Cup magic can see Benitez claim stage

Rafael Benitez will be hoping his colourless career as Chelsea boss will already be revamped by the time he travels to Southamption in the FA Cup next month.

Loading Comments

The draw for the tournament, which took place yesterday, pitted the Champions League winners against Nigel Adkins' Saints over the weekend of January 5 and 6, and both club and manager will be hoping that the club's fortunes have been dramatically altered by then.

Benitez has endured a tedious opening period since replacing Roberto Di Matteo last month, with a number of fans and pundits criticising the appointment after only two points were taken from his first three games in charge.

The Spaniard will have fond recollections of the FA Cup though, after he won it with Liverpool in 2006, but he will also have the added pressure of knowing that his predecessor was responsible for bringing home the FA Cup trophy last season, with Chelsea winning the cup in four of their last six attempts.

The knock-out tie will be the first time the Stamford Bridge outlet have met Southampton this season, with the side's December 15 game postponed due to Chelsea's involvement in the World Club Cup.

Whilst Benitez will be aiming to win over the Blues' support though, there will be no lack of atmosphere when West Ham host Manchester United in what is the pick of the all-Barclays Premier League ties in the FA Cup third round.

When the sides met in the league recently Sir Alex's side came out 1-0 winners, but the two have enjoyed many more memorable duels over the years.

In another exciting tie, Arsenal were drawn against Swansea just days after a deserved defeat to the Welsh side on London soil.

The loss, which saw Michu net twice, heaped further pressure onto Arsene Wenger, who will be desperate to earn some leeway with fans by producing a result.

Elsewhere, Newcastle were drawn against the Brighton side that knocked them out last year, while Man City will prepare to face Watford.


Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.


Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email
Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

I don’t think I’ve uttered the words “no, he’s not a stripper we’ve hired so put him down.




Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.

Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

My thoughts after Police Scotland are ordered to apologise over IRA interrogation techniques slur.

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.