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Arsenal host Sunderland in FA Cup

FA Cup holders Arsenal will start the defence of their trophy at house to Sunderland in the third round.

Premier League Liverpool face a trip to League Two Exeter, while the leading flight’s bottom club Aston Villa also go to a League Two side in Wycombe.

There are five all-Premier League ties, with Spurs hosting leaders Leicester.

Non-league Eastleigh are at house to Bolton, whilst fellow portion-timers Whitehawk will go to Everton if they can overcome Dagenham & Redbridge.

The non-league hopefuls

FA Cup: Whitehawk’s Steve King wanted Liverpool but gets Everton

Eastleigh are currently eighth in the National League and face a Bolton side struggling at the foot of the Championship.

“We will be searching forward to that tie,” mentioned Eastleigh boss Chris Todd.

National League South side Whitehawk play in the sixth tier of English football and their manager Steve King, whose side will play League Two Dagenham & Redbridge in a second-round replay, had wanted a tie against Liverpool.

“It really is a difficult game to get via against Dagenham & Redbridge first since each teams will want to play that huge tie,” he mentioned.

“It really is 50-50 – the greatest group on the day goes via.”

Seventh-tier Salford are the lowest team left in the competition and need to beat Hartlepool if they are to progress to a third-round tie against Championship promotion-chasers Derby.

National League Grimsby play League A single Shrewsbury on Monday and the winner faces a trip to Championship side Cardiff City.

Cardiff City boss Russell Slade mentioned: “The cup ignores the level. It would be very good to get my former team Grimsby.”

All-Premier League ties

Arsenal have won the FA Cup a record 11 times and will be aiming for a third straight victory after they beat Hull in the 2014 final and Aston Villa in 2015.

FA Cup: Cracking ambitions from the second round

Leicester are major the way in the Premier League but the 4-time FA Cup finalists have never ever won the competition. They face a Tottenham side aiming for a initial FA Cup victory given that 1991.

Manchester City claimed the last of their FA Cup victories in 2011 and, getting been knocked out by Championship sides in the past two years, face struggling best-flight rivals Norwich City.

City have suffered from inconsistency this season, even though the Canaries – 16th in the best flight – have won just after in their final ten games and may welcome the distraction of the FA Cup.

Southampton won the FA Cup in 1976 but have have not gone additional than the fifth round in the previous 10 seasons, and they will welcome former manager Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace, runners-up in 1990, to St Mary’s Stadium for the third round.

Watford, losing finalists in 1984, host six-time winners Newcastle, who have lost in the third round in every of the past 3 seasons.

Possible upsets

Exeter v Liverpool

Exeter City media manager Oliver Roderick has suddenly turn into a well-liked individual right after the club drew Liverpool in the FA Cup

Aston Villa are struggling at the bottom of the Premier League and have won just twice this season so League Two promotion hopefuls Wycombe hope to cause an upset.

Both clubs have been managed by present Blackburn boss Paul Lambert – Wycombe from 2006-2008 and Villa from 2012-2015.

Swansea City manager Garry Monk is beneath stress following his side’s poor run and the Welsh side face League Two leaders Oxford, who have not won a third round tie for 17 years.

Oxford United midfielder Danny Rose looks forward to the visit of Swansea

Oxford United midfielder Danny Rose, who started out at Manchester United, looks forward to the visit of Swansea

Manchester United, like Arsenal, have won the FA Cup 11 times and host League 1 side Sheffield United, who were beaten semi-finalists in 2013.

The Blades have played the Red Devils four instances in the FA Cup and won after, with that victory coming in 1993.

Chelsea have struggled this season in defence of their Premier League crown and have poor memories of the FA Cup from last season, when they had been beaten four-2 by League 1 Bradford at Stamford Bridge in the fourth round.

Nonetheless, the Blues have won 17 consecutive third-round ties and will be at house against either League One Scunthorpe or League Two Leyton Orient.

FA Cup third-round draw:

Arsenal v Sunderland

Birmingham v Bournemouth

Brentford v Chesterfield/Walsall

Bury v Bradford City

Cardiff City v Grimsby/Shrewsbury

Carlisle v Yeovil

Chelsea v Leyton Orient/Scunthorpe

Colchester v Charlton

Doncaster v Stoke City

Eastleigh v Bolton

Everton v Dagenham & Redbridge/Whitehawk

Exeter City v Liverpool

Huddersfield v Reading

Hull City v Brighton

Ipswich v Portsmouth

Leeds United v Rotherham

Manchester United v Sheffield United

Middlesbrough v Burnley

Newport County v Blackburn

Northampton v MK Dons

Norwich v Manchester City

Nottingham Forest v QPR

Oxford United v Swansea

Peterborough v Preston NE

Salford City/Hartlepool v Derby

Sheffield Wednesday v Fulham

Southampton v Crystal Palace

Tottenham v Leicester

Watford v Newcastle

West Bromwich v Bristol City

West Ham v Wolves

Wycombe v Aston Villa

Ties to be played 8-11 January

Saudi to host Syria rebel talks, riling Iran

BEIRUT A Syrian opposition meeting due to start in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday marks the most critical work however to unify President Bashar al-Assad’s fragmented enemies, a step observed as essential to peace talks sought by world powers but which has riled Iran.

While the outlook for the political track lately launched in Vienna appears bleak – international divisions more than Assad persist and the war in Syria has escalated – the Riyadh meeting delivers the prospect of forging a a lot more united opposition far better in a position to negotiate with the government.

Assad’s opponents and the governments that back them see it as a lengthy-overdue step towards ending the disunity that has obstructed diplomacy: the Turkish-primarily based political opposition that led the last round of failed peace talks two years ago was widely criticised as out of touch with forces on the ground.

The Riyadh meeting is meant to bring rebels, or those who represent them, to the table when negotiations start.

However Iran, whose Shi’ite-led government is an arch rival of the Sunni kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has stated the meeting is aimed at harming the Vienna peace talks and would trigger their failure. The Vienna approach envisages formal talks amongst the Syrian government and the opposition by Jan. 1.

The participants invited to Riyadh consist of powerful Islamist factions Islam Army and Ahrar al-Sham – a group whose founders had links to al Qaeda. Ahrar al-Sham nevertheless fights alongside the Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s Syrian wing, even though espousing a nationalist agenda.

Islam Army stated in a statement that its commander, Zahran Alloush, would not attend since the group had lost control of the road he had been organizing to use to exit the location in the Damascus suburbs where the group is primarily based. Members of Islam Army’s political workplace will attend as an alternative, it said.

A dozen Free of charge Syrian Army rebel groups will also attend, like groups vetted by the United States that have received foreign military help. They include recipients of U.S.-created anti-tank missiles supplied to rebels in bigger quantities considering that Russia intervened militarily on Assad’s side on Sept. 30.

“It is the initial time there is a meeting in Saudi – a meeting of soldiers and politicians – and it has a higher chance of achievement because Saudi is hosting it,” stated the head of 1 of the FSA groups.

“Saudi is a pivotal state in the area and for it to take this step – to host a conference of the Syrian opposition factions – definitely one thing genuine will outcome from it.”

He declined to be named due to the fact of political sensitivities surrounding the conference. Underlining the complexities, media access to the conference is anticipated to be very restricted.

An initial list of 65 invitees has grown to many much more than that, sources familiar with arrangements say.


Even with backing from Saudi Arabia, the United States and others, analysts nonetheless see scope for friction in Riyadh, notably in between groups battling to unseat Assad and members of the Damascus-primarily based opposition who are expected to attend.

“Attempting to get these two poles to agree to the exact same platform and to negotiate as one particular unit is going to prove really challenging if not not possible, it’s not entirely clear to me whether it is even advisable,” mentioned Noah Bonsey, a senior analyst with the International Crisis Group.

A Syrian Kurdish group that has taken over wide areas of northern Syria and which has fought Islamic State with U.S. assist meanwhile says it has not been invited to the talks at all. One of the Kurdish-run enclaves in Syria declared the Saudi talks “doomed to fail” with no Kurdish involvement.

Diplomacy towards ending the almost 5-year conflict has accelerated considering that Russia deployed its air force to mount strikes in support of the Syrian army.

Iran has also intervened with more forces considering that then. Hundreds of its elite Revolutionary Guard Corps are fighting alongside the Syrian army in ground offensives getting waged with Russian air cover in several regions of western Syria.

Saudi Arabia has in turn boosted support to the rebels. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir mentioned on Nov. 26 that a military choice in Syria was nonetheless viable and help for the opposition fighting to topple Assad would continue.

Russia’s air campaign has mostly hit areas of western Syria that are critical to Assad’s survival and exactly where the Islamic State group – the stated target of the Russian intervention – has small or no presence.

All the rebels attending the meeting are enemies of Islamic State, which controls swathes of eastern Syria seized mainly from other insurgent groups. The Nusra Front, listed as a terrorist group by the United States, has also not been invited.

A diplomat who tracks Syria stated Russia would object to the participation of both Islam Army and Ahrar al-Sham due its hyperlinks to the Nusra Front and al Qaeda. “The Iranians really feel uncomfortable with the Saudis top,” the diplomat added.

“The aim of agreeing the parameters of negotiations with the regime is challenging to achieve.”

But the spokesman for a single of the FSA groups due to attend said Ahrar al-Sham have been portion of the Syrian folks.

“We did not take portion ahead of in conferences before, but we hope that this conference will be essential for the future of Syria and ending the war,” mentioned Abu Ghaith al-Shami of Alwiyat Seif al-Sham, which operates in southern Syria.

(Additional reporting by Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman and Sylvia Westall and John Davison in Beirut Writing by Tom Perry Editing by Giles Elgood and Jonathan Oatis)

Agen Sabung Ayam