Preston North End dealt FA Cup blow as Sunderland, Wigan and Middlesbrough get TV executives' vote for possible giant-killing
TV executives clearly don’t think an FA Cup giant-killing is on the cards as Preston North End prepare to travel to Premier League Chelsea in the third round of the competition next month.
The Stamford Bridge fixture has not been chosen as one of six games set to be broadcast live over the BBC and ITV the first week into the new year.
Instead, focus centres of three all-Premier League games - Crystal Palace v Everton, Spurs v Burnley and Arsenal v Liverpool - with the Tyne-Wear derby between Sunderland and Newcastle, Aston Villa’s trip to Championship Middlesbrough and Wigan’s home game against Manchester United taking precedence and denying Ryan Lowe's side a welcome financial boost. The Lilywhites are expected to be accompanied by up to 6,000 fans for their visit to the capital and their first trip to Stamford Bridge since 2002, when they lost 3-1 in the Cup. But those unable to attend were hoping the TV companies would come to their rescue and broadcast the game live. That’s not to be, however, with the match-up subsequently overlooked.
It’s still not clear when the game will actually be played, with Chelsea’s neighbours Fulham also drawn at home as they entertain Rotherham at Craven Cottage. Games will take place between January 4-8, with Palace v Everton kicking off the live TV coverage.
In the meantime, Preston fans have been commenting on the decision on our Facebook page. Stephen Wells wrote: ‘Some odd selections there! Magic of the Cup? Half of those chosen currently play each other twice a season (at least) anyway.’ Andrew Bell commented: ‘Not surprised, given the turgid stuff that had been served up recently!’ Meanwhile, Liam Harold joked: ‘I don’t know why, there could be a cup upset that sees a Chelsea win!'
Preston are currently eighth in the Championship following their defeat to QPR last Friday night. Chelsea sit 10th in the top flight following their sixth defeat of the season against Manchester United on Wednesday.