Sheffield Wednesday face a trip to the Riverside as they have been drawn to play Premier League Middlesbrough in the FA Cup third round.
The match is a tie which could have drawn tasty clashes with Premier League giants or rare meetings with non-league clubs such as Sutton United and Barrow. Wednesday fans now face a trip to the North Yorkshire town for a fifth consecutive season, and many fans took to twitter to express their disappointment:
— JBH (@JBH_____) December 5, 2016
Worst possible draw we could have had.
— ChansiriOut (@The5herriff) December 5, 2016
Nothing says 'meh' like Middlesbrough away in January.
— Matt Lawton (@LeytherMatt) December 5, 2016
Middlesbrough may have sights on other problems though in the hugely competitive top-flight of English football where they currently sit just one point above the relegation-zone. Other Owl fans were slightly more enthusiastic and took a mildly positive approach:
Boro away. what a pants tie again. Very winnable though. #swfc
— Ben (@owlsfan83) December 5, 2016
Rhodes to get a hatrick and #swfc to win 3-0. 😆
— Dan (@Danjk1984) December 5, 2016
Sheffield Wednesday have become accustomed to big ties in the last couple of seasons. The Owls enjoyed entertaining cup fixtures last season as they faced three Premier League teams in their League Cup run, including the historical 3-0 victory over Arsenal under the night-lights of Hillsborough. The previous season saw two visits to then-Premier League champions Manchester City in both cup competitions, resulting in double defeats.
While The Owls may have dreamed of more ludicrous Premier League away fixtures, Middlesbrough are opponents that can definitely be defeated and may show to be a test in depth of Carlos Carvalhal’s squad. It may also provide the opportunity for young talent such as George Hirst to gain some valuable first-team game time.
The tie will take place between the the sixth and the ninth of January in the new year.