Chelsea Starts Defense of F.A. Cup Title at Southampton

Defending champion Chelsea faces a trip to Southampton in the third round of English soccer’s F.A. Cup, while record 11-time winner Manchester United travels to West Ham.

Chelsea, which appointed Rafael Benitez as manager last month, beat Liverpool 2-1 in May’s F.A. Cup final to win the competition for a fourth time in six seasons. Liverpool will start its cup campaign at a non-league club, either Lincoln City or Mansfield Town.

The third round is the stage at which clubs from the elite Premier League and the Championship enter the competition.

There are two further all-Premier League matches, with Swansea hosting Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers at home against West Bromwich Albion.

Coventry City, from the third-tier League One, plays Premier League Tottenham in a repeat of the 1987 F.A. Cup final, and Manchester City plays Watford.

Chelsea has won the competition seven times. Roberto di Matteo, who led the Blues to the F.A. Cup and Champions League titles last season, was fired in November and Benitez named interim manager.

Here is the full third-round draw, with the matches scheduled to be played over the weekend of Jan. 5 and Jan. 6:

     Crystal Palace           vs   Stoke City
     Brighton                 vs   Newcastle
     Tottenham                vs   Coventry City
     Wigan                    vs   Bournemouth
     Fulham                   vs   Blackpool
     Aston Villa              vs   Ipswich
     Charlton                 vs   Huddersfield
     Barrow or Macclesfield   vs   Cardiff City
     Barnsley                 vs   Burnley
     Manchester City          vs   Watford
     Swansea                  vs   Arsenal
     Leicester                vs   Burton Albion
     Millwall                 vs   Preston
     Cheltenham or Hereford   vs   Everton
     Derby                    vs   Tranmere
     Crawley Town             vs   Reading
     Aldershot                vs   Rotherham or Notts County
     Middlesbrough            vs   Harrogate Town or Hastings
     Accrington or Oxford Utd vs   Sheffield United
     Southampton              vs   Chelsea
     Queens Park Rangers      vs   West Brom
     Peterborough Utd.        vs   Norwich City
     Lincoln or Mansfield     vs   Liverpool
     Bolton                   vs   Sunderland
     Nottingham Forest        vs   Oldham
     West Ham                 vs   Manchester United
     Hull City                vs   Alfreton or Leyton Orient
     Blackburn                vs   Bristol City
     Leeds United             vs   Birmingham
     Bury or Southend         vs   Bradford City or Brentford
     Luton Town               vs   Wolverhampton W.
     Sheffield Wednesday      vs   MK Dons
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