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FA Cup: Preston North End looking to take Manchester United scalp as sides meet for first time in over 40 years


The magic of the FA Cup has been alive and well again over the weekend, and League One side Preston will be hoping to get in on the action by beating Manchester United at Deepdale this evening.

The sides have not played each other since United's 2-0 win in the FA Cup fourth round in February 1972. With the draw being made for the quarter finals at Deepdale before kick off, both sides will go into the match knowing their prospective opponents in the last eight.

Whilst the game is huge for Preston in terms of the revenue it brings not only from television and advertising but also a full house at Deepdale, it also falls just a couple of days after a significant anniversary for the club.

It was a year ago on Saturday that Preston's greatest ever play Sir Tom Finney passed away at the age of 91, and this will be the first home game since the anniversary of his passing.

His son Brian will be making the draw for the next round, alongside England manager Roy Hodgson.

For the Preston faithful it would be a fitting tribute to the club's most famous son if they were to achieve the unthinkable and beat one of Europe's biggest sides in United, or even get them back for a replay at Old Trafford.

They will no doubt be buoyed by this season's competition, and the giant killings that have taken place, with Bradford beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the last round before also knocking out Sunderland at the weekend.

Championship side Middlesbrough beat Premier League champions Manchester City on their own turf before falling to current FA Cup holders Arsenal yesterday.

Preston, currently fourth in League One, will also look to United's form in the competition this year for cause to hope, with the Red Devils having taken on two lower league teams in previous rounds.

They managed to get past League One outfit Yeovil at the first time of asking, but a resilient Cambridge United managed to hold them to a 0-0 draw in the Fourth Round, setting up a dream replay at Old Trafford which the Premier League side eventually won.

But with the eyes of the footballing world now trained on Deepdale, the Liliwhites will be hoping they can be the ones in the spotlight at the final whistle.

 
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