FA Cup draw
As the first away team out of the hat, Newcastle United have been handed an away fixture at Brighton or Wrexham.
Memories of Wrexham go back to 1978, with a 2-2 draw at home follwed by an away defeat. Blyth Spartans also welcomed the Welshmen to St James` Park in the same sort of era.
The away record at the Racecourse ground is poor, following that away cup defeat, Newcastle`s only goals down there came in a 4-2 defeat. 2 of the matches finished scoreless with a further 1-0 defeat.
Wrexham`s giant killing exploits in the past include all the North East`s major clubs as well as some of London`s finest. European exploits have also seen them beat both Zurich and Porto. Despite being the lowest status team left in the cup, they would prove no walkover.
As for Brighton, our best cup result was a 3-0 win at home in 1930. The next meeting was in 1983 when the South coast side made the final, a 3rd round away draw followed by a home defeat by a single goal. Brighton again came to the North east in 1986, winning 2-0.
Brighton, of course, have Kazenga Lua Lua among their ranks, his brother having embarrassed Newcastle United when on loan on the South Coast at relative neighbours, Portsmouth. Central defender, Lewis Dunk has been rumoured as a Toon target.
So Newcastle United have a poor post-war cup record against both sides, failing to progress on each occasion. However, all of those ties were in the 3rd round, this is the 4th.
Elsewhere, the tie of the round is at Anfield, with Liverpool entertaining Manchester United, victors today over their other near rivals. A victory for the magpies against lower opposition gives a 1 in 15 chance of playing wither middlesbrough or Sunderland in the next round.
Otherwise, at least 4 other Premier League teams will be knocked out, QPR or Chelsea, West Brom or Norwich, Arsenal or Villa, Everton or Fulham. At least 5 non Premier League teams will gain places in the last 16.
For a top team seeking a trophy, this could be the year!
Brighton & Hove Albion or Wrexham v Newcastle United
Sunderland v Middlesbrough
Dagenham & Redbridge or Millwall v Southampton
Hull City v Crawley Town
Milton Keynes Dons or Queens Park Rangers v Chelsea
West Bromwich Albion v Norwich City.
Blackpool v Sheffield Wednesday
Arsenal or Leeds United v Aston Villa
Stevenage v Notts County
Watford v Tottenham Hotspur
Liverpool v Manchester United
Derby County v Stoke City
Everton v Fulham
Macclesfield Town or Bolton Wanderers v Swansea City
Sheffield United v Birmingham City or Wolverhampton Wanderers
Nottingham Forest or Leicester City v Swindon Town