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