Blackburn Battle Awaits

Villa were handed an all Premiership tie in the FA Cup third round once again with Blackburn Rovers set to visit Villa Park on the first weekend of next year.

Martin O'Neill's men, who have now been paired with a side from their own division for six of the last eight seasons, will be hoping that home advantage is telling on this occasion.

Fans of the Claret and Blue are accustomed to seeing their side tackling Manchester United at the third round stage but this time it will be Sam Allardyce's Rovers who provide a tough test.

Villa actually hosted the men from Ewood Park in the FA Cup in 2003 and it was a landslide win for the away side with Dwight Yorke scoring twice in a crushing 4-1 victory.

However, the two teams were far more level on that occasion and, although they lost in the north-west earlier in the season, Villa will be confident of reaching the next round this year.