FA Cup draw throws up juicy Manchester derby

London: Holders Manchester City will host rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup third round after Sunday`s draw threw up a mouth-watering derby.

The Manchester clubs, who are setting the pace in the Premier League, met in last season`s FA Cup semi-final with City winning 1-0 before securing their first major trophy for 35 years by beating Stoke City in the final.

January`s Cup meeting will come almost three months after City stunned their neighbours 6-1 in the league at Old Trafford in a result that signalled their strong intention to challenge United`s years of domination in the city.

City have raced to a five-point lead in the Premier League over champions United, who will see the Cup meeting at the Etihad stadium as the perfect chance to exact revenge on their high-flying rivals.

The match is by far the standout of the draw for the January 7-8 ties, although the jubilant scenes of players from non-league Tamworth celebrating being handed a trip to Premier League Everton were a reminder of the magic of the FA Cup.

Apart from the big Manchester match, there will be one other all top-flight meeting as Newcastle United will host struggling Blackburn Rovers.

Last year`s runners-up Stoke will travel to League Two (fourth division) Gillingham.

Bureau Report

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