FA CUP THIRD ROUND DRAW: Ipswich Town away at Southampton – game set for Sunday, January 4th
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Ipswich Town will travel to Premier League high-flyers Southampton in the FA Cup Third Round.
Both clubs have agreed to play the game on Sunday, January 4 (3pm ko), though that could change if the tie is selected for television.
The Blues, winners in 1978, have endured a miserable run in the competition over the last few years and last reached round four in 2010 where incidentally, they lost away at the Saints, 2-1.
Town were dumped out at the third round stage last season, against League One Preston, a Joe Garner hat-trick condemning the Blues to a 3-2 defeat, following a 1-1 draw at Portman Road in the original tie.
Previous to that, the Blues lost at Aston Villa (2-1) in 2013, Hull City (3-1) in 2012 and Chelsea (7-0) in 2011.
The Blues’ last victory at the third round stage came in 2010 when goals from Jack Colback and Owen Garvan gave the Blues a 2-1 win at Blackpool.
Town, in the second automatic spot in the Championship, have aspirations of Premier League football next season, but will have their work cut out against the Saints, managed by legendary former Barcelona and Holland defender, Ronald Koeman.
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The Saints sat fourth in the top flight, prior to Monday night’s home game against Manchester United, having won five and drawn one of their seven league games at St Mary’s this season.
Following a summer of upheaval on the south coast which saw several high-profile departures, including head coach Mauricio Pochettino to Tottenham and key trio Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren to Liverpool, many predicted a season of struggle for the 1976 Cup winners.
However, Koeman has spent well, bringing in unfamiliar names such as Italian striker Graziano Pelle from Feyenoord, FC Twente playmaker Dusan Tadic and Red Bull Salzburg’s Senegalese striker, Saido Mane.
That trio in particular have proved instant hits and have supplemented the talent that was left at the Hampshire club, such as Kenyan midfielder Victor Wanyama and newly-capped England defender Nathaniel Clyne.
Town goalkeeper, Bartosz Bialkowski and striker, David McGoldrick are former Saints players, while Blues’ goalkeeping coach Malcolm Webster spent time working for the Saints.