The draw for the third round of the FA Cup has been completed, and though things probably could have been better for Villa they very easily could have been much worse. Mick McCarthy's Ipswich Town will make the trek westward to Villa Park in the first game of the 2012-13 FA Cup for both sides. Ipswich currently occupy 20th place in the Championship table, but after a rough start to McCarthy's reign the team seems to be rounding into form and have won their last two. Ipswich also currently employ former Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker, though his initial three-month contract will have expired by the time the match is played. With plenty of teams looking to strengthen their squads ahead of the Champions League group stage it is unclear whether NRC will make an appearance at Villa Park in Ipswich blue.
The game will take place on either January 5th or 6th, with the official date to be named (presumably) in the near future. In contrast to last season there aren't many marquee matchups in the third round this year; only four games (Swansea City vs. Arsenal, Southampton vs. Chelsea, QPR vs. West Brom) involve two Premier League teams, while the remaining top-4 sides Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur have been drawn against Watford and Coventry City, respectively. In what is sure to be one of the most unpleasant games of football ever contested, we'll all have a chance to cheer for Team Asteroid as Leeds takes on Birmingham City at Elland Road.