Immediate Old Trafford return for Joyce

Warren Joyce
Warren Joyce

Wigan Athletic have been drawn away to mighty Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Latics have been rewarded for their weekend win over Nottingham Forest with the most glamorous - and one of the most difficult - tie of all.

It’s an immediate return to Old Trafford for boss Warren Joyce, who left United to become Latics manager a couple of months ago.

Latics also have several United old-boys in the squad including Nick Powell, Reece James and Andy Kelllett, while Ravel Morrison is training with the club as he tries to earn a short-term deal at the DW.

United winger-turned-defender Antonio Valencia is also in line to face his old club.

The tie is scheduled to take place on the last weekend of January, but will take a great deal of thought to appease all parties.

United’s last 55 FA Cup ties have all been screened live either by terrestrial or satellite television, and it is odds-on the clash between the holders and the 2013 winners will be chosen.

While Jose Mourinho’s men play the previous Thursday night in the League Cup semi-final second leg against Hull, and would therefore prefer a Sunday fixture, Latics entertain Norwich the following Tuesday and would want it on the Saturday.

Latics don’t even have the option of putting the Norwich game back 24 hours to the Wednesday, because their home league game against Sheffield Wednesday the following weekend has already been brought forward 24 hours to the Friday night for Sky coverage.

The fixture details are expected to be confirmed by the end of this week, but it could mean Latics facing three big games in just over five days at a crucial stage of the campaign.

Elsewhere in the draw, non-league sides Sutton United and Lincoln will both have home advantage in the fourth round provided they win their third-round replays against Wimbledon and Ipswich respectively.

Sutton will welcome Leeds to Gander Green Lane if they see off the Dons at the second attempt, while Lincoln’s reward would be a home clash with Championship promotion chasers Brighton.

Chelsea will face Brentford in a west-London derby at Stamford Bridge and Manchester City travel to face either Crystal Palace or Bolton.

The winners of the replay between Plymouth and Liverpool will face Wolves, who pulled off one of the biggest shocks in round three with their win at Stoke.

FA Cup fourth-round draw:-

Tottenham v Wycombe, Derby v Leicester, Oxford United v Newcastle/Birmingham, AFC Wimbledon/Sutton United v Leeds, Plymouth/Liverpool v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton/Norwich v Arsenal, Lincoln/Ipswich v Brighton, Chelsea v Brentford, Manchester United v Wigan Athletic, Millwall v Watford, Rochdale v Huddersfield, Burnley/Sunderland v Fleetwood/Bristol City, Blackburn v Barnsley/Blackpool, Fulham v Hull. Middlesbrough v Accrington, Crystal Palace/Bolton v Manchester City

Ties to be played January 27-30