Newcastle United’s FA Cup tie at Watford was the first one drawn out of the hat at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff.
A tough match considering the respective form of the two clubs and in particular, the defeat to the Hornets at St James Park already this season.
Whilst United’s tie looks hard enough, Sunderland fared even worse in drawing Arsenal away.
The 32 ties had to be played between 8 January and 11 January 2016 and every club that progresses to the fourth round will be guaranteed at least £67,500 in prize money.
Bearing in mind the ‘logistical’ problems that would be involved if both north east clubs’ fans were heading towards London on the same day, we awaited the choices for live TV.
These have now been made:
7.55pm Friday 8 January
Exeter City v Liverpool – live on BBC 1
12.45pm Saturday 9 January
Wycombe Wanderers v Aston Villa – live on BT Sport 2
5.30pm Saturday 9 January
Manchester United v Sheffield United – live on BT Sport 2
12noon, Sunday 10 January
Oxford United v Swansea City – Live on BBC 2 Wales
2pm Sunday 10 January
Chelsea v Leyton Orient or Scunthorpe United – live on BT Sport 2
4pm Sunday 10 January
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City – live on BBC 1
As you can see, neither Newcastle or Sunderland are on live tv and so as it stands, both sets of fans are travelling on the same roads and trains for 3pm kick-offs. Bet the transport police are loving that.
With Newcastle playing at home to Manchester United on the following Tuesday, it meant the three FA Cup TV slots on the Sunday were surely ruled out anyway.
One other observation that sticks out a mile, is Liverpool fans having to travel to Exeter on a Friday night, just how shocking is that.
Any of the other five televised ties are easily shorter/easier journeys than that one, yet they get the most awkward day/time.
All I can say is lucky Newcastle didn’t draw Exeter away instead…