ESPN ANNOUNCES FA CUP FOURTH ROUND TELEVISED MATCHES
ESPN to broadcast three live fixtures, Man United or West Ham v Blackpool or Fulham on Saturday 26th January, and, on Sunday 27th January coverage of Brentford or Southend v Chelsea, followed by Birmingham or Leeds v Tottenham Hotspur
New games add to live coverage of Third Round replay between Arsenal and Swansea
ESPN will broadcast exclusively live coverage of three FA Cup Fourth Round games over the final weekend of January, starting with West Ham United or Manchester United v Fulham or Blackpool on Saturday 26th January. That is followed on Sunday 27th January by a double bill: Brentford or Southend v Chelsea, then Leeds or Birmingham v Tottenham Hotspur.
Man United, who have won the FA Cup a record 11 times, staged a late comeback against West Ham in their original Third Round match last weekend to ensure a replay at Old Trafford. The 2-2 draw at Upton Park saw new Hammers arrival Joe Cole return to form, setting up both goals before Robin van Persie’s equaliser in stoppage time. The winners of that tie will take on the winners of Fulham v Blackpool, who drew 1-1 at Craven Cottage in their original Third Round match last weekend. The Seasiders took a surprise lead through Ludovic Sylvestre, but Giorgos Karagounis restored parity with ten minutes remaining.
Kicking off ESPN’s live and exclusive FA Cup double bill on Sunday 27th January is FA Cup holders Chelsea’s visit to either Brentford or Southend. In their original Third Round match last weekend League Two Southend fought back from 2-0 to secure a replay with Brentford, who are in the thick of the League One title race. Chelsea enjoyed an easy route through to the Fourth Round, demolishing Southampton 5-1 despite going behind, with new signing Demba Ba impressing on his debut. Southend last met the Stamford Bridge club in the competition as recently as 2009, when the Shrimpers forced a replay.
ESPN’s final game of the FA Cup Fourth Round weekend will feature Spurs, who swept past Coventry 3-0 in the Third Round. Eight-time FA Cup winners Spurs last lifted the trophy in 1991, and have reached the semi-finals twice in the last three seasons. Andre Villas Boas’ men will face either Leeds or Birmingham, who played out a 1-1 draw on Saturday In their original Third Round match last weekend. Tottenham last met Leeds in the Fourth Round in 2009/10, with Leeds forcing a replay before Spurs emerged victorious. Spurs and Birmingham have drawn each other five times in the FA Cup, with a replay needed to decide the outcome on four occasions.
Simon Potter, head of programming and production, ESPN, EMEA, said: “The FA Cup Third Round produced some great action, surprises, upsets and goals and we’re looking forward to bringing viewers more of the same drama that makes this tournament great. This Fourth Round draw will see more underdogs hoping to pull off an upset against some of the most successful teams in the competition’s history – it’s set to be a great weekend of live football.”
3RD ROUND REPLAYS
ESPN also exclusively coverage of the FA Cup Third Round replay between Arsenal and Swansea at 7pm on Wednesday 16th January.
FA CUP ON ESPN
ESPN will broadcast 25 live and exclusive FA Cup matches this season, from the First Round through to the Final, ensuring fans won’t miss any of the competition’s unique drama and storylines. As well as selected replays through the tournament, the sports media company televises two matches in the first two rounds, three matches from the third to fifth rounds, two quarter-finals, one semi-final and the FA Cup Final. ESPN Classic will feature an extensive programming line-up of great FA Cup moments, airing on the channel every night in January.
ESPN.co.uk, ESPN’s news and information portal, offers football fans in the UK online coverage of the FA Cup including special features. ESPNFC.com, ESPN’s multi-platform, multi-language and multi-country global football brand, will provide live scores and match reports, plus access to a network of bloggers. Both sites will also offer video highlights of selected FA Cup matches. On mobile, fans can access all of the best content from ESPN.co.uk via the mobile web, and, from ESPNFC.com via a dedicated mobile app.
|FA Cup Third Round|
|Saturday 26th January|
|FA Cup Live – Fourth Round – Man United or West Ham v Blackpool or Fulham
Man United have opened up a seven point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League, but needed a last minute equalizer against West Ham to prevent their exit in the Third Round. Fulham and Blackpool both lie in mid-table in their respective leagues.
|Sunday 27th January|
|FA Cup Live – Fourth Round – Brentford or Southend v Chelsea
League One’s Brentford and League Two’s Southend are both in the hunt for promotion. Chelsea, under new manager Rafa Benitez – who won the FA Cup with Liverpool in 2006 – have improved their form in the league over the past few weeks led by an 8-0 win against Aston Villa.
FA Cup Live – Fourth Round – Birmingham or Leeds v Tottenham Hotspur
Leeds sit just outside the playoff places in the Championship, while Birmingham are only just above the drop zone. Spurs lie third in the Barclays Premier League, and have won seven of their last nine in the league.