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Opinion

For you Geordie the FA Cup is over

4 years ago
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The FA Cup was good while it lasted.

Never say never but surely after being drawn away at Chelsea, presuming the blues win their third round replay against Norwich at Stamford Bridge…Newcastle will once again fail to progress beyond round four under Mike Ashley.

Rafa Benitez was rewarded with a comfortable third round win after choosing almost a full strength team against League Two Luton.

However, Chelsea away is a different matter.

There were only four balls left in the hat and either Preston or Sheffield United at home would have been decent (see full fourth round draw below).

It wasn’t to be though and it is Chelsea (or Norwich…) away on the weekend of Saturday 27 January.

The two clubs played out a goalless draw at the weekend and meet at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday 17 January to decide who Newcastle will play.

The FA Cup fourth round draw was screened live on both BT Sport and BBC Two tonight and host Jake Humphrey revealed beforehand that in the final rehearsal Newcastle had picked out Manchester United away – how we laughed in relief!

It is a bit of a shame that Newcastle have a crucial game at home to Burnley on the Wednesday (31 January) after the FA Cup fourth round weekend.

The Magpies have no midweek game after playing away at Manchester City on Saturday 20 January and if they’d had no midweek match after the fourth round weekend, Rafa could have had a right go. Maybe he still can if his players get six points from Swansea and Man City…

Chelsea play Bournemouth at home on  Wednesday 31 January and the previous midweek (Wednesday 24 January) they have the second leg of their League Cup semi-final, away at Arsenal.

I know they have a big squad and all that but how about this for a statistic, between Sat 18 November and the weekend of Saturday 27 January when they will likely play Newcastle, Chelsea will have played every single midweek.

In that period of 10 weeks the Newcastle match would be Chelsea’s 21st match in all competitions, in comparison it will only be Newcastle’s 15th in the same time period.

Norwich gave Chelsea a bit of a game at the weekend and caused a few problems without really working the goalkeeper, just maybe it could end up being their night next week.

Giving Jacob Murphy a chance to face brother Josh and his other former Norwich teammates, the dream lives on, for now.

The full FA Cup fourth round draw:

Liverpool vs West Brom

Peterborough vs Fleetwood or Leicester

Huddersfield vs Birmingham

Notts County vs Wolves or Swansea

Yeovil vs Man Utd

Carlisle or Sheffield Wednesday vs Stevenage or Reading

Cardiff or Mansfield vs Man City

Milton Keynes Dons vs Coventry

Millwall vs Rochdale

Southampton vs Watford

Middlesbrough vs Brighton

Bournemouth or Wigan vs Shrewsbury or West Ham

Hull vs Nottingham Forest

Newport County vs Tottenham

Norwich or Chelsea vs Newcastle United

Sheffield United vs Preston
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