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FA Cup Third Round Draw: The Gods Of The Draw Gift Us A Manchester Derby

A Manchester Derby is by far the highlight of the FA Cup Third Round draw.

A detailed view of the FA Cup sponsored by Eon at the Leyton Orient FA Cup Media Day at Matchroom Stadium in London England. The draw for the Third Round of the FA Cup was drawn Sunday, December 4, 2011. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
A detailed view of the FA Cup sponsored by Eon at the Leyton Orient FA Cup Media Day at Matchroom Stadium in London England. The draw for the Third Round of the FA Cup was drawn Sunday, December 4, 2011. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The FA Cup Draw gods have given the people exactly what they wanted: A proper derby. Manchester United will face Manchester City in the Third Round of the FA Cup, and with Champions League matches nowhere near that fixture date, neither team will have any disincentive to playing a strong team. It's by far the highlight of the draw.

Newcastle and Blackburn play in another matchup of Premier League teams, while Birmingham City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers is a local derby that makes for a decent cup tie.

The Third Round of the FA Cup consists of 64 teams. The 20 teams from the Premier League and the 24 teams from the Championship all begin play in the third round and qualify for this stage automatically. The competition consists of two preliminary rounds and four qualifying rounds for amateur, semi-professional and professional non-league sides. Clubs from League 1 and League 2, the third and fourth divisions of English football, enter the competition automatically in the first round.

All of the FA Cup Third Round ties will be played on the weekend of Jan. 7, 2012.

FA Cup Third Round Fixtures

Middlesbrough vs. Shrewsbury Town

Manchester City vs. Manchester United

Nottingham Forest vs. Leicester

Dag & Red or Walsall vs. Millwall

Bristol Rovers vs. Aston Villa

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Cheltenham Town

Crawley Town vs. Bristol City

Doncaster Rovers vs. Sutton United or Notts County

Sheffield Wednesday vs. West Ham United

MK Dons vs. Queens Park Rangers

Hull City vs. Ipswich Town

Coventry City vs. Southampton

Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Wrexham

Fulham vs. Charlton Athletic

Birmingham City vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers

Norwich City vs. Burnley

Arsenal vs. Leeds United

Derby County vs. Crystal Palace

Fleetwood or Yeovil Town vs. Blackpool

Swindon Town vs. Wigan

Barnsley vs. Swansea City

Chelmsford or Macclesfield Town vs. Bolton Wanderers

Newcastle United vs. Blackburn Rovers

Everton vs. Tamworth

Sheffield United vs. Salisbury City or Grimsby Town

Liverpool vs. Southend United or Oldham

Gillingham vs. Stoke City

Chelsea vs. Portsmouth

Watford vs. Bradford City

Peterborough United vs. Sunderland

West Bromwich Albion vs. Cardiff City

Reading vs. Stevenage