Holders Manchester City will host rivals Manchester United in the FA Cup third round after Sunday’s draw threw up a mouth-watering derby.
The Manchester clubs, who are setting the pace in the Premier League, met in last season’s FA Cup semi-final with City winning 1-0 before securing their first major trophy for 35 years by beating Stoke City in the final.
January’s Cup meeting will come almost three months after City stunned their neighbours 6-1 in the league at Old Trafford in a result that signalled their strong intention to challenge United’s years of domination in the city.
City have raced to a five-point lead in the Premier League over champions United, who will see the Cup meeting at the Etihad stadium as the perfect chance to exact revenge on their high-flying rivals.
The match is by far the standout of the draw for the Jan. 7-8 ties, although the jubilant scenes of players from non-league Tamworth celebrating being handed a trip to Premier League Everton were a reminder of the magic of the FA Cup.
Apart from the big Manchester match, there will be one other all top-flight meeting as Newcastle United will host struggling Blackburn Rovers.
Last year’s runners-up Stoke will travel to League Two (fourth division) Gillingham.
FA Cup third-round draw made on Sunday (Premier League clubs unless stated, numerals denote division, ML denotes minor league):
Middlesbrough (II) v Shrewsbury Town (IV)
Nottingham Forest (II) v Leicester City (II)
Manchester City v Manchester United
Dagenham & Redbridge (IV) or Walsall (III) v Millwall (II)
Crawley Town (IV) v Bristol City (II)
Doncaster Rovers (II) v Sutton United (ML) or Notts County (III)
Bristol Rovers (IV) v Aston Villa
Tottenham Hotspur v Cheltenham Town (IV)
Sheffield Wednesday (III) v West Ham United (II)
Milton Keynes Dons (III) v Queens Park Rangers
Hull City (II) v Ipswich Town (II)
Coventry City (II) v Southampton (II)
Brighton & Hove Albion (II) v Wrexham (ML)
Fulham v Charlton Athletic (III)
Birmingham City (II) v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Norwich City v Burnley (II)
Arsenal v Leeds United (II)
Derby County (II) v Crystal Palace (II)
Fleetwood Town (ML) or Yeovil Town (III) v Blackpool (II)
Swindon Town (IV) v Wigan Athletic
Barnsley (II) v Swansea City
Chelmsford City (ML) or Macclesfield Town (IV) v Bolton Wanderers
Newcastle United v Blackburn Rovers
Everton v Tamworth (ML)
Sheffield United (III) v Salisbury City (ML) or Grimsby Town (ML)
Liverpool v Southend United (IV) or Oldham Athletic (III)
Gillingham (IV) v Stoke City
Chelsea v Portsmouth (II)
Watford (II) v Bradford City (IV)
Peterborough United (II) v Sunderland
West Bromwich Albion v Cardiff City (II)
Reading (II) v Stevenage (III)
* Ties to be played Jan. 7/8