Belfast Telegraph

Manchester United’s FA Cup tie live... again

Supporters who say they are sick of watching Manchester United in the FA Cup have a very valid argument.

You either love or hate the Premier League giants — but you certainly can’t avoid them in the famous old competition.

If you think the Red Devils are a familiar sight, there’s a good reason why.

United’s FA Cup fourth round clash with Southampton will be televised live — making it the club’s 30th consecutive tv appearance in the competition and counting. The live cameras have captured United’s every move since their 0-0 draw with Exeter in January 2005.

ITV will follow the match at St Mary’s, safe in the knowledge that Sir Alex Ferguson’s men will bring millions of fans to their armchairs.

United, who have won the FA Cup on 11 occasions, are an obvious attraction to television bosses but some supporters of other sides have complained to ITV, criticising them for a ‘lack of imagination’ in their match selection.

Fans will be hoping for a more fiercely contested affair than the third round replay against Burton at Old Trafford in 2006 when the hosts cantered to a comfortable |5-0 win.

But perhaps United’s rivals shouldn’t be too alarmed by their domination of the television schedules — it clearly hasn’t helped their cause as the three-times European Cup winners haven’t managed to win the top knockout prize in English football since 2004. That’s despite reaching two finals and one semi-final in that time.

Belfast Telegraph

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