Tuesday, 9 January 2018

United to face lowest ranked side in FA Cup fourth round

United have been handed a favourable tie in the FA Cup after former Red Rio Ferdinand paired us with the lowest ranked side left in this season's competition. The Reds were drawn with League Two outfit Yeovil Town - who sit 21st in the fourth tier - and will travel to the Glovers Huish Park home on the weekend of 27/28 January. 

 This will be the fourth meeting between clubs at the opposite end of the football spectrum - and unsurprisingly given the gulf between the two, United have won all of them. We don't have to look far for the last time we faced the Somerset side. In January 2015 under Louis van Gaal, United made the 700-mile round trip at the third round stage and saw off Gary Johnson's side 2-0 through goals from Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria.  

The Glovers - so called because of the town's history of glove making - have already pulled off two minor upsets so far in the competition having knocked out League One sides Southend, 1-0, and Bradford City, 2-0 on Saturday. They overcame divisional rivals Port Vale after a replay at the second round stage to set up the money-spinning glamour tie against Jose's United, one of two fourth-round matches that pits a League Two team with Premier League opposition. Newport County, conquerors of Championship giants Leeds United, will host Tottenham in the other in the pick of the ties at this stage. 

Former midfielder and fan favourite Darren Way is the club's current manager. Having represented Yeovil with distinction after over 300 games for the club, he then moved on to the Glovers coaching staff after his retirement as a player. He was Yeovil's first team coach for that visit of United and then served as assistant under Terry Skiverton and Paul Sturrock after Johnson was sacked. Initially appointed as interim boss, Way was given the job full time on New Year's Eve 2015 - his first managerial post. Way will get the chance to pit his wits against Jose in a head-to-head meeting that the Yeovil boss has described as a dream come true. 

Looking back at those previous aforementioned meetings, all of which have come in this competition, and United won 3-0 at home in round three in 1937/38, before our record FA Cup win, 8-0 at Maine Road in the last 16 in the 1948/49 season, with Old Trafford still out of action due to bomb damage. 

Coventry City were the biggest giant-killers of this year's third round as they stunned Premier League strugglers Stoke 2-1 at the Ricoh Arena. One former United legend - Mark Robins, the man who supposedly saved Sir Alex- saw off another in Mark Hughes, who paid for the result with his job. The Sky Blues travel to League One MK Dons and Notts County will host the winner of the Wolves v Swansea replay. The other fourth-tier side in the draw - Steve Evans Mansfield Town - will face Cardiff in a replay with the incentive of a home draw with Pep Guardiola's in-form Manchester City side. There are definitely two all-Premier League ties, with Southampton to host Watford and Liverpool at home to West Brom. Chelsea will play Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge should they overcome Championship team Norwich in their replay. 

Holders Arsenal, who have won the FA Cup three times in the last four seasons to become the competition's most successful side, are out after a shock 4-2 defeat at Nottingham Forest. 

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