FA Cup: Holders Arsenal face Hull in final rematch from last year
FA Cup holders Arsenal face a rematch with last season's beaten finalists Hull in the third round of this year's competition
London: FA Cup holders Arsenal face a rematch with last season's beaten finalists Hull in the third round of this year's competition. Arsene Wenger's side ended a nine-year trophy drought as Aaron Ramsey's extra-time goal clinched a 3-2 win over Hull at Wembley in May and the Gunners will start their defence of the Cup against Steve Bruce's team.
Ironically, Monday's third round draw was held in Hull, with Tigers manager Steve Bruce watching on as his side were handed a trip to the Emirates Stadium in the first tie drawn out. "We'd been drawn against Arsenal in the rehearsal," Bruce told BBC Sport. "Let's hope it is as good as the final, because it was a great game." Tigers captain Curtis Davies added: "I guess it was just meant to be."
The third round, which takes place over the first weekend of January, will also feature a host of fascinating opportunities for memorable giant-killing acts. League Two minnows AFC Wimbledon, in the third round for the first time in their 12-year history, host Liverpool in a match which recalls the 1988 final, won 1-0 by the original Wimbledon in one of the great FA Cup upsets as the 'Crazy Gang' shocked the then reigning English champions.
AFC Wimbledon is a fan-run team formed from the ashes of the club that left south-west London to become Milton Keynes Dons due to falling attendances and an inability to build a new stadium in the borough. Chelsea, the Premier League leaders and FA Cup winners in four of the last eight seasons, will host Championship promotion contenders Watford.
Louis van Gaal's Manchester United go to either Accrington or Yeovil, who meet in a second-round replay to decide who gets the glamour tie. Manchester City, the 2011 winners, play at home to Sheffield Wednesday. Sunderland will host former giants Leeds United in a rematch of the 1973 final when the Black Cats pulled off a shock 1-0 win.
There are eight non-League sides in the draw, with the pick of the ties involving those teams seeing Dover Athletic drawn against Premier League outfit Crystal Palace. Stoke play Wrexham in a match which pits the Premier League team against a side whose memorable giant-killing act was a defeat of Arsenal in 1992, while West Bromwich Albion host Gateshead.
As well as Arsenal against Hull, there are three other all-Premier League ties as Burnley host Tottenham, Leicester take on Newcastle and Everton entertain West Ham. Chesterfield, whose place in the competition could be in jeopardy after they were charged by the FA with fielding an ineligible player in their second-round win at Milton Keynes Dons, were drawn to play Scunthorpe or non-League Worcester.
Draw for the English FA Cup third round made on Monday: Arsenal v Hull City Southampton v Ipswich Stoke v Wrexham Charlton v Blackburn Dover v Crystal Palace AFC Wimbledon v Liverpool Manchester City v Sheffield Wednesday Aldershot/Rochdale v Nottingham Forest West Brom v Gateshead Blyth Spartans v Birmingham Aston Villa v Blackpool Rotherham v Bournemouth Huddersfield v Reading Oxford/Tranmere v Swansea Cardiff v Colchester Bolton v Wigan Sunderland v Leeds Burnley v Tottenham Millwall v Bradford Derby v Southport Brentford v Brighton Fulham v Wolves Leicester v Newcastle Scunthorpe/Worcester v Chesterfield Everton v West Ham Cambridge/Mansfield v Bury/Luton Chelsea v Watford Barnsley/Chester v Middlesbrough QPR v Sheffield United Accrington/Yeovil v Manchester United Preston v Norwich Doncaster v Bristol City Ties to be played across the weekend beginning January 3.