ties to be played week commencing 19 DecemberReuse content