GUARDIAN – FA Cup fourth-round draw – as it happened!| Alan Smith

Cambridge United were drawn at home to Manchester United, while Chelsea could face Millwall in a London derby if the latter can defeat Bradford in a replay 7.51pm GMT Is there a special atmosphere to expect if Chelsea would entertain Millwall?asks Michael Schlagenhaufen via email. Yes, Michael, there would be a cracking atmosphere at Stamford Bridge but Millwall, as mentioned, will face a really difficult task at Bradford next week after their initial meeting at the Den ended 3-3 on Saturday.I know this plea will fall on deaf ears, but wouldn’t it be refreshing if whoever reports on this fixture avoids the pitfall of writing about “United” if who they really mean is the team from Manchester rather than Cambridge?We live in hope!Cambridge versus Man U? I smell a punditry call up for Dion Dublin. 7.45pm GMT Well there you go. One guaranteed highlight – Cambridge United v Manchester United – and a couple of potentially tasty derbies: Chelsea v Millwall (if they beat Bradford in a replay, which is of course no easy task) and Birmingham City v West Bromwich Albion 7.43pm GMT Manchester City v Middlesbrough 7.42pm GMT Doncaster/Bristol City v Everton/West Ham 7.42pm GMT Sunderland v Fulham/Wolves 7.42pm GMT Rochdale v Stoke City 7.41pm GMT Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal 7.41pm GMT Burnley/Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City 7.41pm GMT AFC Wimbledon/Liverpool v Bolton Wanderers 7.40pm GMT Cardiff City v Reading 7.40pm GMT Aston Villa v Bournemouth 7.40pm GMT Birmingham City v West Bromwich Albion 7.39pm GMT Preston North End v Sheffield United 7.39pm GMT Derby v Scunthorpe/Chesterfield 7.39pm GMT Chelsea v Millwall/Bradford City 7.38pm GMT Blackburn Rovers v Swansea City 7.38pm GMT Cambridge United v Manchester United (great tie for the U’s) 7.37pm GMT Southampton/Ipswich v Crystal Palace 7.37pm GMT Mark Champan tees it up from the President’s lounge at Kingsmeadow to the usual cheers and oi oisDouglas Hawthorn has been in contact via email:Quick “big up” for Cambridge United. Back in the Football League after a nine year absence, and in the fourth-round for the first time in fifteen years. Glory days. Would settle for a rerun of the rehearsal in the draw, albeit at the Abbey. 7.34pm GMT We’re moments away … but here’s a refresher of the numbers in the pot1. Arsenal 7.24pm GMT There is something terrible about the draw being made with eight teams still to play their third round fixture (not including replays). Then again, who had the bright idea of putting Everton v West Ham on a Tuesday night? Such silliness. 7.18pm GMT While we wait for the draw, why not pay Jacob Steinberg a visit over on the AFC Wimbledon v Liverpool MBM? Just promise you’ll come back in 10 minutes, ok? 7.11pm GMT Glamour of the cup captured perfectly by our man at Kingsmeadow tonightSlightly obstructed view from the pressbox at AFC Wimbledon tonight 7.09pm GMT Lawrie Sanchez, who was part of the victorious Wimbledon team in 1988, and Stef Loucaides, a local grassroots football coach, will be making tonight’s draw.In the trial, Manchester City were drawn at home to Cambridge United, the lowest ranked team left in the competition. 7.02pm GMT Here we go, then. The FA Cup fourth round draw – almost but not quite as good as the third round draw on the basis that there are fewer chances of a major shock.Then again, there hasn’t been a giantkilling yet (step up AFC Wimbledon, who take on Liverpool right after these balls are pulled out of a drum?). Wrexham promised a surprise until Stoke’s Stephen Ireland ruined it, Sheffield Wednesday led at Man City briefly while Blyth Spartans threatened to upset Birmingham and Southport were denied in desperately late circumstances at Derby. Sheffield United, on the basis of their outstanding record in knockout competitions, winning at a QPR side whose priorities lie elsewhere was hardly a shock. It pains to say, the #magicofthecup has not been all that magic so far. 7.00pm GMT Alan will be here shortly before the draw, which is due to start at 7.30pm. Here are the teams and their numbers:1. Arsenal Continue reading…

TTT: Welcome Back Rickie Lambert

By Chris Rowland. It was confirmed today that Rickie Lambert, 32, has signed for Liverpool from Southampton for a fee of about £4m plus add-ons. So here’s a quick look at the classic rags-to-riches story of our new striker. After being released by Liverpool as a youngster – and then suffering the same fate at Blackpool (where manager and former Liverpool player Steve McMahon released him from his contract) – Rickie Lambert spent the summer of 2001 working in a beetroot factory, before Macclesfield offered him £50 a week in travel expenses. 13 years on and after spells at Rochdale, Stockport, Bristol Rovers and Southampton, the 32-year-old has four caps for England and was selected for England’s World Cup squad for Brazil. After scoring 117 goals in 235 appearances for Southampton, now he has sealed a dream return to Anfield: “I can’t believe it. I’ve loved this club all my life. To be back here now is hard to describe.””I have always dreamt of playing for Liverpool, but I did kind of think the chance of playing for them had gone. I didn’t think the chance would come. “I know how big Liverpool are – and it means everything to me – but I know what is important; I know it’s what I do on the pitch and the minutes I play. I know that’s what matters, and that’s what I’ll be focused on.” Lambert’s meteoric rise from football’s lower leagues looked as though it had peaked when he received his first England call-up at the age of 31 – the same day his wife gave birth to his third child, Bella Rose. He scored the winner on his England debut against Scotland. In his first interview with the official website, Lambert was asked: What’s been your greatest moment as a Liverpool supporter? “It’s easily Istanbul. I wasn’t able to go, but I went to all of the home games. The Chelsea game still stands out for me. I was on holiday with my mates and we watched it [Istanbul] – it was one of the best nights of my life, without a doubt. I think every Liverpool fan would say the same. We spoke to you ahead of the Southampton versus Liverpool game a few months back and you said you’d learnt to manage your emotions when facing Liverpool. How do you think you’ll be feeling when you run out at Anfield as a Liverpool player? “It’s going to be hard to keep my emotions in check the first time I pull on the Liverpool shirt – I’m not going to lie! It’s going to be very emotional, not just for me but also for my family. These kind of moments are driving me on. When I get these moments, I seem to produce my best performances and I’m able to use it to my advantage – any emotions, any nerves and any excitement I have. I am hoping that will continue in my Liverpool career. Lambert has also written an open letter to everyone at Southampton after his move to Liverpool: “What can I say…? Southampton has been my life for the past five years, in which we have achieved all of our dreams and more. “When I grew up there was only one club I loved. I can honestly say now I have two clubs which will always be in my heart and that is thanks to the Saints fans. “The people who support this club have been nothing short of amazing towards me and, when I look back in years to come, it will be the relationship I had with the fans here which will stand out the most.” So what does Brendan Rodgers think of Lambert – apart from being enough to want to sign him, obviously? Rodgers told the club’s website: “It’s only late on in his career – at 29, 30, 31 – that people are really starting to focus on his qualities. He was probably seen as the traditional big No.9, a British striker that is good in the air. “But he’s one of the most accomplished footballers I’ve seen. It has been so refreshing that he’s got his call into the England team and he certainly hasn’t let anyone down – he has been outstanding. “Look at his touch, look at the level of his goals, the different types of goals he has scored over his career, and he’s a specialist on penalties as well. I think he is a terrific footballer and any team he plays against, he’s always a handful.” Here’s a YouTube video of Rickie Lambert goals and assists last season, posted variously by Vin, ACSGP and Krishaldo. Beez posted a table showing duels, aerial duels and passing accuracy to illustrate that any suggestion that Lambert may be a “bruising English centre forward, lethal in the air” etc may be wide of the mark, and another table showing Lambert’s chance creation stats. And Paul Tomkins weighed in with some stats showing Lambert’s footballing stats are more impressive than his heading ones. Yet more stats came from Dan Kennett and Beez, who concluded “There’s a hell of a lot of ability in Lambert!” Yet more career stats: Blackpool: 3 games, 0 goals (1998-2000) Macclesfield: 49 games, 10 goals (2001-2002) Stockport: 110 games, 19 goals (2002-2005) Rochdale: 68 games, 28 goals (2005-2006) Bristol Rovers: 155 games, 59 goals (2006-2009) Southampton: 235 games, 117 goals (2009-2014) There’s a comprehensive profile of Rickie Lambert by Chris Wood on the website.

Steven Pienaar puts spring in Everton’s step with perfect FA Cup warm-up

They were trying very hard at Everton to argue that they were not favourites for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final. The club’s assistant manager, Steve Round, pointed out that Liverpool’s history and tradition would count for plenty at Wembley, leading one journalist to remark that, if history and tradition were everything in the FA Cup, Old Etonians would be favourites most seasons.

Jason Lowe: The Blackburn player aiming higher

After another weekend of bitter twists at the foot of the Premier League, I’m trying to work out how many points will be enough to keep a team safe this season. Supporters of Blackburn Rovers, along with those of at least five other strugglers, are doing the same. And have been for weeks now. As far as Rovers are concerned, wins in their last three home games – starting with Liverpool’s visit to Ewood tonight – would take them to 37 points. Might that be enough?