No respite for Van Gaal as FA Cup fourth round draw hands United tricky tie

 
Ross McLean
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Under-pressure Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has been handed a potentially perilous tie in the FA Cup after the 11-time winners were pitched at Championship high-flyers Derby County in last night’s fourth round draw.

Van Gaal has overseen a turbulent season at Old Trafford and one which sees United sit fifth in the Premier League, nine points adrift of leaders Arsenal, having suffered a group-stage Champions League exit.

Derby, meanwhile, are second in the Championship having lost just two of their last 21 matches across all competitions under the stewardship of Paul Clement, who was appointed in the summer.

Holders Arsenal, who suffered their last defeat in the competition in 2013, were handed a home tie against Championship side Burnley, while north London rivals Tottenham will travel to Colchester should they overcome Leicester in next week’s replay.

Guus Hiddink’s Chelsea were drawn away to the winners of Northampton and MK Dons, West Ham to the victors of Liverpool and Exeter and Manchester City to either Aston Villa or Wycombe Wanderers.

There is an all Premier League tie between Crystal Palace and Stoke City at Selhurst Park, while Oxford United have been rewarded for their giant-killing of Swansea with a home clash with either Newport or Blackburn, whose third round tie was postponed.

Victory for Blackburn in the rearranged match would see Oxford boss Michael Appleton reunited with his former employers. Appleton was sacked from the Ewood Park hotseat after just 67 days in 2013.

National League outfit Eastleigh, the lowest ranked team left in the competition, face a replay against Bolton next week, with the winners at home to Leeds. All fourth round ties will be played between 29 January and 1 February.