January 12 – Manchester United will take on arch-rivals Liverpool in a mouth-watering heavyweight showdown in the fourth round of the FA Cup later this month that will be keenly followed by their legions of fans across the globe.
Supporters may still be prevented from attending games because of Covid-19 but the fixture is nevertheless the standout tie of the round and comes just a week after the Premier League summit clash between the two sides.
The pair, vying for top spot in the league, go head-to-head this Sunday, then meet in the cup for the first time since Dirk Kuyt scored a late winner when Liverpool beat United 2-1 in January 2012.
Holders Arsenal will visit either Southampton or Shrewsbury Town in round four, with that third-round tie yet to be decided after being called off when Shrewsbury reported Covid-19 cases in their squad.
The FA said there will be a meeting of its Professional Game Board this week to decide on the fate of the fixture, with Southampton possibly getting a bye and setting up an intriguing clash with the Gunners.
The most romantic fourth-round tie is undoubtedly non-league Chorley’s home game with Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Elsewhere, Manchester City travel to League Two Cheltenham Town while Tottenham Hotspur, who beat eighth-tier minnows Marine on Sunday amid media interest from as far afield as Australia and Russia, have been given another kind draw at Championship strugglers Wycombe Wanderers – but could well then face a tough trip to Everton in the following round.
For the first time ever, both the fourth and fifth round draws were made at the same time on Monday to help ease fixture congestion. The fourth-round ties will be played the weekend of January 23-24 and the fifth-round ties February 9-11.
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