Oxford or Newcastle United have been drawn against West Brom in the 5th Round of the FA Cup.
An away tie at the Hawthorns is tricky of course given the Baggies are sitting pretty at the top of the Championship, having only lost 4 games all season. Having said this, three of those losses have been in the Baggies own back yard, against Millwall in the EFL Cup and more recently against Stoke and Middlesbrough in the league. West Brom have actually not won in 4 home league games.
There is, of course, the small matter of having to go to Oxford and win a replay, having not managed to get the job done at St James Park.
And things certainly could have been much in terms of the draw. The last team to be drawn before the Newcastle tie being Liverpool, the team drawn immediately after was Leicester City.
The draw in full:
Sheffield Wednesday v Manchester City
Reading or Cardiff v Sheffield United
Chelsea v Shrewsbury or Liverpool
West Brom v Newcastle United or Oxford United
Northampton Town or Derby County v Manchester United
Southampton or Tottenham v Norwich City
Portsmouth v Bournemouth or Arsenal
Noticeable is the lack of ‘big guns’ being drawn against each other. Those conspiracists amongst you may even think this is too convenient given how the potential Quarter Final line up will now look if everything goes to form.
Should that be the case, you’d expect the Magpies to be the longest odds of all.
From the 5th round onward there are no replays in the FA Cup this season, with all games going to extra time and then penalties if required. In another change of format, all the games will be played in mid-week between the 3-5 March. The introduction of the Winter Break being the biggest factor in the shift to midweek fixtures.