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Derby day: From one-sided fixtures to tight affairs - how will Merseyside and Manchester clashes play out?

It is a fact not lost on Merseyside that a generation of young Everton fans have never seen their side win at Anfield. More than 18 years have passed since the Toffees last took three points home with them on the short trip back across Stanley Park, with David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman all trying and failing to build a side capable of breaking the Anfield curse. It now falls to Sam Allardyce to rekindle the spirit of September 1999, when an early Kevin Campbell goal, created by a young Francis Jeffers, was enough to secure victory in a typically fiery encounter. Jeffers was later sent off, along with Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld, and they were soon joined by a fresh-faced Steven Gerrard, making just his second appearance in a Merseyside derby. Everton have beaten Liverpool at Goodison Park on just four occasions since then, making their rivalry one of the most one-sided in recent history. Liverpool have dominated Everton in recent years Credit: Getty There has, however, been plenty of competition down the years for the title of football’s most unbalanced derby. In some cases, a local derby serves as an equaliser, when better teams are routinely pegged back by smaller rivals. In others, the derby atmosphere has the opposite effect, causing one side to shrink and another to thrive… One-sided derbies Everton are by no means alone in consistently struggling against their local rivals. Famously, Atletico Madrid did not beat Real Madrid, home or away, for 14 years. When they finally broke that duck, it was in the Santiago Bernabeu in the final of the Copa del Rey. “If you had made the fans an offer in which you had said we won’t win against them for 14 years but when we do, it will be in the Cup final at their stadium, with them scoring first, hitting the post three times and us winning in extra time, they would have signed up for that,” said manager Diego Simeone afterwards. Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona have won 97 of 167 derbies with Espanyol, and have lost just three of the last 41 meetings with their local rivals. It is a similar story in west London, where Chelsea have won 46 games against neighbours Fulham, losing just 11. Although they have not always been in the same division, Chelsea have been defeated by Fulham just once, in 2006, since 1979. Chelsea have had the upper hand over Fulham Credit: Getty Images Over in Germany, Bayern Munich have dominated the Munich derby, winning 104 games against 1860 Munich and losing just 50. And on an international level, it is hard to find a more barren run of form than in the early decades of the USA’s rivalry with Mexico. After the Americans won in their first meeting, at the 1934 World Cup, Mexico went on an unbeaten run against the USA that stretched over 46 years and 26 matches until they were finally defeated in 1980. The anomalies In most of these cases, the results are an obvious consequence of the reflective sizes of the two clubs involved. It is no surprise, for example, that a club of Barcelona’s stature is so dominant over the comparably small Espanyol. But sometimes the derby serves as an equaliser, when the size of the various trophy cabinets has no impact on results. The so-called ‘smaller’ clubs can regularly claim the scalps of their ‘bigger’ rivals, or matches between sides at similar levels can become inexplicably uneven. Just look at the recent history of the ‘M23 derby’, between Crystal Palace and Brighton. Palace have had the upper hand, losing just one of the last eight games between the two. The 'M23 derby' is a fiercely-contested derby Credit: Getty And then there’s the East Anglian derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City, two sides who, by and large, exist at the same echelons of English football. Norwich have not lost to Ipswich in nine matches since 2009. It is also an odd quirk that Stoke City have gone six matches without victory over Port Vale, and have won just two of the last 13 meetings between the two (that said, they have not faced each other since 2002, so those particular figures can appear misleading at first). What of Birmingham and Aston Villa? Here are two sides that played each other regularly in the Premier League in the 00s and have since faced off three times in the Championship, yet Birmingham have not won a league game between them in 11 attempts. The same applies to Sunderland and Newcastle. Both have generally operated at the lower end of the Premier League for the last five years, yet Sunderland’s record is one you would expect of a Champions League team playing a League One side: six wins in their last seven derbies, and no defeats in their last nine. Oxford United and Swindon Town have a similarly unbalanced recent record, with Oxford winning seven of the last eight meetings and going unbeaten in seven matches, in both league and cup competitions, since 2011. Too tight to call Of course, there are also those derbies that are so tightly-contested it is almost impossible to divide the two teams. For this, look no further than Nottingham Forest v Derby. Forest have won 39 times, while Derby have won 37. Burnley’s record against Blackburn Rovers is similarly tight: Burnley have won 41 while Blackburn have won 42. El Clasico is one of the tighest, high-profile rivalries Credit: AP Fulham may not have had much luck against Chelsea, but it’s a far tighter affair with fellow west Londoners QPR, who they have beaten 16 times but lost on 14 occasions. The ultimate in close derbies, though, is El Clasico. Barcelona and Real Madrid have played 172 times, with Real winning 72 and Barcelona winning 68. There’s also just seven goals between them: Real have scored 280, while Barcelona have scored 273.

Derby day: From one-sided fixtures to tight affairs - how will Merseyside and Manchester clashes play out?

It is a fact not lost on Merseyside that a generation of young Everton fans have never seen their side win at Anfield. More than 18 years have passed since the Toffees last took three points home with them on the short trip back across Stanley Park, with David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman all trying and failing to build a side capable of breaking the Anfield curse. It now falls to Sam Allardyce to rekindle the spirit of September 1999, when an early Kevin Campbell goal, created by a young Francis Jeffers, was enough to secure victory in a typically fiery encounter. Jeffers was later sent off, along with Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld, and they were soon joined by a fresh-faced Steven Gerrard, making just his second appearance in a Merseyside derby. Everton have beaten Liverpool at Goodison Park on just four occasions since then, making their rivalry one of the most one-sided in recent history. Liverpool have dominated Everton in recent years Credit: Getty There has, however, been plenty of competition down the years for the title of football’s most unbalanced derby. In some cases, a local derby serves as an equaliser, when better teams are routinely pegged back by smaller rivals. In others, the derby atmosphere has the opposite effect, causing one side to shrink and another to thrive… One-sided derbies Everton are by no means alone in consistently struggling against their local rivals. Famously, Atletico Madrid did not beat Real Madrid, home or away, for 14 years. When they finally broke that duck, it was in the Santiago Bernabeu in the final of the Copa del Rey. “If you had made the fans an offer in which you had said we won’t win against them for 14 years but when we do, it will be in the Cup final at their stadium, with them scoring first, hitting the post three times and us winning in extra time, they would have signed up for that,” said manager Diego Simeone afterwards. Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona have won 97 of 167 derbies with Espanyol, and have lost just three of the last 41 meetings with their local rivals. It is a similar story in west London, where Chelsea have won 46 games against neighbours Fulham, losing just 11. Although they have not always been in the same division, Chelsea have been defeated by Fulham just once, in 2006, since 1979. Chelsea have had the upper hand over Fulham Credit: Getty Images Over in Germany, Bayern Munich have dominated the Munich derby, winning 104 games against 1860 Munich and losing just 50. And on an international level, it is hard to find a more barren run of form than in the early decades of the USA’s rivalry with Mexico. After the Americans won in their first meeting, at the 1934 World Cup, Mexico went on an unbeaten run against the USA that stretched over 46 years and 26 matches until they were finally defeated in 1980. The anomalies In most of these cases, the results are an obvious consequence of the reflective sizes of the two clubs involved. It is no surprise, for example, that a club of Barcelona’s stature is so dominant over the comparably small Espanyol. But sometimes the derby serves as an equaliser, when the size of the various trophy cabinets has no impact on results. The so-called ‘smaller’ clubs can regularly claim the scalps of their ‘bigger’ rivals, or matches between sides at similar levels can become inexplicably uneven. Just look at the recent history of the ‘M23 derby’, between Crystal Palace and Brighton. Palace have had the upper hand, losing just one of the last eight games between the two. The 'M23 derby' is a fiercely-contested derby Credit: Getty And then there’s the East Anglian derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City, two sides who, by and large, exist at the same echelons of English football. Norwich have not lost to Ipswich in nine matches since 2009. It is also an odd quirk that Stoke City have gone six matches without victory over Port Vale, and have won just two of the last 13 meetings between the two (that said, they have not faced each other since 2002, so those particular figures can appear misleading at first). What of Birmingham and Aston Villa? Here are two sides that played each other regularly in the Premier League in the 00s and have since faced off three times in the Championship, yet Birmingham have not won a league game between them in 11 attempts. The same applies to Sunderland and Newcastle. Both have generally operated at the lower end of the Premier League for the last five years, yet Sunderland’s record is one you would expect of a Champions League team playing a League One side: six wins in their last seven derbies, and no defeats in their last nine. Oxford United and Swindon Town have a similarly unbalanced recent record, with Oxford winning seven of the last eight meetings and going unbeaten in seven matches, in both league and cup competitions, since 2011. Too tight to call Of course, there are also those derbies that are so tightly-contested it is almost impossible to divide the two teams. For this, look no further than Nottingham Forest v Derby. Forest have won 39 times, while Derby have won 37. Burnley’s record against Blackburn Rovers is similarly tight: Burnley have won 41 while Blackburn have won 42. El Clasico is one of the tighest, high-profile rivalries Credit: AP Fulham may not have had much luck against Chelsea, but it’s a far tighter affair with fellow west Londoners QPR, who they have beaten 16 times but lost on 14 occasions. The ultimate in close derbies, though, is El Clasico. Barcelona and Real Madrid have played 172 times, with Real winning 72 and Barcelona winning 68. There’s also just seven goals between them: Real have scored 280, while Barcelona have scored 273.

Derby day: From one-sided fixtures to tight affairs - how will Merseyside and Manchester clashes play out?

It is a fact not lost on Merseyside that a generation of young Everton fans have never seen their side win at Anfield. More than 18 years have passed since the Toffees last took three points home with them on the short trip back across Stanley Park, with David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman all trying and failing to build a side capable of breaking the Anfield curse. It now falls to Sam Allardyce to rekindle the spirit of September 1999, when an early Kevin Campbell goal, created by a young Francis Jeffers, was enough to secure victory in a typically fiery encounter. Jeffers was later sent off, along with Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld, and they were soon joined by a fresh-faced Steven Gerrard, making just his second appearance in a Merseyside derby. Everton have beaten Liverpool at Goodison Park on just four occasions since then, making their rivalry one of the most one-sided in recent history. Liverpool have dominated Everton in recent years Credit: Getty There has, however, been plenty of competition down the years for the title of football’s most unbalanced derby. In some cases, a local derby serves as an equaliser, when better teams are routinely pegged back by smaller rivals. In others, the derby atmosphere has the opposite effect, causing one side to shrink and another to thrive… One-sided derbies Everton are by no means alone in consistently struggling against their local rivals. Famously, Atletico Madrid did not beat Real Madrid, home or away, for 14 years. When they finally broke that duck, it was in the Santiago Bernabeu in the final of the Copa del Rey. “If you had made the fans an offer in which you had said we won’t win against them for 14 years but when we do, it will be in the Cup final at their stadium, with them scoring first, hitting the post three times and us winning in extra time, they would have signed up for that,” said manager Diego Simeone afterwards. Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona have won 97 of 167 derbies with Espanyol, and have lost just three of the last 41 meetings with their local rivals. It is a similar story in west London, where Chelsea have won 46 games against neighbours Fulham, losing just 11. Although they have not always been in the same division, Chelsea have been defeated by Fulham just once, in 2006, since 1979. Chelsea have had the upper hand over Fulham Credit: Getty Images Over in Germany, Bayern Munich have dominated the Munich derby, winning 104 games against 1860 Munich and losing just 50. And on an international level, it is hard to find a more barren run of form than in the early decades of the USA’s rivalry with Mexico. After the Americans won in their first meeting, at the 1934 World Cup, Mexico went on an unbeaten run against the USA that stretched over 46 years and 26 matches until they were finally defeated in 1980. The anomalies In most of these cases, the results are an obvious consequence of the reflective sizes of the two clubs involved. It is no surprise, for example, that a club of Barcelona’s stature is so dominant over the comparably small Espanyol. But sometimes the derby serves as an equaliser, when the size of the various trophy cabinets has no impact on results. The so-called ‘smaller’ clubs can regularly claim the scalps of their ‘bigger’ rivals, or matches between sides at similar levels can become inexplicably uneven. Just look at the recent history of the ‘M23 derby’, between Crystal Palace and Brighton. Palace have had the upper hand, losing just one of the last eight games between the two. The 'M23 derby' is a fiercely-contested derby Credit: Getty And then there’s the East Anglian derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City, two sides who, by and large, exist at the same echelons of English football. Norwich have not lost to Ipswich in nine matches since 2009. It is also an odd quirk that Stoke City have gone six matches without victory over Port Vale, and have won just two of the last 13 meetings between the two (that said, they have not faced each other since 2002, so those particular figures can appear misleading at first). What of Birmingham and Aston Villa? Here are two sides that played each other regularly in the Premier League in the 00s and have since faced off three times in the Championship, yet Birmingham have not won a league game between them in 11 attempts. The same applies to Sunderland and Newcastle. Both have generally operated at the lower end of the Premier League for the last five years, yet Sunderland’s record is one you would expect of a Champions League team playing a League One side: six wins in their last seven derbies, and no defeats in their last nine. Oxford United and Swindon Town have a similarly unbalanced recent record, with Oxford winning seven of the last eight meetings and going unbeaten in seven matches, in both league and cup competitions, since 2011. Too tight to call Of course, there are also those derbies that are so tightly-contested it is almost impossible to divide the two teams. For this, look no further than Nottingham Forest v Derby. Forest have won 39 times, while Derby have won 37. Burnley’s record against Blackburn Rovers is similarly tight: Burnley have won 41 while Blackburn have won 42. El Clasico is one of the tighest, high-profile rivalries Credit: AP Fulham may not have had much luck against Chelsea, but it’s a far tighter affair with fellow west Londoners QPR, who they have beaten 16 times but lost on 14 occasions. The ultimate in close derbies, though, is El Clasico. Barcelona and Real Madrid have played 172 times, with Real winning 72 and Barcelona winning 68. There’s also just seven goals between them: Real have scored 280, while Barcelona have scored 273.

Derby day: From one-sided fixtures to tight affairs - how will Merseyside and Manchester clashes play out?

It is a fact not lost on Merseyside that a generation of young Everton fans have never seen their side win at Anfield. More than 18 years have passed since the Toffees last took three points home with them on the short trip back across Stanley Park, with David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman all trying and failing to build a side capable of breaking the Anfield curse. It now falls to Sam Allardyce to rekindle the spirit of September 1999, when an early Kevin Campbell goal, created by a young Francis Jeffers, was enough to secure victory in a typically fiery encounter. Jeffers was later sent off, along with Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld, and they were soon joined by a fresh-faced Steven Gerrard, making just his second appearance in a Merseyside derby. Everton have beaten Liverpool at Goodison Park on just four occasions since then, making their rivalry one of the most one-sided in recent history. Liverpool have dominated Everton in recent years Credit: Getty There has, however, been plenty of competition down the years for the title of football’s most unbalanced derby. In some cases, a local derby serves as an equaliser, when better teams are routinely pegged back by smaller rivals. In others, the derby atmosphere has the opposite effect, causing one side to shrink and another to thrive… One-sided derbies Everton are by no means alone in consistently struggling against their local rivals. Famously, Atletico Madrid did not beat Real Madrid, home or away, for 14 years. When they finally broke that duck, it was in the Santiago Bernabeu in the final of the Copa del Rey. “If you had made the fans an offer in which you had said we won’t win against them for 14 years but when we do, it will be in the Cup final at their stadium, with them scoring first, hitting the post three times and us winning in extra time, they would have signed up for that,” said manager Diego Simeone afterwards. Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona have won 97 of 167 derbies with Espanyol, and have lost just three of the last 41 meetings with their local rivals. It is a similar story in west London, where Chelsea have won 46 games against neighbours Fulham, losing just 11. Although they have not always been in the same division, Chelsea have been defeated by Fulham just once, in 2006, since 1979. Chelsea have had the upper hand over Fulham Credit: Getty Images Over in Germany, Bayern Munich have dominated the Munich derby, winning 104 games against 1860 Munich and losing just 50. And on an international level, it is hard to find a more barren run of form than in the early decades of the USA’s rivalry with Mexico. After the Americans won in their first meeting, at the 1934 World Cup, Mexico went on an unbeaten run against the USA that stretched over 46 years and 26 matches until they were finally defeated in 1980. The anomalies In most of these cases, the results are an obvious consequence of the reflective sizes of the two clubs involved. It is no surprise, for example, that a club of Barcelona’s stature is so dominant over the comparably small Espanyol. But sometimes the derby serves as an equaliser, when the size of the various trophy cabinets has no impact on results. The so-called ‘smaller’ clubs can regularly claim the scalps of their ‘bigger’ rivals, or matches between sides at similar levels can become inexplicably uneven. Just look at the recent history of the ‘M23 derby’, between Crystal Palace and Brighton. Palace have had the upper hand, losing just one of the last eight games between the two. The 'M23 derby' is a fiercely-contested derby Credit: Getty And then there’s the East Anglian derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City, two sides who, by and large, exist at the same echelons of English football. Norwich have not lost to Ipswich in nine matches since 2009. It is also an odd quirk that Stoke City have gone six matches without victory over Port Vale, and have won just two of the last 13 meetings between the two (that said, they have not faced each other since 2002, so those particular figures can appear misleading at first). What of Birmingham and Aston Villa? Here are two sides that played each other regularly in the Premier League in the 00s and have since faced off three times in the Championship, yet Birmingham have not won a league game between them in 11 attempts. The same applies to Sunderland and Newcastle. Both have generally operated at the lower end of the Premier League for the last five years, yet Sunderland’s record is one you would expect of a Champions League team playing a League One side: six wins in their last seven derbies, and no defeats in their last nine. Oxford United and Swindon Town have a similarly unbalanced recent record, with Oxford winning seven of the last eight meetings and going unbeaten in seven matches, in both league and cup competitions, since 2011. Too tight to call Of course, there are also those derbies that are so tightly-contested it is almost impossible to divide the two teams. For this, look no further than Nottingham Forest v Derby. Forest have won 39 times, while Derby have won 37. Burnley’s record against Blackburn Rovers is similarly tight: Burnley have won 41 while Blackburn have won 42. El Clasico is one of the tighest, high-profile rivalries Credit: AP Fulham may not have had much luck against Chelsea, but it’s a far tighter affair with fellow west Londoners QPR, who they have beaten 16 times but lost on 14 occasions. The ultimate in close derbies, though, is El Clasico. Barcelona and Real Madrid have played 172 times, with Real winning 72 and Barcelona winning 68. There’s also just seven goals between them: Real have scored 280, while Barcelona have scored 273.

Derby day: From one-sided fixtures to tight affairs - how will Merseyside and Manchester clashes play out?

It is a fact not lost on Merseyside that a generation of young Everton fans have never seen their side win at Anfield. More than 18 years have passed since the Toffees last took three points home with them on the short trip back across Stanley Park, with David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman all trying and failing to build a side capable of breaking the Anfield curse. It now falls to Sam Allardyce to rekindle the spirit of September 1999, when an early Kevin Campbell goal, created by a young Francis Jeffers, was enough to secure victory in a typically fiery encounter. Jeffers was later sent off, along with Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld, and they were soon joined by a fresh-faced Steven Gerrard, making just his second appearance in a Merseyside derby. Everton have beaten Liverpool at Goodison Park on just four occasions since then, making their rivalry one of the most one-sided in recent history. Liverpool have dominated Everton in recent years Credit: Getty There has, however, been plenty of competition down the years for the title of football’s most unbalanced derby. In some cases, a local derby serves as an equaliser, when better teams are routinely pegged back by smaller rivals. In others, the derby atmosphere has the opposite effect, causing one side to shrink and another to thrive… One-sided derbies Everton are by no means alone in consistently struggling against their local rivals. Famously, Atletico Madrid did not beat Real Madrid, home or away, for 14 years. When they finally broke that duck, it was in the Santiago Bernabeu in the final of the Copa del Rey. “If you had made the fans an offer in which you had said we won’t win against them for 14 years but when we do, it will be in the Cup final at their stadium, with them scoring first, hitting the post three times and us winning in extra time, they would have signed up for that,” said manager Diego Simeone afterwards. Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona have won 97 of 167 derbies with Espanyol, and have lost just three of the last 41 meetings with their local rivals. It is a similar story in west London, where Chelsea have won 46 games against neighbours Fulham, losing just 11. Although they have not always been in the same division, Chelsea have been defeated by Fulham just once, in 2006, since 1979. Chelsea have had the upper hand over Fulham Credit: Getty Images Over in Germany, Bayern Munich have dominated the Munich derby, winning 104 games against 1860 Munich and losing just 50. And on an international level, it is hard to find a more barren run of form than in the early decades of the USA’s rivalry with Mexico. After the Americans won in their first meeting, at the 1934 World Cup, Mexico went on an unbeaten run against the USA that stretched over 46 years and 26 matches until they were finally defeated in 1980. The anomalies In most of these cases, the results are an obvious consequence of the reflective sizes of the two clubs involved. It is no surprise, for example, that a club of Barcelona’s stature is so dominant over the comparably small Espanyol. But sometimes the derby serves as an equaliser, when the size of the various trophy cabinets has no impact on results. The so-called ‘smaller’ clubs can regularly claim the scalps of their ‘bigger’ rivals, or matches between sides at similar levels can become inexplicably uneven. Just look at the recent history of the ‘M23 derby’, between Crystal Palace and Brighton. Palace have had the upper hand, losing just one of the last eight games between the two. The 'M23 derby' is a fiercely-contested derby Credit: Getty And then there’s the East Anglian derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City, two sides who, by and large, exist at the same echelons of English football. Norwich have not lost to Ipswich in nine matches since 2009. It is also an odd quirk that Stoke City have gone six matches without victory over Port Vale, and have won just two of the last 13 meetings between the two (that said, they have not faced each other since 2002, so those particular figures can appear misleading at first). What of Birmingham and Aston Villa? Here are two sides that played each other regularly in the Premier League in the 00s and have since faced off three times in the Championship, yet Birmingham have not won a league game between them in 11 attempts. The same applies to Sunderland and Newcastle. Both have generally operated at the lower end of the Premier League for the last five years, yet Sunderland’s record is one you would expect of a Champions League team playing a League One side: six wins in their last seven derbies, and no defeats in their last nine. Oxford United and Swindon Town have a similarly unbalanced recent record, with Oxford winning seven of the last eight meetings and going unbeaten in seven matches, in both league and cup competitions, since 2011. Too tight to call Of course, there are also those derbies that are so tightly-contested it is almost impossible to divide the two teams. For this, look no further than Nottingham Forest v Derby. Forest have won 39 times, while Derby have won 37. Burnley’s record against Blackburn Rovers is similarly tight: Burnley have won 41 while Blackburn have won 42. El Clasico is one of the tighest, high-profile rivalries Credit: AP Fulham may not have had much luck against Chelsea, but it’s a far tighter affair with fellow west Londoners QPR, who they have beaten 16 times but lost on 14 occasions. The ultimate in close derbies, though, is El Clasico. Barcelona and Real Madrid have played 172 times, with Real winning 72 and Barcelona winning 68. There’s also just seven goals between them: Real have scored 280, while Barcelona have scored 273.

Exclusive: Manchester United's FA Cup third-round match will not be televised, ending 13-year run 

Manchester United’s 13-year run of 58 televised FA Cup matches has come to an end, with their clash with Derby County next month a shock omission from the third-round games selected for broadcast. Telegraph Sport can also reveal that Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace will play the first competitive match in England in which video replays will be used to overturn refereeing decisions. The clubs’ third-round tie was chosen on Thursday to stage a live trial of so-called Video Assistant Referees (VARs) from the televised fixtures shown by the BBC and BT between January 5-8. Those will kick off with the Merseyside derby on the BBC on the night of Friday, January 5, which was deemed too high-profile a fixture to conduct English football’s first live VAR test. That will be followed on Saturday lunchtime by League One Fleetwood Town or non-league Hereford v Leicester City - Leicester famously bought Jamie Vardy from Fleetwood - again on the BBC. Brighton vs Palace will witness the first VAR used in an FA Cup match Credit: Getty Images BT Sport open that tea-time with Norwich City v Chelsea, while the Sunday games will be Shrewsbury v West Ham United (BBC) and Nottingham Forest v holders Arsenal (BT). BT will also show the history-making ‘M23 derby’ between Brighton and Palace the following evening. The last United cup match not to be shown live on television was the first of their defence of the trophy they won in 2004, a surprise goalless home draw against non-league Exeter City. Their non-selection next month follows a backlash last year against their mundane third-round home clash against Reading being picked ahead of National League Sutton United’s more romantic encounter with AFC Wimbledon. Sutton chairman Bruce Elliott said at the time: “I suppose it’s all down to viewing figures and the bottom line is more people are more likely to watch Man United than they are to watch Sutton United. But what happened to the romance of the FA Cup?” Liverpool's Merseyside clash with Everton will be televised Credit: Reuters Terrestrial broadcasters in particular have struggled to resist picking United’s FA Cup ties given there are few opportunities for them to show the club which regularly attracts the biggest UK TV audience. The Football Association announced its intention in March to use VARs in this season’s FA Cup from the third round onwards. Trials look set to be limited to televised games at Premier League grounds, which have the infrastructure necessary for the technology to be properly implemented. Only Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Palace fulfilled that criteria from next month’s fixtures and the decision not to pick the former match may raise questions about the FA’s confidence in the system. The Telegraph revealed last year that secret video technology trials were being conducted during Premier League matches in preparation for the advent of VAR in England. The non-live experiments, which are ongoing, have been used to train referees and VARs with a view to them being ready for an anticipated change to the laws of the game in March and a full global rollout from the World Cup onwards. Live testing, meanwhile, is continuing in international friendly matches - the first in England was last month’s goalless draw against Germany at Wembley - and in competitions signed up to the trials. That includes in this season’s Bundesliga, where the use of VARs has been mired in controversy. Modern heroes: Who has done most for your club in the last 20 years? Hellmut Krug, the former international referee appointed to oversee the system, was sidelined in October after being accused of unduly influencing two VAR penalty decisions in Schalke’s 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg. He denied having done so. The only incidents eligible to be overturned by video review under a protocol laid down by the International Football Association Board are goals, penalties, straight red cards and cases of mistaken identity.

Exclusive: Manchester United's FA Cup third-round match will not be televised, ending 13-year run 

Manchester United’s 13-year run of 58 televised FA Cup matches has come to an end, with their clash with Derby County next month a shock omission from the third-round games selected for broadcast. Telegraph Sport can also reveal that Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace will play the first competitive match in England in which video replays will be used to overturn refereeing decisions. The clubs’ third-round tie was chosen on Thursday to stage a live trial of so-called Video Assistant Referees (VARs) from the televised fixtures shown by the BBC and BT between January 5-8. Those will kick off with the Merseyside derby on the BBC on the night of Friday, January 5, which was deemed too high-profile a fixture to conduct English football’s first live VAR test. That will be followed on Saturday lunchtime by League One Fleetwood Town or non-league Hereford v Leicester City - Leicester famously bought Jamie Vardy from Fleetwood - again on the BBC. Brighton vs Palace will witness the first VAR used in an FA Cup match Credit: Getty Images BT Sport open that tea-time with Norwich City v Chelsea, while the Sunday games will be Shrewsbury v West Ham United (BBC) and Nottingham Forest v holders Arsenal (BT). BT will also show the history-making ‘M23 derby’ between Brighton and Palace the following evening. The last United cup match not to be shown live on television was the first of their defence of the trophy they won in 2004, a surprise goalless home draw against non-league Exeter City. Their non-selection next month follows a backlash last year against their mundane third-round home clash against Reading being picked ahead of National League Sutton United’s more romantic encounter with AFC Wimbledon. Sutton chairman Bruce Elliott said at the time: “I suppose it’s all down to viewing figures and the bottom line is more people are more likely to watch Man United than they are to watch Sutton United. But what happened to the romance of the FA Cup?” Liverpool's Merseyside clash with Everton will be televised Credit: Reuters Terrestrial broadcasters in particular have struggled to resist picking United’s FA Cup ties given there are few opportunities for them to show the club which regularly attracts the biggest UK TV audience. The Football Association announced its intention in March to use VARs in this season’s FA Cup from the third round onwards. Trials look set to be limited to televised games at Premier League grounds, which have the infrastructure necessary for the technology to be properly implemented. Only Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Palace fulfilled that criteria from next month’s fixtures and the decision not to pick the former match may raise questions about the FA’s confidence in the system. The Telegraph revealed last year that secret video technology trials were being conducted during Premier League matches in preparation for the advent of VAR in England. The non-live experiments, which are ongoing, have been used to train referees and VARs with a view to them being ready for an anticipated change to the laws of the game in March and a full global rollout from the World Cup onwards. Live testing, meanwhile, is continuing in international friendly matches - the first in England was last month’s goalless draw against Germany at Wembley - and in competitions signed up to the trials. That includes in this season’s Bundesliga, where the use of VARs has been mired in controversy. Modern heroes: Who has done most for your club in the last 20 years? Hellmut Krug, the former international referee appointed to oversee the system, was sidelined in October after being accused of unduly influencing two VAR penalty decisions in Schalke’s 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg. He denied having done so. The only incidents eligible to be overturned by video review under a protocol laid down by the International Football Association Board are goals, penalties, straight red cards and cases of mistaken identity.

Exclusive: Manchester United's FA Cup third-round match will not be televised, ending 13-year run 

Manchester United’s 13-year run of 58 televised FA Cup matches has come to an end, with their clash with Derby County next month a shock omission from the third-round games selected for broadcast. Telegraph Sport can also reveal that Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace will play the first competitive match in England in which video replays will be used to overturn refereeing decisions. The clubs’ third-round tie was chosen on Thursday to stage a live trial of so-called Video Assistant Referees (VARs) from the televised fixtures shown by the BBC and BT between January 5-8. Those will kick off with the Merseyside derby on the BBC on the night of Friday, January 5, which was deemed too high-profile a fixture to conduct English football’s first live VAR test. That will be followed on Saturday lunchtime by League One Fleetwood Town or non-league Hereford v Leicester City - Leicester famously bought Jamie Vardy from Fleetwood - again on the BBC. Brighton vs Palace will witness the first VAR used in an FA Cup match Credit: Getty Images BT Sport open that tea-time with Norwich City v Chelsea, while the Sunday games will be Shrewsbury v West Ham United (BBC) and Nottingham Forest v holders Arsenal (BT). BT will also show the history-making ‘M23 derby’ between Brighton and Palace the following evening. The last United cup match not to be shown live on television was the first of their defence of the trophy they won in 2004, a surprise goalless home draw against non-league Exeter City. Their non-selection next month follows a backlash last year against their mundane third-round home clash against Reading being picked ahead of National League Sutton United’s more romantic encounter with AFC Wimbledon. Sutton chairman Bruce Elliott said at the time: “I suppose it’s all down to viewing figures and the bottom line is more people are more likely to watch Man United than they are to watch Sutton United. But what happened to the romance of the FA Cup?” Liverpool's Merseyside clash with Everton will be televised Credit: Reuters Terrestrial broadcasters in particular have struggled to resist picking United’s FA Cup ties given there are few opportunities for them to show the club which regularly attracts the biggest UK TV audience. The Football Association announced its intention in March to use VARs in this season’s FA Cup from the third round onwards. Trials look set to be limited to televised games at Premier League grounds, which have the infrastructure necessary for the technology to be properly implemented. Only Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Palace fulfilled that criteria from next month’s fixtures and the decision not to pick the former match may raise questions about the FA’s confidence in the system. The Telegraph revealed last year that secret video technology trials were being conducted during Premier League matches in preparation for the advent of VAR in England. The non-live experiments, which are ongoing, have been used to train referees and VARs with a view to them being ready for an anticipated change to the laws of the game in March and a full global rollout from the World Cup onwards. Live testing, meanwhile, is continuing in international friendly matches - the first in England was last month’s goalless draw against Germany at Wembley - and in competitions signed up to the trials. That includes in this season’s Bundesliga, where the use of VARs has been mired in controversy. Modern heroes: Who has done most for your club in the last 20 years? Hellmut Krug, the former international referee appointed to oversee the system, was sidelined in October after being accused of unduly influencing two VAR penalty decisions in Schalke’s 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg. He denied having done so. The only incidents eligible to be overturned by video review under a protocol laid down by the International Football Association Board are goals, penalties, straight red cards and cases of mistaken identity.

FA Cup third-round draw in full: Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Crystal Palace the stand-out ties

The draw for the third round of the FA Cup has produced a series of major derbies, including a first match at this stage of the competition since 1932 between Liverpool and Everton. Jurgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce’s teams were paired together during Monday night’s draw, as were Premier League rivals Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion. North-East neighbours Sunderland and Middlesbrough, who have both been relegated in recent years to the Championship, were also drawn together. Arsenal, who are attempting to win the trophy for a fourth time in five years, will begin their defence at Nottingham Forest. Other especially eye-catching fixtures include AFC Wimbledon’s return to Wembley in the FA Cup some 30 years on from their memorable triumph in 1988 to face Tottenham Hotspur.  Luton Town, now of League Two and the FA Cup finalists in 1959, also have glamorous away Premier League opponents in Newcastle United. Premier League leaders Manchester City have a tricky home tie against Sean Dyche’s Burnley, while Manchester United host Derby County and Chelsea are away at Norwich City. Who will be lifting the FA Cup come what May? Credit: Getty Images  Hereford, who are in the seventh tier of the football pyramid, will face 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City if they manage to overcome Fleetwood in their second-round replay. Four non-league sides were involved in the draw, which was conducted by Glenn Hoddle and Jermain Jenas ahead of the second-round match between Slough Town and Rochdale, but none are currently guaranteed a place in the third round. National League club AFC Fylde will have the opportunity to face Premier League opposition in Bournemouth if they beat Wigan Athletic in their replay. Woking, who also play in the fifth tier of the pyramid, have the chance to play at Villa Park against Aston Villa if they beat Peterborough in their replay. The ties will take place on Jan 5-7, with timings dependent on which matches are selected for live screening by BBC and BT Sport. There was criticism last year that broadcasters often opted to show big Premier League clubs rather than the more romantic ties, such as the third-round fixture between non-league Sutton United and AFC Wimbledon. Sutton did eventually make it to a televised tie against Arsenal in the fifth round. Arsenal subsequently beat Manchester City and Chelsea in the semi-final and final to win what was a record 13th FA Cup. The draw in full: Ipswich v Sheffield United Watford v Bristol City Birmingham v Burton Liverpool v Everton Brighton v Crystal Palace Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan Coventry v Stoke Arsene Wenger's Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest Newport v Leeds Bolton v Huddersfield Port Vale or Yeovil v Bradford Nottingham Forest v Arsenal Brentford v Notts County QPR v MK Dons Manchester United v Derby Forest Green or Exeter v West Brom Doncaster v Slough Town or Rochdale Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon Middlesbrough v Sunderland Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester Blackburn or Crewe v Hull Cardiff v Mansfield Manchester City v Burnley Shrewsbury v West Ham Wolves v Swansea Stevenage v Reading Newcastle v Luton Millwall v Barnsley Fulham v Southampton Wycombe v Preston Norwich v Chelsea Gillingham or Carlisle v Sheffield Wednesday Ties to be played January 5-7 7:27PM One for the ages?  Another exciting looking tie is 2016 Premier League champions away at Hereford United (if Hereford can win their replay against Fleetwood Town.  7:23PM That concludes the draw No doubts about the tie of the round there...Liverpool will host Everton! There's also Brighton vs Crystal Palace and Bournemouth at home against non-league Fylde or Wigan.  7:22PM Last up Gillingham or Carlisle vs Sheffield Wednesday 7:21PM Tough draw Norwich Norwich City vs Chelsea 7:21PM Next Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston North End 7:21PM Next up Fulham vs Southampton 7:21PM All-Championship tie Millwall vs Barnsley 7:20PM Home banker?  Newcastle vs Luton Town 7:20PM Next up Stevenage vs Reading 7:20PM The home side could be the favourites here Wolves vs Swansea 7:20PM Another giant-killing for Shrewsbury?  Shrewsbury Town vs West Ham 7:20PM All Premier League tie Manchester City vs Burnley 7:19PM Next up Cardiff City vs Mansfield Town 7:19PM Upset alert Blackburn or Crewe vs Hull City 7:19PM Great draw Fleetwood Town or Hereford vs Leicester City 7:19PM Tees-Wear derby Middlesbrough vs Sunderland 7:18PM London derby Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Wimbledon 7:18PM The Slough fans seem a bit upset... Doncaster Rovers vs Slough Town or Rochdale 7:18PM Banana skin?  Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City vs West Brom 7:17PM United are up against... Manchester United vs Derby County 7:17PM Next up QPR vs MK Dons 7:17PM Next up Brentford vs Notts County 7:16PM The holders will play... Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal 7:16PM Next Port Vale or Yeovil Town v Bradford City 7:16PM Local derby Bolton Wanderers vs Huddersfield Town 7:16PM Next up Newport County vs Leeds United 7:16PM A tale of two cities Coventry City vs Stoke City 7:15PM Potentially a huge trip for non-league Fylde Bournemouth vs AFC Fylde or Wigan 7:15PM Less exciting Aston Villa vs Woking or Peterborough United 7:15PM And another big rivalry! Brighton vs Crystal Palace 7:14PM Would you believe it?!  Liverpool vs Everton 7:14PM Next Birmingham City vs Burton Albion 7:14PM Next Watford vs Bristol City 7:14PM First up Ipswich Town vs Sheffield United 7:12PM Here we go Jake Humphrey is the host, and the venue is Slough Town's home ground Holloways Park ahead of Slough's FA Cup second round match tonight against Rochdale.  Glenn Hoddle and Jermaine Jenas will make the draw.  7:01PM Nearly there The draw will be getting under way in around about 10 minutes. Hereford v Newcastle? Wrexham v Arsenal? Sutton v Coventry? Yep, the BBC's montage has them all.  6:28PM An English institution Evening all, Welcome to our coverage of one of the great days in the English sporting calendar. Yes we are just minutes away from seeing which lower-league teams will get a chance to lose 3-0 against the second string of one of the Premier League's leading lights. For these part-time plumbers and postmen, the opportunity to test themselves against Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Darmian is just a draw of a ball away. There is also the opportunity to be patronised the hell out of by BBC commentators and possibly go down in football folklore for ever more. Think Ronny Radford scoring for Hereford against Newcastle, Mickey Thomas for Wrexham against Arsenal, er Nigel Jemson for Shrewsbury against Everton.  The third round stage is of course when all the Premier League and Championship teams join the competition, and alongside them will be four non-league teams in the pot - AFC Fylde, Hereford, Slough and Woking. Arsenal are the current FA Cup holders Credit: AP Woking you may recall have some pedigree in this competition. In January 1991 the Surrey-based side pulled off one of the great FA Cup shocks when as a Conference team they knocked out second-tier outfit West Brom 4-2 at the Hawthorns. They were then beaten 1-0 by top-flight side Everton in the fourth round.     More recently, Woking reached the third round in 1997 and took Premier League side Coventry to a replay which they narrowly lost 2-1. But enough about Woking. Tonight's draw gets under way at around 7pm, and precedes the second round match between seventh-tier Slough Town and League One side Rochdale.  Here are the ball numbers in full: Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City

FA Cup third-round draw in full: Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Crystal Palace the stand-out ties

The draw for the third round of the FA Cup has produced a series of major derbies, including a first match at this stage of the competition since 1932 between Liverpool and Everton. Jurgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce’s teams were paired together during Monday night’s draw, as were Premier League rivals Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion. North-East neighbours Sunderland and Middlesbrough, who have both been relegated in recent years to the Championship, were also drawn together. Arsenal, who are attempting to win the trophy for a fourth time in five years, will begin their defence at Nottingham Forest. Other especially eye-catching fixtures include AFC Wimbledon’s return to Wembley in the FA Cup some 30 years on from their memorable triumph in 1988 to face Tottenham Hotspur.  Luton Town, now of League Two and the FA Cup finalists in 1959, also have glamorous away Premier League opponents in Newcastle United. Premier League leaders Manchester City have a tricky home tie against Sean Dyche’s Burnley, while Manchester United host Derby County and Chelsea are away at Norwich City. Who will be lifting the FA Cup come what May? Credit: Getty Images  Hereford, who are in the seventh tier of the football pyramid, will face 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City if they manage to overcome Fleetwood in their second-round replay. Four non-league sides were involved in the draw, which was conducted by Glenn Hoddle and Jermain Jenas ahead of the second-round match between Slough Town and Rochdale, but none are currently guaranteed a place in the third round. National League club AFC Fylde will have the opportunity to face Premier League opposition in Bournemouth if they beat Wigan Athletic in their replay. Woking, who also play in the fifth tier of the pyramid, have the chance to play at Villa Park against Aston Villa if they beat Peterborough in their replay. The ties will take place on Jan 5-7, with timings dependent on which matches are selected for live screening by BBC and BT Sport. There was criticism last year that broadcasters often opted to show big Premier League clubs rather than the more romantic ties, such as the third-round fixture between non-league Sutton United and AFC Wimbledon. Sutton did eventually make it to a televised tie against Arsenal in the fifth round. Arsenal subsequently beat Manchester City and Chelsea in the semi-final and final to win what was a record 13th FA Cup. The draw in full: Ipswich v Sheffield United Watford v Bristol City Birmingham v Burton Liverpool v Everton Brighton v Crystal Palace Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan Coventry v Stoke Arsene Wenger's Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest Newport v Leeds Bolton v Huddersfield Port Vale or Yeovil v Bradford Nottingham Forest v Arsenal Brentford v Notts County QPR v MK Dons Manchester United v Derby Forest Green or Exeter v West Brom Doncaster v Slough Town or Rochdale Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon Middlesbrough v Sunderland Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester Blackburn or Crewe v Hull Cardiff v Mansfield Manchester City v Burnley Shrewsbury v West Ham Wolves v Swansea Stevenage v Reading Newcastle v Luton Millwall v Barnsley Fulham v Southampton Wycombe v Preston Norwich v Chelsea Gillingham or Carlisle v Sheffield Wednesday Ties to be played January 5-7 7:27PM One for the ages?  Another exciting looking tie is 2016 Premier League champions away at Hereford United (if Hereford can win their replay against Fleetwood Town.  7:23PM That concludes the draw No doubts about the tie of the round there...Liverpool will host Everton! There's also Brighton vs Crystal Palace and Bournemouth at home against non-league Fylde or Wigan.  7:22PM Last up Gillingham or Carlisle vs Sheffield Wednesday 7:21PM Tough draw Norwich Norwich City vs Chelsea 7:21PM Next Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston North End 7:21PM Next up Fulham vs Southampton 7:21PM All-Championship tie Millwall vs Barnsley 7:20PM Home banker?  Newcastle vs Luton Town 7:20PM Next up Stevenage vs Reading 7:20PM The home side could be the favourites here Wolves vs Swansea 7:20PM Another giant-killing for Shrewsbury?  Shrewsbury Town vs West Ham 7:20PM All Premier League tie Manchester City vs Burnley 7:19PM Next up Cardiff City vs Mansfield Town 7:19PM Upset alert Blackburn or Crewe vs Hull City 7:19PM Great draw Fleetwood Town or Hereford vs Leicester City 7:19PM Tees-Wear derby Middlesbrough vs Sunderland 7:18PM London derby Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Wimbledon 7:18PM The Slough fans seem a bit upset... Doncaster Rovers vs Slough Town or Rochdale 7:18PM Banana skin?  Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City vs West Brom 7:17PM United are up against... Manchester United vs Derby County 7:17PM Next up QPR vs MK Dons 7:17PM Next up Brentford vs Notts County 7:16PM The holders will play... Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal 7:16PM Next Port Vale or Yeovil Town v Bradford City 7:16PM Local derby Bolton Wanderers vs Huddersfield Town 7:16PM Next up Newport County vs Leeds United 7:16PM A tale of two cities Coventry City vs Stoke City 7:15PM Potentially a huge trip for non-league Fylde Bournemouth vs AFC Fylde or Wigan 7:15PM Less exciting Aston Villa vs Woking or Peterborough United 7:15PM And another big rivalry! Brighton vs Crystal Palace 7:14PM Would you believe it?!  Liverpool vs Everton 7:14PM Next Birmingham City vs Burton Albion 7:14PM Next Watford vs Bristol City 7:14PM First up Ipswich Town vs Sheffield United 7:12PM Here we go Jake Humphrey is the host, and the venue is Slough Town's home ground Holloways Park ahead of Slough's FA Cup second round match tonight against Rochdale.  Glenn Hoddle and Jermaine Jenas will make the draw.  7:01PM Nearly there The draw will be getting under way in around about 10 minutes. Hereford v Newcastle? Wrexham v Arsenal? Sutton v Coventry? Yep, the BBC's montage has them all.  6:28PM An English institution Evening all, Welcome to our coverage of one of the great days in the English sporting calendar. Yes we are just minutes away from seeing which lower-league teams will get a chance to lose 3-0 against the second string of one of the Premier League's leading lights. For these part-time plumbers and postmen, the opportunity to test themselves against Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Darmian is just a draw of a ball away. There is also the opportunity to be patronised the hell out of by BBC commentators and possibly go down in football folklore for ever more. Think Ronny Radford scoring for Hereford against Newcastle, Mickey Thomas for Wrexham against Arsenal, er Nigel Jemson for Shrewsbury against Everton.  The third round stage is of course when all the Premier League and Championship teams join the competition, and alongside them will be four non-league teams in the pot - AFC Fylde, Hereford, Slough and Woking. Arsenal are the current FA Cup holders Credit: AP Woking you may recall have some pedigree in this competition. In January 1991 the Surrey-based side pulled off one of the great FA Cup shocks when as a Conference team they knocked out second-tier outfit West Brom 4-2 at the Hawthorns. They were then beaten 1-0 by top-flight side Everton in the fourth round.     More recently, Woking reached the third round in 1997 and took Premier League side Coventry to a replay which they narrowly lost 2-1. But enough about Woking. Tonight's draw gets under way at around 7pm, and precedes the second round match between seventh-tier Slough Town and League One side Rochdale.  Here are the ball numbers in full: Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City

FA Cup third-round draw in full: Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Crystal Palace the stand-out ties

The draw for the third round of the FA Cup has produced a series of major derbies, including a first match at this stage of the competition since 1932 between Liverpool and Everton. Jurgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce’s teams were paired together during Monday night’s draw, as were Premier League rivals Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion. North-East neighbours Sunderland and Middlesbrough, who have both been relegated in recent years to the Championship, were also drawn together. Arsenal, who are attempting to win the trophy for a fourth time in five years, will begin their defence at Nottingham Forest. Other especially eye-catching fixtures include AFC Wimbledon’s return to Wembley in the FA Cup some 30 years on from their memorable triumph in 1988 to face Tottenham Hotspur.  Luton Town, now of League Two and the FA Cup finalists in 1959, also have glamorous away Premier League opponents in Newcastle United. Premier League leaders Manchester City have a tricky home tie against Sean Dyche’s Burnley, while Manchester United host Derby County and Chelsea are away at Norwich City. Who will be lifting the FA Cup come what May? Credit: Getty Images  Hereford, who are in the seventh tier of the football pyramid, will face 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City if they manage to overcome Fleetwood in their second-round replay. Four non-league sides were involved in the draw, which was conducted by Glenn Hoddle and Jermain Jenas ahead of the second-round match between Slough Town and Rochdale, but none are currently guaranteed a place in the third round. National League club AFC Fylde will have the opportunity to face Premier League opposition in Bournemouth if they beat Wigan Athletic in their replay. Woking, who also play in the fifth tier of the pyramid, have the chance to play at Villa Park against Aston Villa if they beat Peterborough in their replay. The ties will take place on Jan 5-7, with timings dependent on which matches are selected for live screening by BBC and BT Sport. There was criticism last year that broadcasters often opted to show big Premier League clubs rather than the more romantic ties, such as the third-round fixture between non-league Sutton United and AFC Wimbledon. Sutton did eventually make it to a televised tie against Arsenal in the fifth round. Arsenal subsequently beat Manchester City and Chelsea in the semi-final and final to win what was a record 13th FA Cup. The draw in full: Ipswich v Sheffield United Watford v Bristol City Birmingham v Burton Liverpool v Everton Brighton v Crystal Palace Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan Coventry v Stoke Arsene Wenger's Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest Newport v Leeds Bolton v Huddersfield Port Vale or Yeovil v Bradford Nottingham Forest v Arsenal Brentford v Notts County QPR v MK Dons Manchester United v Derby Forest Green or Exeter v West Brom Doncaster v Slough Town or Rochdale Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon Middlesbrough v Sunderland Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester Blackburn or Crewe v Hull Cardiff v Mansfield Manchester City v Burnley Shrewsbury v West Ham Wolves v Swansea Stevenage v Reading Newcastle v Luton Millwall v Barnsley Fulham v Southampton Wycombe v Preston Norwich v Chelsea Gillingham or Carlisle v Sheffield Wednesday Ties to be played January 5-7 7:27PM One for the ages?  Another exciting looking tie is 2016 Premier League champions away at Hereford United (if Hereford can win their replay against Fleetwood Town.  7:23PM That concludes the draw No doubts about the tie of the round there...Liverpool will host Everton! There's also Brighton vs Crystal Palace and Bournemouth at home against non-league Fylde or Wigan.  7:22PM Last up Gillingham or Carlisle vs Sheffield Wednesday 7:21PM Tough draw Norwich Norwich City vs Chelsea 7:21PM Next Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston North End 7:21PM Next up Fulham vs Southampton 7:21PM All-Championship tie Millwall vs Barnsley 7:20PM Home banker?  Newcastle vs Luton Town 7:20PM Next up Stevenage vs Reading 7:20PM The home side could be the favourites here Wolves vs Swansea 7:20PM Another giant-killing for Shrewsbury?  Shrewsbury Town vs West Ham 7:20PM All Premier League tie Manchester City vs Burnley 7:19PM Next up Cardiff City vs Mansfield Town 7:19PM Upset alert Blackburn or Crewe vs Hull City 7:19PM Great draw Fleetwood Town or Hereford vs Leicester City 7:19PM Tees-Wear derby Middlesbrough vs Sunderland 7:18PM London derby Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Wimbledon 7:18PM The Slough fans seem a bit upset... Doncaster Rovers vs Slough Town or Rochdale 7:18PM Banana skin?  Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City vs West Brom 7:17PM United are up against... Manchester United vs Derby County 7:17PM Next up QPR vs MK Dons 7:17PM Next up Brentford vs Notts County 7:16PM The holders will play... Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal 7:16PM Next Port Vale or Yeovil Town v Bradford City 7:16PM Local derby Bolton Wanderers vs Huddersfield Town 7:16PM Next up Newport County vs Leeds United 7:16PM A tale of two cities Coventry City vs Stoke City 7:15PM Potentially a huge trip for non-league Fylde Bournemouth vs AFC Fylde or Wigan 7:15PM Less exciting Aston Villa vs Woking or Peterborough United 7:15PM And another big rivalry! Brighton vs Crystal Palace 7:14PM Would you believe it?!  Liverpool vs Everton 7:14PM Next Birmingham City vs Burton Albion 7:14PM Next Watford vs Bristol City 7:14PM First up Ipswich Town vs Sheffield United 7:12PM Here we go Jake Humphrey is the host, and the venue is Slough Town's home ground Holloways Park ahead of Slough's FA Cup second round match tonight against Rochdale.  Glenn Hoddle and Jermaine Jenas will make the draw.  7:01PM Nearly there The draw will be getting under way in around about 10 minutes. Hereford v Newcastle? Wrexham v Arsenal? Sutton v Coventry? Yep, the BBC's montage has them all.  6:28PM An English institution Evening all, Welcome to our coverage of one of the great days in the English sporting calendar. Yes we are just minutes away from seeing which lower-league teams will get a chance to lose 3-0 against the second string of one of the Premier League's leading lights. For these part-time plumbers and postmen, the opportunity to test themselves against Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Darmian is just a draw of a ball away. There is also the opportunity to be patronised the hell out of by BBC commentators and possibly go down in football folklore for ever more. Think Ronny Radford scoring for Hereford against Newcastle, Mickey Thomas for Wrexham against Arsenal, er Nigel Jemson for Shrewsbury against Everton.  The third round stage is of course when all the Premier League and Championship teams join the competition, and alongside them will be four non-league teams in the pot - AFC Fylde, Hereford, Slough and Woking. Arsenal are the current FA Cup holders Credit: AP Woking you may recall have some pedigree in this competition. In January 1991 the Surrey-based side pulled off one of the great FA Cup shocks when as a Conference team they knocked out second-tier outfit West Brom 4-2 at the Hawthorns. They were then beaten 1-0 by top-flight side Everton in the fourth round.     More recently, Woking reached the third round in 1997 and took Premier League side Coventry to a replay which they narrowly lost 2-1. But enough about Woking. Tonight's draw gets under way at around 7pm, and precedes the second round match between seventh-tier Slough Town and League One side Rochdale.  Here are the ball numbers in full: Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City

FA Cup third-round draw in full: Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Crystal Palace the stand-out ties

The draw for the third round of the FA Cup has produced a series of major derbies, including a first match at this stage of the competition since 1932 between Liverpool and Everton. Jurgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce’s teams were paired together during Monday night’s draw, as were Premier League rivals Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion. North-East neighbours Sunderland and Middlesbrough, who have both been relegated in recent years to the Championship, were also drawn together. Arsenal, who are attempting to win the trophy for a fourth time in five years, will begin their defence at Nottingham Forest. Other especially eye-catching fixtures include AFC Wimbledon’s return to Wembley in the FA Cup some 30 years on from their memorable triumph in 1988 to face Tottenham Hotspur.  Luton Town, now of League Two and the FA Cup finalists in 1959, also have glamorous away Premier League opponents in Newcastle United. Premier League leaders Manchester City have a tricky home tie against Sean Dyche’s Burnley, while Manchester United host Derby County and Chelsea are away at Norwich City. Who will be lifting the FA Cup come what May? Credit: Getty Images  Hereford, who are in the seventh tier of the football pyramid, will face 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City if they manage to overcome Fleetwood in their second-round replay. Four non-league sides were involved in the draw, which was conducted by Glenn Hoddle and Jermain Jenas ahead of the second-round match between Slough Town and Rochdale, but none are currently guaranteed a place in the third round. National League club AFC Fylde will have the opportunity to face Premier League opposition in Bournemouth if they beat Wigan Athletic in their replay. Woking, who also play in the fifth tier of the pyramid, have the chance to play at Villa Park against Aston Villa if they beat Peterborough in their replay. The ties will take place on Jan 5-7, with timings dependent on which matches are selected for live screening by BBC and BT Sport. There was criticism last year that broadcasters often opted to show big Premier League clubs rather than the more romantic ties, such as the third-round fixture between non-league Sutton United and AFC Wimbledon. Sutton did eventually make it to a televised tie against Arsenal in the fifth round. Arsenal subsequently beat Manchester City and Chelsea in the semi-final and final to win what was a record 13th FA Cup. The draw in full: Ipswich v Sheffield United Watford v Bristol City Birmingham v Burton Liverpool v Everton Brighton v Crystal Palace Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan Coventry v Stoke Arsene Wenger's Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest Newport v Leeds Bolton v Huddersfield Port Vale or Yeovil v Bradford Nottingham Forest v Arsenal Brentford v Notts County QPR v MK Dons Manchester United v Derby Forest Green or Exeter v West Brom Doncaster v Slough Town or Rochdale Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon Middlesbrough v Sunderland Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester Blackburn or Crewe v Hull Cardiff v Mansfield Manchester City v Burnley Shrewsbury v West Ham Wolves v Swansea Stevenage v Reading Newcastle v Luton Millwall v Barnsley Fulham v Southampton Wycombe v Preston Norwich v Chelsea Gillingham or Carlisle v Sheffield Wednesday Ties to be played January 5-7 7:27PM One for the ages?  Another exciting looking tie is 2016 Premier League champions away at Hereford United (if Hereford can win their replay against Fleetwood Town.  7:23PM That concludes the draw No doubts about the tie of the round there...Liverpool will host Everton! There's also Brighton vs Crystal Palace and Bournemouth at home against non-league Fylde or Wigan.  7:22PM Last up Gillingham or Carlisle vs Sheffield Wednesday 7:21PM Tough draw Norwich Norwich City vs Chelsea 7:21PM Next Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston North End 7:21PM Next up Fulham vs Southampton 7:21PM All-Championship tie Millwall vs Barnsley 7:20PM Home banker?  Newcastle vs Luton Town 7:20PM Next up Stevenage vs Reading 7:20PM The home side could be the favourites here Wolves vs Swansea 7:20PM Another giant-killing for Shrewsbury?  Shrewsbury Town vs West Ham 7:20PM All Premier League tie Manchester City vs Burnley 7:19PM Next up Cardiff City vs Mansfield Town 7:19PM Upset alert Blackburn or Crewe vs Hull City 7:19PM Great draw Fleetwood Town or Hereford vs Leicester City 7:19PM Tees-Wear derby Middlesbrough vs Sunderland 7:18PM London derby Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Wimbledon 7:18PM The Slough fans seem a bit upset... Doncaster Rovers vs Slough Town or Rochdale 7:18PM Banana skin?  Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City vs West Brom 7:17PM United are up against... Manchester United vs Derby County 7:17PM Next up QPR vs MK Dons 7:17PM Next up Brentford vs Notts County 7:16PM The holders will play... Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal 7:16PM Next Port Vale or Yeovil Town v Bradford City 7:16PM Local derby Bolton Wanderers vs Huddersfield Town 7:16PM Next up Newport County vs Leeds United 7:16PM A tale of two cities Coventry City vs Stoke City 7:15PM Potentially a huge trip for non-league Fylde Bournemouth vs AFC Fylde or Wigan 7:15PM Less exciting Aston Villa vs Woking or Peterborough United 7:15PM And another big rivalry! Brighton vs Crystal Palace 7:14PM Would you believe it?!  Liverpool vs Everton 7:14PM Next Birmingham City vs Burton Albion 7:14PM Next Watford vs Bristol City 7:14PM First up Ipswich Town vs Sheffield United 7:12PM Here we go Jake Humphrey is the host, and the venue is Slough Town's home ground Holloways Park ahead of Slough's FA Cup second round match tonight against Rochdale.  Glenn Hoddle and Jermaine Jenas will make the draw.  7:01PM Nearly there The draw will be getting under way in around about 10 minutes. Hereford v Newcastle? Wrexham v Arsenal? Sutton v Coventry? Yep, the BBC's montage has them all.  6:28PM An English institution Evening all, Welcome to our coverage of one of the great days in the English sporting calendar. Yes we are just minutes away from seeing which lower-league teams will get a chance to lose 3-0 against the second string of one of the Premier League's leading lights. For these part-time plumbers and postmen, the opportunity to test themselves against Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Darmian is just a draw of a ball away. There is also the opportunity to be patronised the hell out of by BBC commentators and possibly go down in football folklore for ever more. Think Ronny Radford scoring for Hereford against Newcastle, Mickey Thomas for Wrexham against Arsenal, er Nigel Jemson for Shrewsbury against Everton.  The third round stage is of course when all the Premier League and Championship teams join the competition, and alongside them will be four non-league teams in the pot - AFC Fylde, Hereford, Slough and Woking. Arsenal are the current FA Cup holders Credit: AP Woking you may recall have some pedigree in this competition. In January 1991 the Surrey-based side pulled off one of the great FA Cup shocks when as a Conference team they knocked out second-tier outfit West Brom 4-2 at the Hawthorns. They were then beaten 1-0 by top-flight side Everton in the fourth round.     More recently, Woking reached the third round in 1997 and took Premier League side Coventry to a replay which they narrowly lost 2-1. But enough about Woking. Tonight's draw gets under way at around 7pm, and precedes the second round match between seventh-tier Slough Town and League One side Rochdale.  Here are the ball numbers in full: Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City

Liverpool v Everton the pick of FA Cup third round

Anfield will play host to a Merseyside derby in the third round of the FA Cup, with Arsenal starting their defence at Nottingham Forest.

FA Cup third-round draw in full: Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Crystal Palace the stand-out ties

7:27PM FA Cup third-round draw in full Ipswich v Sheffield United Watford v Bristol City Birmingham v Burton Liverpool v Everton Brighton v Crystal Palace Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan Coventry v Stoke Newport v Leeds Bolton v Huddersfield Port Vale or Yeovil v Bradford Nottingham Forest v Arsenal Arsene Wenger's Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest Brentford v Notts County QPR v MK Dons Manchester United v Derby Forest Green or Exeter v West Brom Doncaster v Slough Town or Rochdale Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon Middlesbrough v Sunderland Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester Blackburn or Crewe v Hull Cardiff v Mansfield Manchester City v Burnley Shrewsbury v West Ham Wolves v Swansea Stevenage v Reading Newcastle v Luton Millwall v Barnsley Fulham v Southampton Wycombe v Preston Norwich v Chelsea Gillingham or Carlisle v Sheffield Wednesday 7:27PM One for the ages?  Another exciting looking tie is 2016 Premier League champions away at Hereford United (if Hereford can win their replay against Fleetwood Town.  7:23PM That concludes the draw No doubts about the tie of the round there...Liverpool will host Everton! There's also Brighton vs Crystal Palace and Bournemouth at home against non-league Fylde or Wigan.  7:22PM Last up Gillingham or Carlisle vs Sheffield Wednesday 7:21PM Tough draw Norwich Norwich City vs Chelsea 7:21PM Next Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston North End 7:21PM Next up Fulham vs Southampton 7:21PM All-Championship tie Millwall vs Barnsley 7:20PM Home banker?  Newcastle vs Luton Town 7:20PM Next up Stevenage vs Reading 7:20PM The home side could be the favourites here Wolves vs Swansea 7:20PM Another giant-killing for Shrewsbury?  Shrewsbury Town vs West Ham 7:20PM All Premier League tie Manchester City vs Burnley 7:19PM Next up Cardiff City vs Mansfield Town 7:19PM Upset alert Blackburn or Crewe vs Hull City 7:19PM Great draw Fleetwood Town or Hereford vs Leicester City 7:19PM Tees-Wear derby Middlesbrough vs Sunderland 7:18PM London derby Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Wimbledon 7:18PM The Slough fans seem a bit upset... Doncaster Rovers vs Slough Town or Rochdale 7:18PM Banana skin?  Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City vs West Brom 7:17PM United are up against... Manchester United vs Derby County 7:17PM Next up QPR vs MK Dons 7:17PM Next up Brentford vs Notts County 7:16PM The holders will play... Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal 7:16PM Next Port Vale or Yeovil Town v Bradford City 7:16PM Local derby Bolton Wanderers vs Huddersfield Town 7:16PM Next up Newport County vs Leeds United 7:16PM A tale of two cities Coventry City vs Stoke City 7:15PM Potentially a huge trip for non-league Fylde Bournemouth vs AFC Fylde or Wigan 7:15PM Less exciting Aston Villa vs Woking or Peterborough United 7:15PM And another big rivalry! Brighton vs Crystal Palace 7:14PM Would you believe it?!  Liverpool vs Everton 7:14PM Next Birmingham City vs Burton Albion 7:14PM Next Watford vs Bristol City 7:14PM First up Ipswich Town vs Sheffield United 7:12PM Here we go Jake Humphrey is the host, and the venue is Slough Town's home ground Holloways Park ahead of Slough's FA Cup second round match tonight against Rochdale.  Glenn Hoddle and Jermaine Jenas will make the draw.  7:01PM Nearly there The draw will be getting under way in around about 10 minutes. Hereford v Newcastle? Wrexham v Arsenal? Sutton v Coventry? Yep, the BBC's montage has them all.  6:28PM An English institution Evening all, Welcome to our coverage of one of the great days in the English sporting calendar. Yes we are just minutes away from seeing which lower-league teams will get a chance to lose 3-0 against the second string of one of the Premier League's leading lights. For these part-time plumbers and postmen, the opportunity to test themselves against Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Darmian is just a draw of a ball away. There is also the opportunity to be patronised the hell out of by BBC commentators and possibly go down in football folklore for ever more. Think Ronny Radford scoring for Hereford against Newcastle, Mickey Thomas for Wrexham against Arsenal, er Nigel Jemson for Shrewsbury against Everton.  The third round stage is of course when all the Premier League and Championship teams join the competition, and alongside them will be four non-league teams in the pot - AFC Fylde, Hereford, Slough and Woking. Arsenal are the current FA Cup holders Credit: AP Woking you may recall have some pedigree in this competition. In January 1991 the Surrey-based side pulled off one of the great FA Cup shocks when as a Conference team they knocked out second-tier outfit West Brom 4-2 at the Hawthorns. They were then beaten 1-0 by top-flight side Everton in the fourth round.     More recently, Woking reached the third round in 1997 and took Premier League side Coventry to a replay which they narrowly lost 2-1. But enough about Woking. Tonight's draw gets under way at around 7pm, and precedes the second round match between seventh-tier Slough Town and League One side Rochdale.  Here are the ball numbers in full: Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City

FA Cup third-round draw in full: Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Crystal Palace the stand-out ties

7:27PM FA Cup third-round draw in full Ipswich v Sheffield United Watford v Bristol City Birmingham v Burton Liverpool v Everton Brighton v Crystal Palace Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan Coventry v Stoke Newport v Leeds Bolton v Huddersfield Port Vale or Yeovil v Bradford Nottingham Forest v Arsenal Arsene Wenger's Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest Brentford v Notts County QPR v MK Dons Manchester United v Derby Forest Green or Exeter v West Brom Doncaster v Slough Town or Rochdale Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon Middlesbrough v Sunderland Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester Blackburn or Crewe v Hull Cardiff v Mansfield Manchester City v Burnley Shrewsbury v West Ham Wolves v Swansea Stevenage v Reading Newcastle v Luton Millwall v Barnsley Fulham v Southampton Wycombe v Preston Norwich v Chelsea Gillingham or Carlisle v Sheffield Wednesday 7:27PM One for the ages?  Another exciting looking tie is 2016 Premier League champions away at Hereford United (if Hereford can win their replay against Fleetwood Town.  7:23PM That concludes the draw No doubts about the tie of the round there...Liverpool will host Everton! There's also Brighton vs Crystal Palace and Bournemouth at home against non-league Fylde or Wigan.  7:22PM Last up Gillingham or Carlisle vs Sheffield Wednesday 7:21PM Tough draw Norwich Norwich City vs Chelsea 7:21PM Next Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston North End 7:21PM Next up Fulham vs Southampton 7:21PM All-Championship tie Millwall vs Barnsley 7:20PM Home banker?  Newcastle vs Luton Town 7:20PM Next up Stevenage vs Reading 7:20PM The home side could be the favourites here Wolves vs Swansea 7:20PM Another giant-killing for Shrewsbury?  Shrewsbury Town vs West Ham 7:20PM All Premier League tie Manchester City vs Burnley 7:19PM Next up Cardiff City vs Mansfield Town 7:19PM Upset alert Blackburn or Crewe vs Hull City 7:19PM Great draw Fleetwood Town or Hereford vs Leicester City 7:19PM Tees-Wear derby Middlesbrough vs Sunderland 7:18PM London derby Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Wimbledon 7:18PM The Slough fans seem a bit upset... Doncaster Rovers vs Slough Town or Rochdale 7:18PM Banana skin?  Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City vs West Brom 7:17PM United are up against... Manchester United vs Derby County 7:17PM Next up QPR vs MK Dons 7:17PM Next up Brentford vs Notts County 7:16PM The holders will play... Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal 7:16PM Next Port Vale or Yeovil Town v Bradford City 7:16PM Local derby Bolton Wanderers vs Huddersfield Town 7:16PM Next up Newport County vs Leeds United 7:16PM A tale of two cities Coventry City vs Stoke City 7:15PM Potentially a huge trip for non-league Fylde Bournemouth vs AFC Fylde or Wigan 7:15PM Less exciting Aston Villa vs Woking or Peterborough United 7:15PM And another big rivalry! Brighton vs Crystal Palace 7:14PM Would you believe it?!  Liverpool vs Everton 7:14PM Next Birmingham City vs Burton Albion 7:14PM Next Watford vs Bristol City 7:14PM First up Ipswich Town vs Sheffield United 7:12PM Here we go Jake Humphrey is the host, and the venue is Slough Town's home ground Holloways Park ahead of Slough's FA Cup second round match tonight against Rochdale.  Glenn Hoddle and Jermaine Jenas will make the draw.  7:01PM Nearly there The draw will be getting under way in around about 10 minutes. Hereford v Newcastle? Wrexham v Arsenal? Sutton v Coventry? Yep, the BBC's montage has them all.  6:28PM An English institution Evening all, Welcome to our coverage of one of the great days in the English sporting calendar. Yes we are just minutes away from seeing which lower-league teams will get a chance to lose 3-0 against the second string of one of the Premier League's leading lights. For these part-time plumbers and postmen, the opportunity to test themselves against Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Darmian is just a draw of a ball away. There is also the opportunity to be patronised the hell out of by BBC commentators and possibly go down in football folklore for ever more. Think Ronny Radford scoring for Hereford against Newcastle, Mickey Thomas for Wrexham against Arsenal, er Nigel Jemson for Shrewsbury against Everton.  The third round stage is of course when all the Premier League and Championship teams join the competition, and alongside them will be four non-league teams in the pot - AFC Fylde, Hereford, Slough and Woking. Arsenal are the current FA Cup holders Credit: AP Woking you may recall have some pedigree in this competition. In January 1991 the Surrey-based side pulled off one of the great FA Cup shocks when as a Conference team they knocked out second-tier outfit West Brom 4-2 at the Hawthorns. They were then beaten 1-0 by top-flight side Everton in the fourth round.     More recently, Woking reached the third round in 1997 and took Premier League side Coventry to a replay which they narrowly lost 2-1. But enough about Woking. Tonight's draw gets under way at around 7pm, and precedes the second round match between seventh-tier Slough Town and League One side Rochdale.  Here are the ball numbers in full: Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City

FA Cup fixtures and dates: Liverpool vs Everton, Brighton vs Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal and more... the full draw

FA Cup fixtures and dates: Liverpool vs Everton, Brighton vs Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal and more... the full draw

FA Cup third-round draw: What time is it, how can you watch it and what ball number is your team?

What is it? The draw for the FA Cup third round, which is the stage at which the Premier League's sides join the competition. When is it? Monday 4 December at around 7pm - before Slough vs Rochdale kicks off (which is on BT Sport 1, by the way). How can I watch the draw? BT Sport 1 and BBC Two will be showing the draw live, but if you're unable to watch it on telly you can follow it with us on the Telegraph Sport website.  How does the draw work? 64 balls will be drawn at random to make up 32 ties. Anyone can play anyone so we could see Manchester United vs Arsenal and Manchester City vs Mansfield Town. What are the ball numbers? Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City Arsenal are chasing another FA Cup triumph Credit: AP When will the matches be played? The third round ties will be played over the weekend of 6 January 2018. This isn't confirmed, but we'd assume matches will be played Friday-Monday. What are the odds and who are favourites to win it? Man City - 4/1 Chelsea - 5/1 Man Utd - 6/1 Arsenal - 8/1 Tottenham - 8/1 Liverpool - 9/1 Everton - 18/1 Southampton - 25/1 Leicester - 33/1 West Ham - 33/1

FA Cup third-round draw: What time is it, how can you watch it and what ball number is your team?

What is it? The draw for the FA Cup third round, which is the stage at which the Premier League's sides join the competition. When is it? Monday 4 December at around 7pm - before Slough vs Rochdale kicks off (which is on BT Sport 1, by the way). How can I watch the draw? BT Sport 1 and BBC Two will be showing the draw live, but if you're unable to watch it on telly you can follow it with us on the Telegraph Sport website.  How does the draw work? 64 balls will be drawn at random to make up 32 ties. Anyone can play anyone so we could see Manchester United vs Arsenal and Manchester City vs Mansfield Town. What are the ball numbers? Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City Arsenal are chasing another FA Cup triumph Credit: AP When will the matches be played? The third round ties will be played over the weekend of 6 January 2018. This isn't confirmed, but we'd assume matches will be played Friday-Monday. What are the odds and who are favourites to win it? Man City - 4/1 Chelsea - 5/1 Man Utd - 6/1 Arsenal - 8/1 Tottenham - 8/1 Liverpool - 9/1 Everton - 18/1 Southampton - 25/1 Leicester - 33/1 West Ham - 33/1

Can Man City's XI be hailed as the best? Our writers pick the finest teams they have seen in the flesh

Pace, power, a refusal to yield: Manchester United 2007-08   Unlike Manchester City’s accelerated opening this year, it started slowly for Manchester United in 2007-08: they didn’t register a win until their fourth league game, an undistinguished beginning reflected in the top-flight form of Cristiano Ronaldo, who didn’t score until the end of September. But thereafter he couldn’t stop: he ended with 31 league goals in 31 starts. With the kind of perfect timing that long characterised their manager Alex Ferguson’s approach to the title race, they won every game in March, without conceding a goal. It was, however, in the Champions League that this United side demonstrated how good they were. They won five and drew one of their group stage matches. They beat Lyon, Roma and Barcelona in the knockout stages, before easing past Chelsea in the final thanks to John Terry’s butter-footed penalty miss. Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw. The moment the team-sheet was handed in, the opposition was beaten. From Edwin van der Sar in goal, through the back four of Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, a midfield of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves and a front three of Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo, this was a team that perfectly mixed youth with experience, that had pace, power and balance coupled with a ruthless refusal to yield. Plus, it had plenty in reserve. Carlos Tevez (who made 34 appearances in the league alone), Nani, Louis Saha, Anderson and Darren Fletcher formed quite a bench. Jim White Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw Credit: Getty Images History makers: Manchester United 1998-99 The best-ever team has to be marked against an obvious criteria: what did they win. And only one team, the United side of 1998-99 has won the Champions League, the Premier League and FA Cup. It was never done before and has not been accomplished since. They were up against a formidable Arsenal side, Double winners the season before, who they also beat in a remarkable FA Cup semi-final, and they won the most dramatic Champions League final ever, against Bayern Munich. United had the most incredible midfield in Beckham, Scholes, Roy Keane and Giggs – and it is hard to see any of those players being dislodged by anyone who has played for United since – and a roster of impressive strikers. It was also Peter Schmeichel’s last season in goal for United who still had Gary Neville and Denis Irwin at full-backs with Jaap Stam having arrived at the heart of the defence. Jason Burt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holds aloft the Champions League trophy  Credit: Getty Images Dalglish’s darlings: Liverpool 1987-88 Kenny Dalglish lost Ian Rush to Juventus in the summer of 1987, but brought in John Aldridge, John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton. What followed was the most exciting Liverpool team there has been, not only breathtaking going forward but with the midfield authority of Ronnie Whelan and Steve McMahon. Then they had captain Alan Hansen striding upfield from centre-half, while Steve Nicol – the finest full back in Liverpool’s history – had a tendency to score a hat-trick in between unstoppable combinations with Barnes on the left wing. This side should have won the Double in consecutive years, inexplicably losing to Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup final before their last-minute title defeat to Arsenal in 1989. The 87-88 season saw just two league defeats, scoring 87 goals and conceding 24. Chris Bascombe Peter Beardsley was one of Liverpool's star players Credit: Getty Images Peak Ferguson: Manchester United 1993-94 They won what was then only the fifth Double in the history English football, having broken the club’s 26-year run without a league title the previous season. This was a vintage Alex Ferguson side, full of great players. Eric Cantona was at his best and there was an old guard including Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince, Schmeichel and, in his final season at the club, Bryan Robson. On the wings Ferguson had the choice of Ryan Giggs, Lee Sharpe and Andrei Kanchelskis. Keane had joined from Nottingham Forest in the summer. United went to the top of the table at the end of August and stayed there. At Maine Road in November they came from two goals behind to beat Manchester City 3-2 with Keane getting the late winner. Only Aston Villa in the League Cup final stopped United from a domestic Treble. United lost only six games in all competitions, four in the league and the first leg of a League Cup tie against Stoke, as well as the final.  Even their Champions League elimination, to Galatasaray, was on away goals. Ferguson’s first title-winning team had hit their peak. Sam Wallace Cantona kisses the FA Cup trophy in 1994 Credit: Getty Images Persistently thrilling: Manchester United 1998-99 There was much to admire about United’s 1993/94 side – “real tough b-----ds” as Ferguson used to call them. The Premier League and Champions League winners of 2007-08 were also formidable. But it  is impossible to look past the 1998-99 side, not least because of the scale of their achievement. No English side before or since has won the league, FA Cup and European Cup in a single season. It was, is and remains a truly remarkable feat. But, more than just the achievement itself, the manner in which footballing immortality was attained made it so much more and sparked feelings of awe and jealousy in rivals across the land. The team was built around a posse of academy graduates, something that resonates even more strongly today given how so many young English footballers are struggling to get a chance. The sheer force of personality and will in that team still takes the breath away, no better embodied than in the triumphant Champions League semi-final and final comebacks against Juventus and Bayern Munich respectively. And amid all the quality there was a kamikaze streak that made them such a persistently thrilling spectacle. They oozed greatness. James Ducker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck the winning goal in a dramatic finale Credit: Action Images “I would love it …”: Newcastle United 1995-96 A strange choice, perhaps, given they failed to win a single trophy that season but sometimes it is not just about silverware. Three years earlier, Newcastle had not even been in the top flight and were nothing more than a case study in how to turn a fanatical fan base against their club. Kevin Keegan changed that and unleashed a new power on the Premier League, playing a style of football that put entertainment above results. They were brilliant to watch and were desperately unlucky not to win the title that year. In the process  of creating a cosmopolitan, swash-buckling, attacking team, Keegan also completely altered perceptions of a northern industrial city that had fallen on hard times. Without the rebirth of its football team and the feelgood factor that spread, Newcastle would not be the confident, sparking jewel in the North it is today. Luke Edwards Keegan's Newcastle put entertaining above results Credit: Getty Images Day of the underdog: Leicester City 2016-17 The Arsenal Invincibles and Manchester United’s Treble-winners of the late 1990s boasted the best players of the Premier League era, but it would be churlish to ignore Leicester City as the greatest team. Not since the halcyon days of Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough have a team grabbed us by the shirt collar and shredded the established order to create such magic. Leicester, and Claudio Ranieri,  may well have capitalised on the underachievements of bigger clubs but this was a time when all the ingredients combined to carve out something special. Players such as Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and Wes Morgan were arguably at their career best, there was the emergence of a midfield destroyer named N’Golo Kante, while bargain buys Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater flourished in a team emboldened by spirit and togetherness. Ranieri had just experienced a nightmare with the Greece national team, only to recover spectacularly and etch his name into history. Leicester lost only three league games all season. The more you think about it, now the established order has returned to normal, it seems even more remarkable. John Percy Leicester did the unthinkable by winning the Premier League as almighty underdogs Credit: AFP The jewel in the crown: Arsenal 1997/1998 Arsene Wenger has built three truly great sides during his Arsenal tenure but the first one was the best. The double-winning side of 1997/98 was built on the legacy of the George Graham years in the shape of the famous back four, while up front there was a devastating array of attacking options in Dennis Bergkamp, Nicolas Anelka and Marc Overmars. The jewel in the crown, though, was the central midfield partnership of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, surely the best the Premier League has seen. As a new team they took time to gel but their form from the turn of the year - 15 wins from 16 Premier League games, with an FA Cup thrown in for good measure - was the best of any Wenger team. Vieira and Petit with the FA Cup Credit: Russell Cheyne It may seem odd to select an Arsenal side other than the Invincibles but this team was slightly stronger defensively and would simply bully teams into submission, including a genuinely great Manchester United side. Some - such as Gary Neville - felt Arsenal’s 2003/04 side could sometimes be bullied themselves, an accusation you could never level at the 97/98 team. With Thierry Henry up front the 2001/02 double-winners are also worthy of consideration. But the team of Vieira, Petit and Tony Adams just edges it. Julian Bennetts

Can Man City's XI be hailed as the best? Our writers pick the finest teams they have seen in the flesh

Pace, power, a refusal to yield: Manchester United 2007-08   Unlike Manchester City’s accelerated opening this year, it started slowly for Manchester United in 2007-08: they didn’t register a win until their fourth league game, an undistinguished beginning reflected in the top-flight form of Cristiano Ronaldo, who didn’t score until the end of September. But thereafter he couldn’t stop: he ended with 31 league goals in 31 starts. With the kind of perfect timing that long characterised their manager Alex Ferguson’s approach to the title race, they won every game in March, without conceding a goal. It was, however, in the Champions League that this United side demonstrated how good they were. They won five and drew one of their group stage matches. They beat Lyon, Roma and Barcelona in the knockout stages, before easing past Chelsea in the final thanks to John Terry’s butter-footed penalty miss. Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw. The moment the team-sheet was handed in, the opposition was beaten. From Edwin van der Sar in goal, through the back four of Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, a midfield of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves and a front three of Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo, this was a team that perfectly mixed youth with experience, that had pace, power and balance coupled with a ruthless refusal to yield. Plus, it had plenty in reserve. Carlos Tevez (who made 34 appearances in the league alone), Nani, Louis Saha, Anderson and Darren Fletcher formed quite a bench. Jim White Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw Credit: Getty Images History makers: Manchester United 1998-99 The best-ever team has to be marked against an obvious criteria: what did they win. And only one team, the United side of 1998-99 has won the Champions League, the Premier League and FA Cup. It was never done before and has not been accomplished since. They were up against a formidable Arsenal side, Double winners the season before, who they also beat in a remarkable FA Cup semi-final, and they won the most dramatic Champions League final ever, against Bayern Munich. United had the most incredible midfield in Beckham, Scholes, Roy Keane and Giggs – and it is hard to see any of those players being dislodged by anyone who has played for United since – and a roster of impressive strikers. It was also Peter Schmeichel’s last season in goal for United who still had Gary Neville and Denis Irwin at full-backs with Jaap Stam having arrived at the heart of the defence. Jason Burt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holds aloft the Champions League trophy  Credit: Getty Images Dalglish’s darlings: Liverpool 1987-88 Kenny Dalglish lost Ian Rush to Juventus in the summer of 1987, but brought in John Aldridge, John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton. What followed was the most exciting Liverpool team there has been, not only breathtaking going forward but with the midfield authority of Ronnie Whelan and Steve McMahon. Then they had captain Alan Hansen striding upfield from centre-half, while Steve Nicol – the finest full back in Liverpool’s history – had a tendency to score a hat-trick in between unstoppable combinations with Barnes on the left wing. This side should have won the Double in consecutive years, inexplicably losing to Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup final before their last-minute title defeat to Arsenal in 1989. The 87-88 season saw just two league defeats, scoring 87 goals and conceding 24. Chris Bascombe Peter Beardsley was one of Liverpool's star players Credit: Getty Images Peak Ferguson: Manchester United 1993-94 They won what was then only the fifth Double in the history English football, having broken the club’s 26-year run without a league title the previous season. This was a vintage Alex Ferguson side, full of great players. Eric Cantona was at his best and there was an old guard including Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince, Schmeichel and, in his final season at the club, Bryan Robson. On the wings Ferguson had the choice of Ryan Giggs, Lee Sharpe and Andrei Kanchelskis. Keane had joined from Nottingham Forest in the summer. United went to the top of the table at the end of August and stayed there. At Maine Road in November they came from two goals behind to beat Manchester City 3-2 with Keane getting the late winner. Only Aston Villa in the League Cup final stopped United from a domestic Treble. United lost only six games in all competitions, four in the league and the first leg of a League Cup tie against Stoke, as well as the final.  Even their Champions League elimination, to Galatasaray, was on away goals. Ferguson’s first title-winning team had hit their peak. Sam Wallace Cantona kisses the FA Cup trophy in 1994 Credit: Getty Images Persistently thrilling: Manchester United 1998-99 There was much to admire about United’s 1993/94 side – “real tough b-----ds” as Ferguson used to call them. The Premier League and Champions League winners of 2007-08 were also formidable. But it  is impossible to look past the 1998-99 side, not least because of the scale of their achievement. No English side before or since has won the league, FA Cup and European Cup in a single season. It was, is and remains a truly remarkable feat. But, more than just the achievement itself, the manner in which footballing immortality was attained made it so much more and sparked feelings of awe and jealousy in rivals across the land. The team was built around a posse of academy graduates, something that resonates even more strongly today given how so many young English footballers are struggling to get a chance. The sheer force of personality and will in that team still takes the breath away, no better embodied than in the triumphant Champions League semi-final and final comebacks against Juventus and Bayern Munich respectively. And amid all the quality there was a kamikaze streak that made them such a persistently thrilling spectacle. They oozed greatness. James Ducker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck the winning goal in a dramatic finale Credit: Action Images “I would love it …”: Newcastle United 1995-96 A strange choice, perhaps, given they failed to win a single trophy that season but sometimes it is not just about silverware. Three years earlier, Newcastle had not even been in the top flight and were nothing more than a case study in how to turn a fanatical fan base against their club. Kevin Keegan changed that and unleashed a new power on the Premier League, playing a style of football that put entertainment above results. They were brilliant to watch and were desperately unlucky not to win the title that year. In the process  of creating a cosmopolitan, swash-buckling, attacking team, Keegan also completely altered perceptions of a northern industrial city that had fallen on hard times. Without the rebirth of its football team and the feelgood factor that spread, Newcastle would not be the confident, sparking jewel in the North it is today. Luke Edwards Keegan's Newcastle put entertaining above results Credit: Getty Images Day of the underdog: Leicester City 2016-17 The Arsenal Invincibles and Manchester United’s Treble-winners of the late 1990s boasted the best players of the Premier League era, but it would be churlish to ignore Leicester City as the greatest team. Not since the halcyon days of Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough have a team grabbed us by the shirt collar and shredded the established order to create such magic. Leicester, and Claudio Ranieri,  may well have capitalised on the underachievements of bigger clubs but this was a time when all the ingredients combined to carve out something special. Players such as Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and Wes Morgan were arguably at their career best, there was the emergence of a midfield destroyer named N’Golo Kante, while bargain buys Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater flourished in a team emboldened by spirit and togetherness. Ranieri had just experienced a nightmare with the Greece national team, only to recover spectacularly and etch his name into history. Leicester lost only three league games all season. The more you think about it, now the established order has returned to normal, it seems even more remarkable. John Percy Leicester did the unthinkable by winning the Premier League as almighty underdogs Credit: AFP The jewel in the crown: Arsenal 1997/1998 Arsene Wenger has built three truly great sides during his Arsenal tenure but the first one was the best. The double-winning side of 1997/98 was built on the legacy of the George Graham years in the shape of the famous back four, while up front there was a devastating array of attacking options in Dennis Bergkamp, Nicolas Anelka and Marc Overmars. The jewel in the crown, though, was the central midfield partnership of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, surely the best the Premier League has seen. As a new team they took time to gel but their form from the turn of the year - 15 wins from 16 Premier League games, with an FA Cup thrown in for good measure - was the best of any Wenger team. Vieira and Petit with the FA Cup Credit: Russell Cheyne It may seem odd to select an Arsenal side other than the Invincibles but this team was slightly stronger defensively and would simply bully teams into submission, including a genuinely great Manchester United side. Some - such as Gary Neville - felt Arsenal’s 2003/04 side could sometimes be bullied themselves, an accusation you could never level at the 97/98 team. With Thierry Henry up front the 2001/02 double-winners are also worthy of consideration. But the team of Vieira, Petit and Tony Adams just edges it. Julian Bennetts

Can Man City's XI be hailed as the best? Our writers pick the finest teams they have seen in the flesh

Pace, power, a refusal to yield: Manchester United 2007-08   Unlike Manchester City’s accelerated opening this year, it started slowly for Manchester United in 2007-08: they didn’t register a win until their fourth league game, an undistinguished beginning reflected in the top-flight form of Cristiano Ronaldo, who didn’t score until the end of September. But thereafter he couldn’t stop: he ended with 31 league goals in 31 starts. With the kind of perfect timing that long characterised their manager Alex Ferguson’s approach to the title race, they won every game in March, without conceding a goal. It was, however, in the Champions League that this United side demonstrated how good they were. They won five and drew one of their group stage matches. They beat Lyon, Roma and Barcelona in the knockout stages, before easing past Chelsea in the final thanks to John Terry’s butter-footed penalty miss. Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw. The moment the team-sheet was handed in, the opposition was beaten. From Edwin van der Sar in goal, through the back four of Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, a midfield of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves and a front three of Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo, this was a team that perfectly mixed youth with experience, that had pace, power and balance coupled with a ruthless refusal to yield. Plus, it had plenty in reserve. Carlos Tevez (who made 34 appearances in the league alone), Nani, Louis Saha, Anderson and Darren Fletcher formed quite a bench. Jim White Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw Credit: Getty Images History makers: Manchester United 1998-99 The best-ever team has to be marked against an obvious criteria: what did they win. And only one team, the United side of 1998-99 has won the Champions League, the Premier League and FA Cup. It was never done before and has not been accomplished since. They were up against a formidable Arsenal side, Double winners the season before, who they also beat in a remarkable FA Cup semi-final, and they won the most dramatic Champions League final ever, against Bayern Munich. United had the most incredible midfield in Beckham, Scholes, Roy Keane and Giggs – and it is hard to see any of those players being dislodged by anyone who has played for United since – and a roster of impressive strikers. It was also Peter Schmeichel’s last season in goal for United who still had Gary Neville and Denis Irwin at full-backs with Jaap Stam having arrived at the heart of the defence. Jason Burt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holds aloft the Champions League trophy  Credit: Getty Images Dalglish’s darlings: Liverpool 1987-88 Kenny Dalglish lost Ian Rush to Juventus in the summer of 1987, but brought in John Aldridge, John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton. What followed was the most exciting Liverpool team there has been, not only breathtaking going forward but with the midfield authority of Ronnie Whelan and Steve McMahon. Then they had captain Alan Hansen striding upfield from centre-half, while Steve Nicol – the finest full back in Liverpool’s history – had a tendency to score a hat-trick in between unstoppable combinations with Barnes on the left wing. This side should have won the Double in consecutive years, inexplicably losing to Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup final before their last-minute title defeat to Arsenal in 1989. The 87-88 season saw just two league defeats, scoring 87 goals and conceding 24. Chris Bascombe Peter Beardsley was one of Liverpool's star players Credit: Getty Images Peak Ferguson: Manchester United 1993-94 They won what was then only the fifth Double in the history English football, having broken the club’s 26-year run without a league title the previous season. This was a vintage Alex Ferguson side, full of great players. Eric Cantona was at his best and there was an old guard including Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince, Schmeichel and, in his final season at the club, Bryan Robson. On the wings Ferguson had the choice of Ryan Giggs, Lee Sharpe and Andrei Kanchelskis. Keane had joined from Nottingham Forest in the summer. United went to the top of the table at the end of August and stayed there. At Maine Road in November they came from two goals behind to beat Manchester City 3-2 with Keane getting the late winner. Only Aston Villa in the League Cup final stopped United from a domestic Treble. United lost only six games in all competitions, four in the league and the first leg of a League Cup tie against Stoke, as well as the final.  Even their Champions League elimination, to Galatasaray, was on away goals. Ferguson’s first title-winning team had hit their peak. Sam Wallace Cantona kisses the FA Cup trophy in 1994 Credit: Getty Images Persistently thrilling: Manchester United 1998-99 There was much to admire about United’s 1993/94 side – “real tough b-----ds” as Ferguson used to call them. The Premier League and Champions League winners of 2007-08 were also formidable. But it  is impossible to look past the 1998-99 side, not least because of the scale of their achievement. No English side before or since has won the league, FA Cup and European Cup in a single season. It was, is and remains a truly remarkable feat. But, more than just the achievement itself, the manner in which footballing immortality was attained made it so much more and sparked feelings of awe and jealousy in rivals across the land. The team was built around a posse of academy graduates, something that resonates even more strongly today given how so many young English footballers are struggling to get a chance. The sheer force of personality and will in that team still takes the breath away, no better embodied than in the triumphant Champions League semi-final and final comebacks against Juventus and Bayern Munich respectively. And amid all the quality there was a kamikaze streak that made them such a persistently thrilling spectacle. They oozed greatness. James Ducker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck the winning goal in a dramatic finale Credit: Action Images “I would love it …”: Newcastle United 1995-96 A strange choice, perhaps, given they failed to win a single trophy that season but sometimes it is not just about silverware. Three years earlier, Newcastle had not even been in the top flight and were nothing more than a case study in how to turn a fanatical fan base against their club. Kevin Keegan changed that and unleashed a new power on the Premier League, playing a style of football that put entertainment above results. They were brilliant to watch and were desperately unlucky not to win the title that year. In the process  of creating a cosmopolitan, swash-buckling, attacking team, Keegan also completely altered perceptions of a northern industrial city that had fallen on hard times. Without the rebirth of its football team and the feelgood factor that spread, Newcastle would not be the confident, sparking jewel in the North it is today. Luke Edwards Keegan's Newcastle put entertaining above results Credit: Getty Images Day of the underdog: Leicester City 2016-17 The Arsenal Invincibles and Manchester United’s Treble-winners of the late 1990s boasted the best players of the Premier League era, but it would be churlish to ignore Leicester City as the greatest team. Not since the halcyon days of Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough have a team grabbed us by the shirt collar and shredded the established order to create such magic. Leicester, and Claudio Ranieri,  may well have capitalised on the underachievements of bigger clubs but this was a time when all the ingredients combined to carve out something special. Players such as Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and Wes Morgan were arguably at their career best, there was the emergence of a midfield destroyer named N’Golo Kante, while bargain buys Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater flourished in a team emboldened by spirit and togetherness. Ranieri had just experienced a nightmare with the Greece national team, only to recover spectacularly and etch his name into history. Leicester lost only three league games all season. The more you think about it, now the established order has returned to normal, it seems even more remarkable. John Percy Leicester did the unthinkable by winning the Premier League as almighty underdogs Credit: AFP The jewel in the crown: Arsenal 1997/1998 Arsene Wenger has built three truly great sides during his Arsenal tenure but the first one was the best. The double-winning side of 1997/98 was built on the legacy of the George Graham years in the shape of the famous back four, while up front there was a devastating array of attacking options in Dennis Bergkamp, Nicolas Anelka and Marc Overmars. The jewel in the crown, though, was the central midfield partnership of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, surely the best the Premier League has seen. As a new team they took time to gel but their form from the turn of the year - 15 wins from 16 Premier League games, with an FA Cup thrown in for good measure - was the best of any Wenger team. Vieira and Petit with the FA Cup Credit: Russell Cheyne It may seem odd to select an Arsenal side other than the Invincibles but this team was slightly stronger defensively and would simply bully teams into submission, including a genuinely great Manchester United side. Some - such as Gary Neville - felt Arsenal’s 2003/04 side could sometimes be bullied themselves, an accusation you could never level at the 97/98 team. With Thierry Henry up front the 2001/02 double-winners are also worthy of consideration. But the team of Vieira, Petit and Tony Adams just edges it. Julian Bennetts

Can Man City's XI be hailed as the best? Our writers pick the finest teams they have seen in the flesh

Pace, power, a refusal to yield: Manchester United 2007-08   Unlike Manchester City’s accelerated opening this year, it started slowly for Manchester United in 2007-08: they didn’t register a win until their fourth league game, an undistinguished beginning reflected in the top-flight form of Cristiano Ronaldo, who didn’t score until the end of September. But thereafter he couldn’t stop: he ended with 31 league goals in 31 starts. With the kind of perfect timing that long characterised their manager Alex Ferguson’s approach to the title race, they won every game in March, without conceding a goal. It was, however, in the Champions League that this United side demonstrated how good they were. They won five and drew one of their group stage matches. They beat Lyon, Roma and Barcelona in the knockout stages, before easing past Chelsea in the final thanks to John Terry’s butter-footed penalty miss. Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw. The moment the team-sheet was handed in, the opposition was beaten. From Edwin van der Sar in goal, through the back four of Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, a midfield of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves and a front three of Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo, this was a team that perfectly mixed youth with experience, that had pace, power and balance coupled with a ruthless refusal to yield. Plus, it had plenty in reserve. Carlos Tevez (who made 34 appearances in the league alone), Nani, Louis Saha, Anderson and Darren Fletcher formed quite a bench. Jim White Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw Credit: Getty Images History makers: Manchester United 1998-99 The best-ever team has to be marked against an obvious criteria: what did they win. And only one team, the United side of 1998-99 has won the Champions League, the Premier League and FA Cup. It was never done before and has not been accomplished since. They were up against a formidable Arsenal side, Double winners the season before, who they also beat in a remarkable FA Cup semi-final, and they won the most dramatic Champions League final ever, against Bayern Munich. United had the most incredible midfield in Beckham, Scholes, Roy Keane and Giggs – and it is hard to see any of those players being dislodged by anyone who has played for United since – and a roster of impressive strikers. It was also Peter Schmeichel’s last season in goal for United who still had Gary Neville and Denis Irwin at full-backs with Jaap Stam having arrived at the heart of the defence. Jason Burt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holds aloft the Champions League trophy  Credit: Getty Images Dalglish’s darlings: Liverpool 1987-88 Kenny Dalglish lost Ian Rush to Juventus in the summer of 1987, but brought in John Aldridge, John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton. What followed was the most exciting Liverpool team there has been, not only breathtaking going forward but with the midfield authority of Ronnie Whelan and Steve McMahon. Then they had captain Alan Hansen striding upfield from centre-half, while Steve Nicol – the finest full back in Liverpool’s history – had a tendency to score a hat-trick in between unstoppable combinations with Barnes on the left wing. This side should have won the Double in consecutive years, inexplicably losing to Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup final before their last-minute title defeat to Arsenal in 1989. The 87-88 season saw just two league defeats, scoring 87 goals and conceding 24. Chris Bascombe Peter Beardsley was one of Liverpool's star players Credit: Getty Images Peak Ferguson: Manchester United 1993-94 They won what was then only the fifth Double in the history English football, having broken the club’s 26-year run without a league title the previous season. This was a vintage Alex Ferguson side, full of great players. Eric Cantona was at his best and there was an old guard including Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince, Schmeichel and, in his final season at the club, Bryan Robson. On the wings Ferguson had the choice of Ryan Giggs, Lee Sharpe and Andrei Kanchelskis. Keane had joined from Nottingham Forest in the summer. United went to the top of the table at the end of August and stayed there. At Maine Road in November they came from two goals behind to beat Manchester City 3-2 with Keane getting the late winner. Only Aston Villa in the League Cup final stopped United from a domestic Treble. United lost only six games in all competitions, four in the league and the first leg of a League Cup tie against Stoke, as well as the final.  Even their Champions League elimination, to Galatasaray, was on away goals. Ferguson’s first title-winning team had hit their peak. Sam Wallace Cantona kisses the FA Cup trophy in 1994 Credit: Getty Images Persistently thrilling: Manchester United 1998-99 There was much to admire about United’s 1993/94 side – “real tough b-----ds” as Ferguson used to call them. The Premier League and Champions League winners of 2007-08 were also formidable. But it  is impossible to look past the 1998-99 side, not least because of the scale of their achievement. No English side before or since has won the league, FA Cup and European Cup in a single season. It was, is and remains a truly remarkable feat. But, more than just the achievement itself, the manner in which footballing immortality was attained made it so much more and sparked feelings of awe and jealousy in rivals across the land. The team was built around a posse of academy graduates, something that resonates even more strongly today given how so many young English footballers are struggling to get a chance. The sheer force of personality and will in that team still takes the breath away, no better embodied than in the triumphant Champions League semi-final and final comebacks against Juventus and Bayern Munich respectively. And amid all the quality there was a kamikaze streak that made them such a persistently thrilling spectacle. They oozed greatness. James Ducker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck the winning goal in a dramatic finale Credit: Action Images “I would love it …”: Newcastle United 1995-96 A strange choice, perhaps, given they failed to win a single trophy that season but sometimes it is not just about silverware. Three years earlier, Newcastle had not even been in the top flight and were nothing more than a case study in how to turn a fanatical fan base against their club. Kevin Keegan changed that and unleashed a new power on the Premier League, playing a style of football that put entertainment above results. They were brilliant to watch and were desperately unlucky not to win the title that year. In the process  of creating a cosmopolitan, swash-buckling, attacking team, Keegan also completely altered perceptions of a northern industrial city that had fallen on hard times. Without the rebirth of its football team and the feelgood factor that spread, Newcastle would not be the confident, sparking jewel in the North it is today. Luke Edwards Keegan's Newcastle put entertaining above results Credit: Getty Images Day of the underdog: Leicester City 2016-17 The Arsenal Invincibles and Manchester United’s Treble-winners of the late 1990s boasted the best players of the Premier League era, but it would be churlish to ignore Leicester City as the greatest team. Not since the halcyon days of Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough have a team grabbed us by the shirt collar and shredded the established order to create such magic. Leicester, and Claudio Ranieri,  may well have capitalised on the underachievements of bigger clubs but this was a time when all the ingredients combined to carve out something special. Players such as Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and Wes Morgan were arguably at their career best, there was the emergence of a midfield destroyer named N’Golo Kante, while bargain buys Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater flourished in a team emboldened by spirit and togetherness. Ranieri had just experienced a nightmare with the Greece national team, only to recover spectacularly and etch his name into history. Leicester lost only three league games all season. The more you think about it, now the established order has returned to normal, it seems even more remarkable. John Percy Leicester did the unthinkable by winning the Premier League as almighty underdogs Credit: AFP The jewel in the crown: Arsenal 1997/1998 Arsene Wenger has built three truly great sides during his Arsenal tenure but the first one was the best. The double-winning side of 1997/98 was built on the legacy of the George Graham years in the shape of the famous back four, while up front there was a devastating array of attacking options in Dennis Bergkamp, Nicolas Anelka and Marc Overmars. The jewel in the crown, though, was the central midfield partnership of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, surely the best the Premier League has seen. As a new team they took time to gel but their form from the turn of the year - 15 wins from 16 Premier League games, with an FA Cup thrown in for good measure - was the best of any Wenger team. Vieira and Petit with the FA Cup Credit: Russell Cheyne It may seem odd to select an Arsenal side other than the Invincibles but this team was slightly stronger defensively and would simply bully teams into submission, including a genuinely great Manchester United side. Some - such as Gary Neville - felt Arsenal’s 2003/04 side could sometimes be bullied themselves, an accusation you could never level at the 97/98 team. With Thierry Henry up front the 2001/02 double-winners are also worthy of consideration. But the team of Vieira, Petit and Tony Adams just edges it. Julian Bennetts

Can Man City's XI be hailed as the best? Our writers pick the finest teams they have seen in the flesh

Pace, power, a refusal to yield: Manchester United 2007-08   Unlike Manchester City’s accelerated opening this year, it started slowly for Manchester United in 2007-08: they didn’t register a win until their fourth league game, an undistinguished beginning reflected in the top-flight form of Cristiano Ronaldo, who didn’t score until the end of September. But thereafter he couldn’t stop: he ended with 31 league goals in 31 starts. With the kind of perfect timing that long characterised their manager Alex Ferguson’s approach to the title race, they won every game in March, without conceding a goal. It was, however, in the Champions League that this United side demonstrated how good they were. They won five and drew one of their group stage matches. They beat Lyon, Roma and Barcelona in the knockout stages, before easing past Chelsea in the final thanks to John Terry’s butter-footed penalty miss. Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw. The moment the team-sheet was handed in, the opposition was beaten. From Edwin van der Sar in goal, through the back four of Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, a midfield of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves and a front three of Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo, this was a team that perfectly mixed youth with experience, that had pace, power and balance coupled with a ruthless refusal to yield. Plus, it had plenty in reserve. Carlos Tevez (who made 34 appearances in the league alone), Nani, Louis Saha, Anderson and Darren Fletcher formed quite a bench. Jim White Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw Credit: Getty Images History makers: Manchester United 1998-99 The best-ever team has to be marked against an obvious criteria: what did they win. And only one team, the United side of 1998-99 has won the Champions League, the Premier League and FA Cup. It was never done before and has not been accomplished since. They were up against a formidable Arsenal side, Double winners the season before, who they also beat in a remarkable FA Cup semi-final, and they won the most dramatic Champions League final ever, against Bayern Munich. United had the most incredible midfield in Beckham, Scholes, Roy Keane and Giggs – and it is hard to see any of those players being dislodged by anyone who has played for United since – and a roster of impressive strikers. It was also Peter Schmeichel’s last season in goal for United who still had Gary Neville and Denis Irwin at full-backs with Jaap Stam having arrived at the heart of the defence. Jason Burt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holds aloft the Champions League trophy  Credit: Getty Images Dalglish’s darlings: Liverpool 1987-88 Kenny Dalglish lost Ian Rush to Juventus in the summer of 1987, but brought in John Aldridge, John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton. What followed was the most exciting Liverpool team there has been, not only breathtaking going forward but with the midfield authority of Ronnie Whelan and Steve McMahon. Then they had captain Alan Hansen striding upfield from centre-half, while Steve Nicol – the finest full back in Liverpool’s history – had a tendency to score a hat-trick in between unstoppable combinations with Barnes on the left wing. This side should have won the Double in consecutive years, inexplicably losing to Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup final before their last-minute title defeat to Arsenal in 1989. The 87-88 season saw just two league defeats, scoring 87 goals and conceding 24. Chris Bascombe Peter Beardsley was one of Liverpool's star players Credit: Getty Images Peak Ferguson: Manchester United 1993-94 They won what was then only the fifth Double in the history English football, having broken the club’s 26-year run without a league title the previous season. This was a vintage Alex Ferguson side, full of great players. Eric Cantona was at his best and there was an old guard including Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince, Schmeichel and, in his final season at the club, Bryan Robson. On the wings Ferguson had the choice of Ryan Giggs, Lee Sharpe and Andrei Kanchelskis. Keane had joined from Nottingham Forest in the summer. United went to the top of the table at the end of August and stayed there. At Maine Road in November they came from two goals behind to beat Manchester City 3-2 with Keane getting the late winner. Only Aston Villa in the League Cup final stopped United from a domestic Treble. United lost only six games in all competitions, four in the league and the first leg of a League Cup tie against Stoke, as well as the final.  Even their Champions League elimination, to Galatasaray, was on away goals. Ferguson’s first title-winning team had hit their peak. Sam Wallace Cantona kisses the FA Cup trophy in 1994 Credit: Getty Images Persistently thrilling: Manchester United 1998-99 There was much to admire about United’s 1993/94 side – “real tough b-----ds” as Ferguson used to call them. The Premier League and Champions League winners of 2007-08 were also formidable. But it  is impossible to look past the 1998-99 side, not least because of the scale of their achievement. No English side before or since has won the league, FA Cup and European Cup in a single season. It was, is and remains a truly remarkable feat. But, more than just the achievement itself, the manner in which footballing immortality was attained made it so much more and sparked feelings of awe and jealousy in rivals across the land. The team was built around a posse of academy graduates, something that resonates even more strongly today given how so many young English footballers are struggling to get a chance. The sheer force of personality and will in that team still takes the breath away, no better embodied than in the triumphant Champions League semi-final and final comebacks against Juventus and Bayern Munich respectively. And amid all the quality there was a kamikaze streak that made them such a persistently thrilling spectacle. They oozed greatness. James Ducker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck the winning goal in a dramatic finale Credit: Action Images “I would love it …”: Newcastle United 1995-96 A strange choice, perhaps, given they failed to win a single trophy that season but sometimes it is not just about silverware. Three years earlier, Newcastle had not even been in the top flight and were nothing more than a case study in how to turn a fanatical fan base against their club. Kevin Keegan changed that and unleashed a new power on the Premier League, playing a style of football that put entertainment above results. They were brilliant to watch and were desperately unlucky not to win the title that year. In the process  of creating a cosmopolitan, swash-buckling, attacking team, Keegan also completely altered perceptions of a northern industrial city that had fallen on hard times. Without the rebirth of its football team and the feelgood factor that spread, Newcastle would not be the confident, sparking jewel in the North it is today. Luke Edwards Keegan's Newcastle put entertaining above results Credit: Getty Images Day of the underdog: Leicester City 2016-17 The Arsenal Invincibles and Manchester United’s Treble-winners of the late 1990s boasted the best players of the Premier League era, but it would be churlish to ignore Leicester City as the greatest team. Not since the halcyon days of Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough have a team grabbed us by the shirt collar and shredded the established order to create such magic. Leicester, and Claudio Ranieri,  may well have capitalised on the underachievements of bigger clubs but this was a time when all the ingredients combined to carve out something special. Players such as Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and Wes Morgan were arguably at their career best, there was the emergence of a midfield destroyer named N’Golo Kante, while bargain buys Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater flourished in a team emboldened by spirit and togetherness. Ranieri had just experienced a nightmare with the Greece national team, only to recover spectacularly and etch his name into history. Leicester lost only three league games all season. The more you think about it, now the established order has returned to normal, it seems even more remarkable. John Percy Leicester did the unthinkable by winning the Premier League as almighty underdogs Credit: AFP The jewel in the crown: Arsenal 1997/1998 Arsene Wenger has built three truly great sides during his Arsenal tenure but the first one was the best. The double-winning side of 1997/98 was built on the legacy of the George Graham years in the shape of the famous back four, while up front there was a devastating array of attacking options in Dennis Bergkamp, Nicolas Anelka and Marc Overmars. The jewel in the crown, though, was the central midfield partnership of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, surely the best the Premier League has seen. As a new team they took time to gel but their form from the turn of the year - 15 wins from 16 Premier League games, with an FA Cup thrown in for good measure - was the best of any Wenger team. Vieira and Petit with the FA Cup Credit: Russell Cheyne It may seem odd to select an Arsenal side other than the Invincibles but this team was slightly stronger defensively and would simply bully teams into submission, including a genuinely great Manchester United side. Some - such as Gary Neville - felt Arsenal’s 2003/04 side could sometimes be bullied themselves, an accusation you could never level at the 97/98 team. With Thierry Henry up front the 2001/02 double-winners are also worthy of consideration. But the team of Vieira, Petit and Tony Adams just edges it. Julian Bennetts

Can Man City's XI be hailed as the best? Our writers pick the finest teams they have seen in the flesh

Pace, power, a refusal to yield: Manchester United 2007-08   Unlike Manchester City’s accelerated opening this year, it started slowly for Manchester United in 2007-08: they didn’t register a win until their fourth league game, an undistinguished beginning reflected in the top-flight form of Cristiano Ronaldo, who didn’t score until the end of September. But thereafter he couldn’t stop: he ended with 31 league goals in 31 starts. With the kind of perfect timing that long characterised their manager Alex Ferguson’s approach to the title race, they won every game in March, without conceding a goal. It was, however, in the Champions League that this United side demonstrated how good they were. They won five and drew one of their group stage matches. They beat Lyon, Roma and Barcelona in the knockout stages, before easing past Chelsea in the final thanks to John Terry’s butter-footed penalty miss. Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw. The moment the team-sheet was handed in, the opposition was beaten. From Edwin van der Sar in goal, through the back four of Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, a midfield of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves and a front three of Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo, this was a team that perfectly mixed youth with experience, that had pace, power and balance coupled with a ruthless refusal to yield. Plus, it had plenty in reserve. Carlos Tevez (who made 34 appearances in the league alone), Nani, Louis Saha, Anderson and Darren Fletcher formed quite a bench. Jim White Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw Credit: Getty Images History makers: Manchester United 1998-99 The best-ever team has to be marked against an obvious criteria: what did they win. And only one team, the United side of 1998-99 has won the Champions League, the Premier League and FA Cup. It was never done before and has not been accomplished since. They were up against a formidable Arsenal side, Double winners the season before, who they also beat in a remarkable FA Cup semi-final, and they won the most dramatic Champions League final ever, against Bayern Munich. United had the most incredible midfield in Beckham, Scholes, Roy Keane and Giggs – and it is hard to see any of those players being dislodged by anyone who has played for United since – and a roster of impressive strikers. It was also Peter Schmeichel’s last season in goal for United who still had Gary Neville and Denis Irwin at full-backs with Jaap Stam having arrived at the heart of the defence. Jason Burt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holds aloft the Champions League trophy  Credit: Getty Images Dalglish’s darlings: Liverpool 1987-88 Kenny Dalglish lost Ian Rush to Juventus in the summer of 1987, but brought in John Aldridge, John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton. What followed was the most exciting Liverpool team there has been, not only breathtaking going forward but with the midfield authority of Ronnie Whelan and Steve McMahon. Then they had captain Alan Hansen striding upfield from centre-half, while Steve Nicol – the finest full back in Liverpool’s history – had a tendency to score a hat-trick in between unstoppable combinations with Barnes on the left wing. This side should have won the Double in consecutive years, inexplicably losing to Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup final before their last-minute title defeat to Arsenal in 1989. The 87-88 season saw just two league defeats, scoring 87 goals and conceding 24. Chris Bascombe Peter Beardsley was one of Liverpool's star players Credit: Getty Images Peak Ferguson: Manchester United 1993-94 They won what was then only the fifth Double in the history English football, having broken the club’s 26-year run without a league title the previous season. This was a vintage Alex Ferguson side, full of great players. Eric Cantona was at his best and there was an old guard including Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince, Schmeichel and, in his final season at the club, Bryan Robson. On the wings Ferguson had the choice of Ryan Giggs, Lee Sharpe and Andrei Kanchelskis. Keane had joined from Nottingham Forest in the summer. United went to the top of the table at the end of August and stayed there. At Maine Road in November they came from two goals behind to beat Manchester City 3-2 with Keane getting the late winner. Only Aston Villa in the League Cup final stopped United from a domestic Treble. United lost only six games in all competitions, four in the league and the first leg of a League Cup tie against Stoke, as well as the final.  Even their Champions League elimination, to Galatasaray, was on away goals. Ferguson’s first title-winning team had hit their peak. Sam Wallace Cantona kisses the FA Cup trophy in 1994 Credit: Getty Images Persistently thrilling: Manchester United 1998-99 There was much to admire about United’s 1993/94 side – “real tough b-----ds” as Ferguson used to call them. The Premier League and Champions League winners of 2007-08 were also formidable. But it  is impossible to look past the 1998-99 side, not least because of the scale of their achievement. No English side before or since has won the league, FA Cup and European Cup in a single season. It was, is and remains a truly remarkable feat. But, more than just the achievement itself, the manner in which footballing immortality was attained made it so much more and sparked feelings of awe and jealousy in rivals across the land. The team was built around a posse of academy graduates, something that resonates even more strongly today given how so many young English footballers are struggling to get a chance. The sheer force of personality and will in that team still takes the breath away, no better embodied than in the triumphant Champions League semi-final and final comebacks against Juventus and Bayern Munich respectively. And amid all the quality there was a kamikaze streak that made them such a persistently thrilling spectacle. They oozed greatness. James Ducker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck the winning goal in a dramatic finale Credit: Action Images “I would love it …”: Newcastle United 1995-96 A strange choice, perhaps, given they failed to win a single trophy that season but sometimes it is not just about silverware. Three years earlier, Newcastle had not even been in the top flight and were nothing more than a case study in how to turn a fanatical fan base against their club. Kevin Keegan changed that and unleashed a new power on the Premier League, playing a style of football that put entertainment above results. They were brilliant to watch and were desperately unlucky not to win the title that year. In the process  of creating a cosmopolitan, swash-buckling, attacking team, Keegan also completely altered perceptions of a northern industrial city that had fallen on hard times. Without the rebirth of its football team and the feelgood factor that spread, Newcastle would not be the confident, sparking jewel in the North it is today. Luke Edwards Keegan's Newcastle put entertaining above results Credit: Getty Images Day of the underdog: Leicester City 2016-17 The Arsenal Invincibles and Manchester United’s Treble-winners of the late 1990s boasted the best players of the Premier League era, but it would be churlish to ignore Leicester City as the greatest team. Not since the halcyon days of Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough have a team grabbed us by the shirt collar and shredded the established order to create such magic. Leicester, and Claudio Ranieri,  may well have capitalised on the underachievements of bigger clubs but this was a time when all the ingredients combined to carve out something special. Players such as Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and Wes Morgan were arguably at their career best, there was the emergence of a midfield destroyer named N’Golo Kante, while bargain buys Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater flourished in a team emboldened by spirit and togetherness. Ranieri had just experienced a nightmare with the Greece national team, only to recover spectacularly and etch his name into history. Leicester lost only three league games all season. The more you think about it, now the established order has returned to normal, it seems even more remarkable. John Percy Leicester did the unthinkable by winning the Premier League as almighty underdogs Credit: AFP The jewel in the crown: Arsenal 1997/1998 Arsene Wenger has built three truly great sides during his Arsenal tenure but the first one was the best. The double-winning side of 1997/98 was built on the legacy of the George Graham years in the shape of the famous back four, while up front there was a devastating array of attacking options in Dennis Bergkamp, Nicolas Anelka and Marc Overmars. The jewel in the crown, though, was the central midfield partnership of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, surely the best the Premier League has seen. As a new team they took time to gel but their form from the turn of the year - 15 wins from 16 Premier League games, with an FA Cup thrown in for good measure - was the best of any Wenger team. Vieira and Petit with the FA Cup Credit: Russell Cheyne It may seem odd to select an Arsenal side other than the Invincibles but this team was slightly stronger defensively and would simply bully teams into submission, including a genuinely great Manchester United side. Some - such as Gary Neville - felt Arsenal’s 2003/04 side could sometimes be bullied themselves, an accusation you could never level at the 97/98 team. With Thierry Henry up front the 2001/02 double-winners are also worthy of consideration. But the team of Vieira, Petit and Tony Adams just edges it. Julian Bennetts

Can Man City's XI be hailed as the best? Our writers pick the finest teams they have seen in the flesh

Pace, power, a refusal to yield: Manchester United 2007-08   Unlike Manchester City’s accelerated opening this year, it started slowly for Manchester United in 2007-08: they didn’t register a win until their fourth league game, an undistinguished beginning reflected in the top-flight form of Cristiano Ronaldo, who didn’t score until the end of September. But thereafter he couldn’t stop: he ended with 31 league goals in 31 starts. With the kind of perfect timing that long characterised their manager Alex Ferguson’s approach to the title race, they won every game in March, without conceding a goal. It was, however, in the Champions League that this United side demonstrated how good they were. They won five and drew one of their group stage matches. They beat Lyon, Roma and Barcelona in the knockout stages, before easing past Chelsea in the final thanks to John Terry’s butter-footed penalty miss. Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw. The moment the team-sheet was handed in, the opposition was beaten. From Edwin van der Sar in goal, through the back four of Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, a midfield of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves and a front three of Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo, this was a team that perfectly mixed youth with experience, that had pace, power and balance coupled with a ruthless refusal to yield. Plus, it had plenty in reserve. Carlos Tevez (who made 34 appearances in the league alone), Nani, Louis Saha, Anderson and Darren Fletcher formed quite a bench. Jim White Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw Credit: Getty Images History makers: Manchester United 1998-99 The best-ever team has to be marked against an obvious criteria: what did they win. And only one team, the United side of 1998-99 has won the Champions League, the Premier League and FA Cup. It was never done before and has not been accomplished since. They were up against a formidable Arsenal side, Double winners the season before, who they also beat in a remarkable FA Cup semi-final, and they won the most dramatic Champions League final ever, against Bayern Munich. United had the most incredible midfield in Beckham, Scholes, Roy Keane and Giggs – and it is hard to see any of those players being dislodged by anyone who has played for United since – and a roster of impressive strikers. It was also Peter Schmeichel’s last season in goal for United who still had Gary Neville and Denis Irwin at full-backs with Jaap Stam having arrived at the heart of the defence. Jason Burt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holds aloft the Champions League trophy  Credit: Getty Images Dalglish’s darlings: Liverpool 1987-88 Kenny Dalglish lost Ian Rush to Juventus in the summer of 1987, but brought in John Aldridge, John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton. What followed was the most exciting Liverpool team there has been, not only breathtaking going forward but with the midfield authority of Ronnie Whelan and Steve McMahon. Then they had captain Alan Hansen striding upfield from centre-half, while Steve Nicol – the finest full back in Liverpool’s history – had a tendency to score a hat-trick in between unstoppable combinations with Barnes on the left wing. This side should have won the Double in consecutive years, inexplicably losing to Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup final before their last-minute title defeat to Arsenal in 1989. The 87-88 season saw just two league defeats, scoring 87 goals and conceding 24. Chris Bascombe Peter Beardsley was one of Liverpool's star players Credit: Getty Images Peak Ferguson: Manchester United 1993-94 They won what was then only the fifth Double in the history English football, having broken the club’s 26-year run without a league title the previous season. This was a vintage Alex Ferguson side, full of great players. Eric Cantona was at his best and there was an old guard including Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince, Schmeichel and, in his final season at the club, Bryan Robson. On the wings Ferguson had the choice of Ryan Giggs, Lee Sharpe and Andrei Kanchelskis. Keane had joined from Nottingham Forest in the summer. United went to the top of the table at the end of August and stayed there. At Maine Road in November they came from two goals behind to beat Manchester City 3-2 with Keane getting the late winner. Only Aston Villa in the League Cup final stopped United from a domestic Treble. United lost only six games in all competitions, four in the league and the first leg of a League Cup tie against Stoke, as well as the final.  Even their Champions League elimination, to Galatasaray, was on away goals. Ferguson’s first title-winning team had hit their peak. Sam Wallace Cantona kisses the FA Cup trophy in 1994 Credit: Getty Images Persistently thrilling: Manchester United 1998-99 There was much to admire about United’s 1993/94 side – “real tough b-----ds” as Ferguson used to call them. The Premier League and Champions League winners of 2007-08 were also formidable. But it  is impossible to look past the 1998-99 side, not least because of the scale of their achievement. No English side before or since has won the league, FA Cup and European Cup in a single season. It was, is and remains a truly remarkable feat. But, more than just the achievement itself, the manner in which footballing immortality was attained made it so much more and sparked feelings of awe and jealousy in rivals across the land. The team was built around a posse of academy graduates, something that resonates even more strongly today given how so many young English footballers are struggling to get a chance. The sheer force of personality and will in that team still takes the breath away, no better embodied than in the triumphant Champions League semi-final and final comebacks against Juventus and Bayern Munich respectively. And amid all the quality there was a kamikaze streak that made them such a persistently thrilling spectacle. They oozed greatness. James Ducker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck the winning goal in a dramatic finale Credit: Action Images “I would love it …”: Newcastle United 1995-96 A strange choice, perhaps, given they failed to win a single trophy that season but sometimes it is not just about silverware. Three years earlier, Newcastle had not even been in the top flight and were nothing more than a case study in how to turn a fanatical fan base against their club. Kevin Keegan changed that and unleashed a new power on the Premier League, playing a style of football that put entertainment above results. They were brilliant to watch and were desperately unlucky not to win the title that year. In the process  of creating a cosmopolitan, swash-buckling, attacking team, Keegan also completely altered perceptions of a northern industrial city that had fallen on hard times. Without the rebirth of its football team and the feelgood factor that spread, Newcastle would not be the confident, sparking jewel in the North it is today. Luke Edwards Keegan's Newcastle put entertaining above results Credit: Getty Images Day of the underdog: Leicester City 2016-17 The Arsenal Invincibles and Manchester United’s Treble-winners of the late 1990s boasted the best players of the Premier League era, but it would be churlish to ignore Leicester City as the greatest team. Not since the halcyon days of Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough have a team grabbed us by the shirt collar and shredded the established order to create such magic. Leicester, and Claudio Ranieri,  may well have capitalised on the underachievements of bigger clubs but this was a time when all the ingredients combined to carve out something special. Players such as Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and Wes Morgan were arguably at their career best, there was the emergence of a midfield destroyer named N’Golo Kante, while bargain buys Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater flourished in a team emboldened by spirit and togetherness. Ranieri had just experienced a nightmare with the Greece national team, only to recover spectacularly and etch his name into history. Leicester lost only three league games all season. The more you think about it, now the established order has returned to normal, it seems even more remarkable. John Percy Leicester did the unthinkable by winning the Premier League as almighty underdogs Credit: AFP The jewel in the crown: Arsenal 1997/1998 Arsene Wenger has built three truly great sides during his Arsenal tenure but the first one was the best. The double-winning side of 1997/98 was built on the legacy of the George Graham years in the shape of the famous back four, while up front there was a devastating array of attacking options in Dennis Bergkamp, Nicolas Anelka and Marc Overmars. The jewel in the crown, though, was the central midfield partnership of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, surely the best the Premier League has seen. As a new team they took time to gel but their form from the turn of the year - 15 wins from 16 Premier League games, with an FA Cup thrown in for good measure - was the best of any Wenger team. Vieira and Petit with the FA Cup Credit: Russell Cheyne It may seem odd to select an Arsenal side other than the Invincibles but this team was slightly stronger defensively and would simply bully teams into submission, including a genuinely great Manchester United side. Some - such as Gary Neville - felt Arsenal’s 2003/04 side could sometimes be bullied themselves, an accusation you could never level at the 97/98 team. With Thierry Henry up front the 2001/02 double-winners are also worthy of consideration. But the team of Vieira, Petit and Tony Adams just edges it. Julian Bennetts

Can Man City's XI be hailed as the best? Our writers pick the finest teams they have seen in the flesh

Pace, power, a refusal to yield: Manchester United 2007-08   Unlike Manchester City’s accelerated opening this year, it started slowly for Manchester United in 2007-08: they didn’t register a win until their fourth league game, an undistinguished beginning reflected in the top-flight form of Cristiano Ronaldo, who didn’t score until the end of September. But thereafter he couldn’t stop: he ended with 31 league goals in 31 starts. With the kind of perfect timing that long characterised their manager Alex Ferguson’s approach to the title race, they won every game in March, without conceding a goal. It was, however, in the Champions League that this United side demonstrated how good they were. They won five and drew one of their group stage matches. They beat Lyon, Roma and Barcelona in the knockout stages, before easing past Chelsea in the final thanks to John Terry’s butter-footed penalty miss. Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw. The moment the team-sheet was handed in, the opposition was beaten. From Edwin van der Sar in goal, through the back four of Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, a midfield of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves and a front three of Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo, this was a team that perfectly mixed youth with experience, that had pace, power and balance coupled with a ruthless refusal to yield. Plus, it had plenty in reserve. Carlos Tevez (who made 34 appearances in the league alone), Nani, Louis Saha, Anderson and Darren Fletcher formed quite a bench. Jim White Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw Credit: Getty Images History makers: Manchester United 1998-99 The best-ever team has to be marked against an obvious criteria: what did they win. And only one team, the United side of 1998-99 has won the Champions League, the Premier League and FA Cup. It was never done before and has not been accomplished since. They were up against a formidable Arsenal side, Double winners the season before, who they also beat in a remarkable FA Cup semi-final, and they won the most dramatic Champions League final ever, against Bayern Munich. United had the most incredible midfield in Beckham, Scholes, Roy Keane and Giggs – and it is hard to see any of those players being dislodged by anyone who has played for United since – and a roster of impressive strikers. It was also Peter Schmeichel’s last season in goal for United who still had Gary Neville and Denis Irwin at full-backs with Jaap Stam having arrived at the heart of the defence. Jason Burt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holds aloft the Champions League trophy  Credit: Getty Images Dalglish’s darlings: Liverpool 1987-88 Kenny Dalglish lost Ian Rush to Juventus in the summer of 1987, but brought in John Aldridge, John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton. What followed was the most exciting Liverpool team there has been, not only breathtaking going forward but with the midfield authority of Ronnie Whelan and Steve McMahon. Then they had captain Alan Hansen striding upfield from centre-half, while Steve Nicol – the finest full back in Liverpool’s history – had a tendency to score a hat-trick in between unstoppable combinations with Barnes on the left wing. This side should have won the Double in consecutive years, inexplicably losing to Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup final before their last-minute title defeat to Arsenal in 1989. The 87-88 season saw just two league defeats, scoring 87 goals and conceding 24. Chris Bascombe Peter Beardsley was one of Liverpool's star players Credit: Getty Images Peak Ferguson: Manchester United 1993-94 They won what was then only the fifth Double in the history English football, having broken the club’s 26-year run without a league title the previous season. This was a vintage Alex Ferguson side, full of great players. Eric Cantona was at his best and there was an old guard including Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince, Schmeichel and, in his final season at the club, Bryan Robson. On the wings Ferguson had the choice of Ryan Giggs, Lee Sharpe and Andrei Kanchelskis. Keane had joined from Nottingham Forest in the summer. United went to the top of the table at the end of August and stayed there. At Maine Road in November they came from two goals behind to beat Manchester City 3-2 with Keane getting the late winner. Only Aston Villa in the League Cup final stopped United from a domestic Treble. United lost only six games in all competitions, four in the league and the first leg of a League Cup tie against Stoke, as well as the final.  Even their Champions League elimination, to Galatasaray, was on away goals. Ferguson’s first title-winning team had hit their peak. Sam Wallace Cantona kisses the FA Cup trophy in 1994 Credit: Getty Images Persistently thrilling: Manchester United 1998-99 There was much to admire about United’s 1993/94 side – “real tough b-----ds” as Ferguson used to call them. The Premier League and Champions League winners of 2007-08 were also formidable. But it  is impossible to look past the 1998-99 side, not least because of the scale of their achievement. No English side before or since has won the league, FA Cup and European Cup in a single season. It was, is and remains a truly remarkable feat. But, more than just the achievement itself, the manner in which footballing immortality was attained made it so much more and sparked feelings of awe and jealousy in rivals across the land. The team was built around a posse of academy graduates, something that resonates even more strongly today given how so many young English footballers are struggling to get a chance. The sheer force of personality and will in that team still takes the breath away, no better embodied than in the triumphant Champions League semi-final and final comebacks against Juventus and Bayern Munich respectively. And amid all the quality there was a kamikaze streak that made them such a persistently thrilling spectacle. They oozed greatness. James Ducker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck the winning goal in a dramatic finale Credit: Action Images “I would love it …”: Newcastle United 1995-96 A strange choice, perhaps, given they failed to win a single trophy that season but sometimes it is not just about silverware. Three years earlier, Newcastle had not even been in the top flight and were nothing more than a case study in how to turn a fanatical fan base against their club. Kevin Keegan changed that and unleashed a new power on the Premier League, playing a style of football that put entertainment above results. They were brilliant to watch and were desperately unlucky not to win the title that year. In the process  of creating a cosmopolitan, swash-buckling, attacking team, Keegan also completely altered perceptions of a northern industrial city that had fallen on hard times. Without the rebirth of its football team and the feelgood factor that spread, Newcastle would not be the confident, sparking jewel in the North it is today. Luke Edwards Keegan's Newcastle put entertaining above results Credit: Getty Images Day of the underdog: Leicester City 2016-17 The Arsenal Invincibles and Manchester United’s Treble-winners of the late 1990s boasted the best players of the Premier League era, but it would be churlish to ignore Leicester City as the greatest team. Not since the halcyon days of Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough have a team grabbed us by the shirt collar and shredded the established order to create such magic. Leicester, and Claudio Ranieri,  may well have capitalised on the underachievements of bigger clubs but this was a time when all the ingredients combined to carve out something special. Players such as Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and Wes Morgan were arguably at their career best, there was the emergence of a midfield destroyer named N’Golo Kante, while bargain buys Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater flourished in a team emboldened by spirit and togetherness. Ranieri had just experienced a nightmare with the Greece national team, only to recover spectacularly and etch his name into history. Leicester lost only three league games all season. The more you think about it, now the established order has returned to normal, it seems even more remarkable. John Percy Leicester did the unthinkable by winning the Premier League as almighty underdogs Credit: AFP The jewel in the crown: Arsenal 1997/1998 Arsene Wenger has built three truly great sides during his Arsenal tenure but the first one was the best. The double-winning side of 1997/98 was built on the legacy of the George Graham years in the shape of the famous back four, while up front there was a devastating array of attacking options in Dennis Bergkamp, Nicolas Anelka and Marc Overmars. The jewel in the crown, though, was the central midfield partnership of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, surely the best the Premier League has seen. As a new team they took time to gel but their form from the turn of the year - 15 wins from 16 Premier League games, with an FA Cup thrown in for good measure - was the best of any Wenger team. Vieira and Petit with the FA Cup Credit: Russell Cheyne It may seem odd to select an Arsenal side other than the Invincibles but this team was slightly stronger defensively and would simply bully teams into submission, including a genuinely great Manchester United side. Some - such as Gary Neville - felt Arsenal’s 2003/04 side could sometimes be bullied themselves, an accusation you could never level at the 97/98 team. With Thierry Henry up front the 2001/02 double-winners are also worthy of consideration. But the team of Vieira, Petit and Tony Adams just edges it. Julian Bennetts

Can Man City's XI be hailed as the best? Our writers pick the finest teams they have seen in the flesh

Pace, power, a refusal to yield: Manchester United 2007-08   Unlike Manchester City’s accelerated opening this year, it started slowly for Manchester United in 2007-08: they didn’t register a win until their fourth league game, an undistinguished beginning reflected in the top-flight form of Cristiano Ronaldo, who didn’t score until the end of September. But thereafter he couldn’t stop: he ended with 31 league goals in 31 starts. With the kind of perfect timing that long characterised their manager Alex Ferguson’s approach to the title race, they won every game in March, without conceding a goal. It was, however, in the Champions League that this United side demonstrated how good they were. They won five and drew one of their group stage matches. They beat Lyon, Roma and Barcelona in the knockout stages, before easing past Chelsea in the final thanks to John Terry’s butter-footed penalty miss. Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw. The moment the team-sheet was handed in, the opposition was beaten. From Edwin van der Sar in goal, through the back four of Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, a midfield of Paul Scholes, Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves and a front three of Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo, this was a team that perfectly mixed youth with experience, that had pace, power and balance coupled with a ruthless refusal to yield. Plus, it had plenty in reserve. Carlos Tevez (who made 34 appearances in the league alone), Nani, Louis Saha, Anderson and Darren Fletcher formed quite a bench. Jim White Ferguson’s third and last great United side, had no visible flaw Credit: Getty Images History makers: Manchester United 1998-99 The best-ever team has to be marked against an obvious criteria: what did they win. And only one team, the United side of 1998-99 has won the Champions League, the Premier League and FA Cup. It was never done before and has not been accomplished since. They were up against a formidable Arsenal side, Double winners the season before, who they also beat in a remarkable FA Cup semi-final, and they won the most dramatic Champions League final ever, against Bayern Munich. United had the most incredible midfield in Beckham, Scholes, Roy Keane and Giggs – and it is hard to see any of those players being dislodged by anyone who has played for United since – and a roster of impressive strikers. It was also Peter Schmeichel’s last season in goal for United who still had Gary Neville and Denis Irwin at full-backs with Jaap Stam having arrived at the heart of the defence. Jason Burt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holds aloft the Champions League trophy  Credit: Getty Images Dalglish’s darlings: Liverpool 1987-88 Kenny Dalglish lost Ian Rush to Juventus in the summer of 1987, but brought in John Aldridge, John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton. What followed was the most exciting Liverpool team there has been, not only breathtaking going forward but with the midfield authority of Ronnie Whelan and Steve McMahon. Then they had captain Alan Hansen striding upfield from centre-half, while Steve Nicol – the finest full back in Liverpool’s history – had a tendency to score a hat-trick in between unstoppable combinations with Barnes on the left wing. This side should have won the Double in consecutive years, inexplicably losing to Wimbledon in the 1988 FA Cup final before their last-minute title defeat to Arsenal in 1989. The 87-88 season saw just two league defeats, scoring 87 goals and conceding 24. Chris Bascombe Peter Beardsley was one of Liverpool's star players Credit: Getty Images Peak Ferguson: Manchester United 1993-94 They won what was then only the fifth Double in the history English football, having broken the club’s 26-year run without a league title the previous season. This was a vintage Alex Ferguson side, full of great players. Eric Cantona was at his best and there was an old guard including Mark Hughes, Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Paul Ince, Schmeichel and, in his final season at the club, Bryan Robson. On the wings Ferguson had the choice of Ryan Giggs, Lee Sharpe and Andrei Kanchelskis. Keane had joined from Nottingham Forest in the summer. United went to the top of the table at the end of August and stayed there. At Maine Road in November they came from two goals behind to beat Manchester City 3-2 with Keane getting the late winner. Only Aston Villa in the League Cup final stopped United from a domestic Treble. United lost only six games in all competitions, four in the league and the first leg of a League Cup tie against Stoke, as well as the final.  Even their Champions League elimination, to Galatasaray, was on away goals. Ferguson’s first title-winning team had hit their peak. Sam Wallace Cantona kisses the FA Cup trophy in 1994 Credit: Getty Images Persistently thrilling: Manchester United 1998-99 There was much to admire about United’s 1993/94 side – “real tough b-----ds” as Ferguson used to call them. The Premier League and Champions League winners of 2007-08 were also formidable. But it  is impossible to look past the 1998-99 side, not least because of the scale of their achievement. No English side before or since has won the league, FA Cup and European Cup in a single season. It was, is and remains a truly remarkable feat. But, more than just the achievement itself, the manner in which footballing immortality was attained made it so much more and sparked feelings of awe and jealousy in rivals across the land. The team was built around a posse of academy graduates, something that resonates even more strongly today given how so many young English footballers are struggling to get a chance. The sheer force of personality and will in that team still takes the breath away, no better embodied than in the triumphant Champions League semi-final and final comebacks against Juventus and Bayern Munich respectively. And amid all the quality there was a kamikaze streak that made them such a persistently thrilling spectacle. They oozed greatness. James Ducker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck the winning goal in a dramatic finale Credit: Action Images “I would love it …”: Newcastle United 1995-96 A strange choice, perhaps, given they failed to win a single trophy that season but sometimes it is not just about silverware. Three years earlier, Newcastle had not even been in the top flight and were nothing more than a case study in how to turn a fanatical fan base against their club. Kevin Keegan changed that and unleashed a new power on the Premier League, playing a style of football that put entertainment above results. They were brilliant to watch and were desperately unlucky not to win the title that year. In the process  of creating a cosmopolitan, swash-buckling, attacking team, Keegan also completely altered perceptions of a northern industrial city that had fallen on hard times. Without the rebirth of its football team and the feelgood factor that spread, Newcastle would not be the confident, sparking jewel in the North it is today. Luke Edwards Keegan's Newcastle put entertaining above results Credit: Getty Images Day of the underdog: Leicester City 2016-17 The Arsenal Invincibles and Manchester United’s Treble-winners of the late 1990s boasted the best players of the Premier League era, but it would be churlish to ignore Leicester City as the greatest team. Not since the halcyon days of Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough have a team grabbed us by the shirt collar and shredded the established order to create such magic. Leicester, and Claudio Ranieri,  may well have capitalised on the underachievements of bigger clubs but this was a time when all the ingredients combined to carve out something special. Players such as Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and Wes Morgan were arguably at their career best, there was the emergence of a midfield destroyer named N’Golo Kante, while bargain buys Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwater flourished in a team emboldened by spirit and togetherness. Ranieri had just experienced a nightmare with the Greece national team, only to recover spectacularly and etch his name into history. Leicester lost only three league games all season. The more you think about it, now the established order has returned to normal, it seems even more remarkable. John Percy Leicester did the unthinkable by winning the Premier League as almighty underdogs Credit: AFP The jewel in the crown: Arsenal 1997/1998 Arsene Wenger has built three truly great sides during his Arsenal tenure but the first one was the best. The double-winning side of 1997/98 was built on the legacy of the George Graham years in the shape of the famous back four, while up front there was a devastating array of attacking options in Dennis Bergkamp, Nicolas Anelka and Marc Overmars. The jewel in the crown, though, was the central midfield partnership of Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, surely the best the Premier League has seen. As a new team they took time to gel but their form from the turn of the year - 15 wins from 16 Premier League games, with an FA Cup thrown in for good measure - was the best of any Wenger team. Vieira and Petit with the FA Cup Credit: Russell Cheyne It may seem odd to select an Arsenal side other than the Invincibles but this team was slightly stronger defensively and would simply bully teams into submission, including a genuinely great Manchester United side. Some - such as Gary Neville - felt Arsenal’s 2003/04 side could sometimes be bullied themselves, an accusation you could never level at the 97/98 team. With Thierry Henry up front the 2001/02 double-winners are also worthy of consideration. But the team of Vieira, Petit and Tony Adams just edges it. Julian Bennetts

Nottingham Forest 0 Cardiff 2: Visitors stay in touch at top of table, but time-wasting tactics anger hosts

Nottingham Forest 0 Cardiff 2: Visitors stay in touch at top of table, but time-wasting tactics anger hosts

Cardiff City's Junior Hoilett and Danny Ward see off Nottingham Forest to stay on Wolves' tails

Cardiff City's Junior Hoilett and Danny Ward see off Nottingham Forest to stay on Wolves' tails

Cardiff City's Junior Hoilett and Danny Ward see off Nottingham Forest to stay on Wolves' tails

Cardiff City's Junior Hoilett and Danny Ward see off Nottingham Forest to stay on Wolves' tails

Cardiff City's Junior Hoilett and Danny Ward see off Nottingham Forest to stay on Wolves' tails

Cardiff City's Junior Hoilett and Danny Ward see off Nottingham Forest to stay on Wolves' tails

Nottingham Forest 0 Cardiff City 2: Ward stunner helps continue Bluebirds' run

Cardiff City kept pace with first-place Wolves in the Championship with a convincing 2-0 victory over Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

Who is your club's most exciting youth prospect?

Injuries may have forced his hand, but Gareth Southgate won plenty of goodwill from England fans by giving youth a chance against Germany and Brazil. Supporters find themselves rooting for the youngsters in a team for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there is an obvious romantic attachment to those viewed as 'one of your own', players who are more easily related to than your average Premier League player.  Expectation levels are also lowered when there are some fledglings on the team sheet, and because fans are often watching players for the first time their initial instinct is to accentuate good points and turn a blind eye to the bad. A victory is extra special, but any defeat can easily be explained away with 'we had the kids out'. This diffuses the frothing discontent that is so commonplace among fanbases today. So who is your club's most exciting youngster?  Arsenal  Reiss Nelson  Arsenal lost the promising Chris Willock to Benfica last summer and sold Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool, but Nelson can ensure fans quickly forget about both. Spurs were interested in him as a nine-year-old, but the red half of north London acted quickly to take him to Hale End - the site of their academy. Although Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah are promising, Nelson is the jewel in the crown.  The 17-year-old is a natural dribbler, gliding past opponents with ease and usually from the right-flank. During his Carabao Cup and Europa League starts this season, Arsene Wenger has employed him as a right-wing back which has curtailed his offensive potential. Expect to see more spectacular performances if he is played in an advanced position.  Nelson regularly started as a No.10 in the youth teams, so has highly developed spacial awareness and ability to cope in confined areas. Whereas Oxlade-Chamberlain more of a bustling 'push and run' dribbler, Nelson keeps the ball a little closer to him - not unlike his teammate Jack Wilshere, and also has a talent for scoring free-kicks.  Reiss Nelson is Arsenal's best young prospect Credit: Getty Images Bournemouth  Lewis Cook Centre back Brennan Camp, 17, could prove Bournemouth's next homegrown prospect but their best youngster is in fact a recruit from Leeds United. Cook received an England call-up in the last international break, and might well get more opportunities given England's lack of central midfield options. He also played on the flanks while at Elland Road, and Cook's main strength is his ability to carry the ball from central areas. He shields the ball very well, getting his body between ball and opponent. This also means he wins more duels than a player of his stature has a right to. Bournemouth did not attempt to sign Wilshere on a permanent basis, and Cook could well be the reason for that. Burnley Dwight McNeil   Any 17-year-old playing for an Under-23 team is worthy of attention, even if Burnley's academy is not swollen with talent like some of the bigger clubs. McNeil, who usually plays as a winger, has been singled out for praise by youth team coach and former Burnley defender Michael Duffy.   "He was a first year last year with the 18s with me and you can see he's got ability," Duff said. "It's about honing that and channeling it in the right direction, keeping his feet on the ground. He's scored a couple of goals in front of a Turf Moor crowd of about 100, ideally we want him scoring goals in front of a Turf Moor crowd of 25,000. That's the key." McNeil in Burnley Under-23s top goalscorer this season, and a club on Burnley's frugal budget they need to extract every last ounce of potential from their academy.  Brighton and Hove Albion Jayson Molumby  Midfield partner Dessie Hutchinson deserves a mention - Chris Hughton felt confident enough to start both he a Molumby in the Carabao Cup this season. However, Molumby is two years younger and was nominated for Ireland's Under-17 Player of the Year in 2016 - which was eventually won by West Ham's Declan Rice. Ireland desperately need some fresh blood, although Molumby will find Premier League minutes hard to come by as Brighton fight to stay up.  Chelsea Callum Hudson-Odoi Where do you start at Chelsea? Lewis Baker, Dujon Sterling, Trevoh Chalobah, Ethan Ampadu, Ike Ugbo among others could easily have been our choice. However, Hudson-Odoi's versatility mean he has the potential to grow into numerous different roles. This is important because young players rarely get a first-team chance in their 'natural' position, but instead are used wherever there is a lack of bodies.  Callum Hudson-Odoi in last season's Youth Cup final Credit: Rex Features A World Cup winner with England's Under-17s and provider of three assists in the final against Spain, the Chelsea man can occupy any offensive position across the pitch. Has consistently played 'above his age' at during his time at Stamford Bridge, and only turned 17 on November 7.  Crystal Palace Nya Kirby  In an act of minor revenge for the John Bostock saga, Palace managed to prise Kirby away from Tottenham and the England youth international was part of their pre-season tour of the Far East. Kirby has played most of his football in central midfield, where he likes to dribble with the ball to attract opponents and create space ahead of him.  Kirby is another on this list who was part of England's triumphant Under-17s team in India, and said: “When we met up at the start, everyone had a good winning mentality and we went out there trying to win it.We were there for five weeks but we had a good bunch of lads and it was a great place. The fans were amazing; in the final there were 63,000 in attendance which was incredible.” Everton Jonjoe Kenny  Despite their reputation for giving young players first-team opportunities, a number of prospects have proven dead ends: James Vaughan, Victor Anichebe, Jack Rodwell and even, if his situation remains the same, Ross Barkley.  The generation lead by Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are hoping to be more durable, and young full-back Jonjoe Kenny is particularly well regarded. Everton will need a long-term replacement for Seamus Coleman, and the 20-year-old Kenny is the next cab off the rank. Alexis Sanchez gave him a rough ride in a 5-2 defeat last month, and he sliced one into his own net at Leicester, but such chastening experiences are part of a young player's development. Needs to avoid a serious injury, like the one that thwarted a promising full-back from across Stanley Park, Jon Flanagan.  Huddersfield Town Philip Billing Currently on the treatment table, the 21-year-old Danish midfielder caught the eye in Huddersfield's FA Cup replay at Manchester City last season where Alan Shearer described his performance as 'brilliant'. The club's young player of the year in each of the last two seasons, Billing is a rangy central midfielder who stands out from the pack by virtue of being 6ft 5in tall and left-footed. Long-range strikes at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City, Huddersfield's goal of the season in their promotion campaign, are proof of sound technique too.  The best young players in world football Leicester City Hamza Choudhury  An impressive afro makes him instantly recognisable, and Choudhury made his senior Leicester debut against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup this season. The 20-year-old grew up in Leicestershire and captained the club's Under-23s team. A midfielder by trade, he benefited from a loan spell with then League One club Burton Albion. His immediate family are from Bangladesh, and he could prove something of a trailblazer as one of the first top-flight British Asian footballers since Fulham's Zesh Rehman more than a decade ago.  Choudbury told the Leicester Mercury:  “Asians have family everywhere. We are all very close, so when something heart-warming happens everyone gets together to celebrate, like my debut. “I don’t really feel any pressure about being a professional from an Asian background. My family have been a great help with that, just telling me to enjoy it. “If I turned around tomorrow and said I didn’t want to play football any more they would support me. I really have their backing no matter what I don’t feel any pressure.” Liverpool Rhian Brewster An obvious choice after his goalscoring heroics at the Under-17 World Cup. Brewster actually hails from east London, and joined Liverpool from Chelsea's academy aged 15, and has since been fast-tracked into their Under-23 development team. Described as a 'natural striker' by Jurgen Klopp, Brewster has inevitably attracted comparisons to former Melwood whirlwinds Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen.  His eight goals at the World Cup were evidence of intuitive anticipation in the penalty area, but interestingly Brewster has worn the No.10 shirt for Liverpool's youth teams. A glance at his highlights show a player happy to drop off the last line of defence to link play and provide for others, though this might be a reflection of the fact he is comfortably the best player in his age group. These skills might be redundant as he develops into a centre forward at senior level, but the ability to fit into a collective is important in today's game - particularly under Jurgen Klopp. Just ask Daniel Sturridge.  Manchester City Phil Foden Like Chelsea, Man City have a treasure trove of promising players coming through. Brahim Diaz should be mentioned in dispatches, but Phil Foden is the apple of Pep Guardiola's eye. Comfortable in any midfield role, the 17-year-old has already been called up to train with City's first team and would have played against Wolves in the Carabao Cup but for England commitments at the World Cup in India. He played his part in their victory over Spain in the final, scoring twice.  Foden impressed in a pre-season outing against Manchester United this summer, rarely taking more than two touches as a he fitted seamlessly into Guardiola's style of play. Opponents will note he is strongly left-footed, but his spatial awareness and scanning of the pitch means he moves the ball quickly enough before they can force him onto his right. There will be comparisons with Wilshere, but Foden is probably more of a passer than a dribbler.  Rhian Brewster and Phil Foden's mantelpieces will be full after their summer success Credit: PA Manchester United Axel Tuanzebe  As Jose Mourinho prioritised the Europa League in the closing stretch of last season, Tuanzebe got some first-team minutes, notably away at Arsenal. The 20-year-old's favourite position is centre-back, but his opportunities at senior level could come as a full-back while he has also played in central midfield. His signature move is the way he changes gear and drives away from opponents, and his calmness in possession puts Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to shame. With the latter likely to be moved on by Jose Mourinho before too long, a pathway could open up for Tuanzebe.  Newcastle United Dan Barlaser Born in Gateshead but a Turker Under-17 international, Barlaser has just signed a contract extension to keep him at Newcastle until 2019. The 20-year-old midfielder has made three first-team appearances, and is regarded as an energetic midfielder. A former winger, Barlaser looks to control games with his passing range and also likes to shoot from distance. Rafael Benitez will plump for experience as Newcastle look to secure Premier League survival, but it has been too long since Newcastle fans really grew to love a local lad.  Southampton  Callum Slattery  An England international at youth level, Slattery signed a three-year-contract with Southampton this summer which is a mark of the club's faith in the young midfielder. Hoping to follow the likes of Callum Chambers, Matt Targett, Luke Shaw, Jack Stephens and Josh Sims and progress to Southampton's first team, Slattery is viewed as a box-to-box midfielder. The 18-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance on the south coast, and with the amount of competition in Southampton's midfield that is unlikely to change soon. If only he was a striker...  Callum Slattery in action against Cardiff's Under-23s Credit: Getty Images Stoke City Tyrese Campbell Son of pin-stripped former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell, Tyrese was picked out by Stoke manager Mark Hughes as a player with the potential to make it at Premier League level. Hughes said: "He and his father clearly looked at his prospects at Man City, a fantastic operation and clearly a great club and a huge stage for any player, but for younger players it is difficult to break through. “So we presented to him and said, ‘Listen, if you progress and you fulfil the potential that we think you’ve got then there is going to be that pathway to the first team and it is going to happen quicker than you think possibly’.” Campbell's four goals in Premier League 2 this season have all come from the penalty spot, and coach Glyn Hodges has called on him to be more selfish in front of goal.  Swansea City Joe Rodon Dubbed the 'Welsh John Stones', Rodon has attracted the attention of Celtic and Manchester City with his performances at youth level for club and country. The 20-year-old defender is yet to make his full Swansea debut, but did get to train with Chris Coleman's Wales squad in the March international break along with former teammates Neil Taylor and Ashley Williams.  "The old Swansea boys took care of me and I thought I had got off pretty lightly until they turned around and told me I could not go until I had done my initiation," Rodon recalled to Wales Online.  "I can't thank them enough for that! "I ended up doing 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Tyrell. "A few of the boys said it was pretty old school for someone of my age, but I'm definitely not going to say if I did it any justice or not!"  Tottenham Hotspur  Marcus Edwards  Mauricio Pochettino has not even bothered to play it cool with Edwards, nicknaming him 'Mini-Messi' at the Spurs training ground. His name has been on the grapevine for a few years now, but Edwards is still only 18. Slight, with a low centre of gravity, Edwards loves to drift to the right flank before cutting inside onto his favoured left-foot. As Pochettino's moniker for him suggests, Edwards loves to carry the fall and commit defenders.  This could potentially stand him in good stead because on thing Spurs lack, for all their qualities, is a wide player with trickery. Their most laboured performances this season have come at Wembley against Burnley, Swansea, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace - teams who put numbers behind the ball and asked Spurs to break them down. The likes of Clinton Njié and Georges-Kévin N'Koudou failed to make the cut, but Edwards could be the final piece in Pochettino's puzzle.  The first of many north London derbies for Marcus Edwards? Credit: Getty Images Watford  Isaac Success He might sound like a minor Martin Amis character, and behave like one off the pitch, but Success is a hugely talented player who Marco Silva believes still has a future at Vicarage Road. The 21-year-old showed enough last season to suggest he might be right, when his pace and ability on the flanks caught the eye. The performances of new singing Richarlison however, might restrict future opportunities.  West Bromwich Albion  Sam Field Tony Pulis is a footballing conservative, so handing eight Premier League appearances to teenage midfielder Sam Field says plenty about his qualities. Pulis even described Field's performance against Chelsea last term as 'smashing'. Despite interest from several Championship clubs this summer, Field has stayed at West Brom to continue his development in the youth teams. Supporting West Brom is a bit of a drag at present, but Field is one reason for optimism.  West Ham United  Declan Rice Reece Oxford will run him close, but Rice could be the long-term answer to the defensive vulnerabilities that have hindered West Ham for so long. The 18-year-old centre back has already tasted Premier League football this season, and Slaven Bilic trusted him to occupy the central position when West Ham played with a back three. There is also evidence of the 'leadership' attributes that coaches crave, as Rice captained West Ham's Under-23s to the Premier League 2 title last season. 

Who is your club's most exciting youth prospect?

Injuries may have forced his hand, but Gareth Southgate won plenty of goodwill from England fans by giving youth a chance against Germany and Brazil. Supporters find themselves rooting for the youngsters in a team for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there is an obvious romantic attachment to those viewed as 'one of your own', players who are more easily related to than your average Premier League player.  Expectation levels are also lowered when there are some fledglings on the team sheet, and because fans are often watching players for the first time their initial instinct is to accentuate good points and turn a blind eye to the bad. A victory is extra special, but any defeat can easily be explained away with 'we had the kids out'. This diffuses the frothing discontent that is so commonplace among fanbases today. So who is your club's most exciting youngster?  Arsenal  Reiss Nelson  Arsenal lost the promising Chris Willock to Benfica last summer and sold Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool, but Nelson can ensure fans quickly forget about both. Spurs were interested in him as a nine-year-old, but the red half of north London acted quickly to take him to Hale End - the site of their academy. Although Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah are promising, Nelson is the jewel in the crown.  The 17-year-old is a natural dribbler, gliding past opponents with ease and usually from the right-flank. During his Carabao Cup and Europa League starts this season, Arsene Wenger has employed him as a right-wing back which has curtailed his offensive potential. Expect to see more spectacular performances if he is played in an advanced position.  Nelson regularly started as a No.10 in the youth teams, so has highly developed spacial awareness and ability to cope in confined areas. Whereas Oxlade-Chamberlain more of a bustling 'push and run' dribbler, Nelson keeps the ball a little closer to him - not unlike his teammate Jack Wilshere, and also has a talent for scoring free-kicks.  Reiss Nelson is Arsenal's best young prospect Credit: Getty Images Bournemouth  Lewis Cook Centre back Brennan Camp, 17, could prove Bournemouth's next homegrown prospect but their best youngster is in fact a recruit from Leeds United. Cook received an England call-up in the last international break, and might well get more opportunities given England's lack of central midfield options. He also played on the flanks while at Elland Road, and Cook's main strength is his ability to carry the ball from central areas. He shields the ball very well, getting his body between ball and opponent. This also means he wins more duels than a player of his stature has a right to. Bournemouth did not attempt to sign Wilshere on a permanent basis, and Cook could well be the reason for that. Burnley Dwight McNeil   Any 17-year-old playing for an Under-23 team is worthy of attention, even if Burnley's academy is not swollen with talent like some of the bigger clubs. McNeil, who usually plays as a winger, has been singled out for praise by youth team coach and former Burnley defender Michael Duffy.   "He was a first year last year with the 18s with me and you can see he's got ability," Duff said. "It's about honing that and channeling it in the right direction, keeping his feet on the ground. He's scored a couple of goals in front of a Turf Moor crowd of about 100, ideally we want him scoring goals in front of a Turf Moor crowd of 25,000. That's the key." McNeil in Burnley Under-23s top goalscorer this season, and a club on Burnley's frugal budget they need to extract every last ounce of potential from their academy.  Brighton and Hove Albion Jayson Molumby  Midfield partner Dessie Hutchinson deserves a mention - Chris Hughton felt confident enough to start both he a Molumby in the Carabao Cup this season. However, Molumby is two years younger and was nominated for Ireland's Under-17 Player of the Year in 2016 - which was eventually won by West Ham's Declan Rice. Ireland desperately need some fresh blood, although Molumby will find Premier League minutes hard to come by as Brighton fight to stay up.  Chelsea Callum Hudson-Odoi Where do you start at Chelsea? Lewis Baker, Dujon Sterling, Trevoh Chalobah, Ethan Ampadu, Ike Ugbo among others could easily have been our choice. However, Hudson-Odoi's versatility mean he has the potential to grow into numerous different roles. This is important because young players rarely get a first-team chance in their 'natural' position, but instead are used wherever there is a lack of bodies.  Callum Hudson-Odoi in last season's Youth Cup final Credit: Rex Features A World Cup winner with England's Under-17s and provider of three assists in the final against Spain, the Chelsea man can occupy any offensive position across the pitch. Has consistently played 'above his age' at during his time at Stamford Bridge, and only turned 17 on November 7.  Crystal Palace Nya Kirby  In an act of minor revenge for the John Bostock saga, Palace managed to prise Kirby away from Tottenham and the England youth international was part of their pre-season tour of the Far East. Kirby has played most of his football in central midfield, where he likes to dribble with the ball to attract opponents and create space ahead of him.  Kirby is another on this list who was part of England's triumphant Under-17s team in India, and said: “When we met up at the start, everyone had a good winning mentality and we went out there trying to win it.We were there for five weeks but we had a good bunch of lads and it was a great place. The fans were amazing; in the final there were 63,000 in attendance which was incredible.” Everton Jonjoe Kenny  Despite their reputation for giving young players first-team opportunities, a number of prospects have proven dead ends: James Vaughan, Victor Anichebe, Jack Rodwell and even, if his situation remains the same, Ross Barkley.  The generation lead by Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are hoping to be more durable, and young full-back Jonjoe Kenny is particularly well regarded. Everton will need a long-term replacement for Seamus Coleman, and the 20-year-old Kenny is the next cab off the rank. Alexis Sanchez gave him a rough ride in a 5-2 defeat last month, and he sliced one into his own net at Leicester, but such chastening experiences are part of a young player's development. Needs to avoid a serious injury, like the one that thwarted a promising full-back from across Stanley Park, Jon Flanagan.  Huddersfield Town Philip Billing Currently on the treatment table, the 21-year-old Danish midfielder caught the eye in Huddersfield's FA Cup replay at Manchester City last season where Alan Shearer described his performance as 'brilliant'. The club's young player of the year in each of the last two seasons, Billing is a rangy central midfielder who stands out from the pack by virtue of being 6ft 5in tall and left-footed. Long-range strikes at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City, Huddersfield's goal of the season in their promotion campaign, are proof of sound technique too.  The best young players in world football Leicester City Hamza Choudhury  An impressive afro makes him instantly recognisable, and Choudhury made his senior Leicester debut against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup this season. The 20-year-old grew up in Leicestershire and captained the club's Under-23s team. A midfielder by trade, he benefited from a loan spell with then League One club Burton Albion. His immediate family are from Bangladesh, and he could prove something of a trailblazer as one of the first top-flight British Asian footballers since Fulham's Zesh Rehman more than a decade ago.  Choudbury told the Leicester Mercury:  “Asians have family everywhere. We are all very close, so when something heart-warming happens everyone gets together to celebrate, like my debut. “I don’t really feel any pressure about being a professional from an Asian background. My family have been a great help with that, just telling me to enjoy it. “If I turned around tomorrow and said I didn’t want to play football any more they would support me. I really have their backing no matter what I don’t feel any pressure.” Liverpool Rhian Brewster An obvious choice after his goalscoring heroics at the Under-17 World Cup. Brewster actually hails from east London, and joined Liverpool from Chelsea's academy aged 15, and has since been fast-tracked into their Under-23 development team. Described as a 'natural striker' by Jurgen Klopp, Brewster has inevitably attracted comparisons to former Melwood whirlwinds Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen.  His eight goals at the World Cup were evidence of intuitive anticipation in the penalty area, but interestingly Brewster has worn the No.10 shirt for Liverpool's youth teams. A glance at his highlights show a player happy to drop off the last line of defence to link play and provide for others, though this might be a reflection of the fact he is comfortably the best player in his age group. These skills might be redundant as he develops into a centre forward at senior level, but the ability to fit into a collective is important in today's game - particularly under Jurgen Klopp. Just ask Daniel Sturridge.  Manchester City Phil Foden Like Chelsea, Man City have a treasure trove of promising players coming through. Brahim Diaz should be mentioned in dispatches, but Phil Foden is the apple of Pep Guardiola's eye. Comfortable in any midfield role, the 17-year-old has already been called up to train with City's first team and would have played against Wolves in the Carabao Cup but for England commitments at the World Cup in India. He played his part in their victory over Spain in the final, scoring twice.  Foden impressed in a pre-season outing against Manchester United this summer, rarely taking more than two touches as a he fitted seamlessly into Guardiola's style of play. Opponents will note he is strongly left-footed, but his spatial awareness and scanning of the pitch means he moves the ball quickly enough before they can force him onto his right. There will be comparisons with Wilshere, but Foden is probably more of a passer than a dribbler.  Rhian Brewster and Phil Foden's mantelpieces will be full after their summer success Credit: PA Manchester United Axel Tuanzebe  As Jose Mourinho prioritised the Europa League in the closing stretch of last season, Tuanzebe got some first-team minutes, notably away at Arsenal. The 20-year-old's favourite position is centre-back, but his opportunities at senior level could come as a full-back while he has also played in central midfield. His signature move is the way he changes gear and drives away from opponents, and his calmness in possession puts Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to shame. With the latter likely to be moved on by Jose Mourinho before too long, a pathway could open up for Tuanzebe.  Newcastle United Dan Barlaser Born in Gateshead but a Turker Under-17 international, Barlaser has just signed a contract extension to keep him at Newcastle until 2019. The 20-year-old midfielder has made three first-team appearances, and is regarded as an energetic midfielder. A former winger, Barlaser looks to control games with his passing range and also likes to shoot from distance. Rafael Benitez will plump for experience as Newcastle look to secure Premier League survival, but it has been too long since Newcastle fans really grew to love a local lad.  Southampton  Callum Slattery  An England international at youth level, Slattery signed a three-year-contract with Southampton this summer which is a mark of the club's faith in the young midfielder. Hoping to follow the likes of Callum Chambers, Matt Targett, Luke Shaw, Jack Stephens and Josh Sims and progress to Southampton's first team, Slattery is viewed as a box-to-box midfielder. The 18-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance on the south coast, and with the amount of competition in Southampton's midfield that is unlikely to change soon. If only he was a striker...  Callum Slattery in action against Cardiff's Under-23s Credit: Getty Images Stoke City Tyrese Campbell Son of pin-stripped former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell, Tyrese was picked out by Stoke manager Mark Hughes as a player with the potential to make it at Premier League level. Hughes said: "He and his father clearly looked at his prospects at Man City, a fantastic operation and clearly a great club and a huge stage for any player, but for younger players it is difficult to break through. “So we presented to him and said, ‘Listen, if you progress and you fulfil the potential that we think you’ve got then there is going to be that pathway to the first team and it is going to happen quicker than you think possibly’.” Campbell's four goals in Premier League 2 this season have all come from the penalty spot, and coach Glyn Hodges has called on him to be more selfish in front of goal.  Swansea City Joe Rodon Dubbed the 'Welsh John Stones', Rodon has attracted the attention of Celtic and Manchester City with his performances at youth level for club and country. The 20-year-old defender is yet to make his full Swansea debut, but did get to train with Chris Coleman's Wales squad in the March international break along with former teammates Neil Taylor and Ashley Williams.  "The old Swansea boys took care of me and I thought I had got off pretty lightly until they turned around and told me I could not go until I had done my initiation," Rodon recalled to Wales Online.  "I can't thank them enough for that! "I ended up doing 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Tyrell. "A few of the boys said it was pretty old school for someone of my age, but I'm definitely not going to say if I did it any justice or not!"  Tottenham Hotspur  Marcus Edwards  Mauricio Pochettino has not even bothered to play it cool with Edwards, nicknaming him 'Mini-Messi' at the Spurs training ground. His name has been on the grapevine for a few years now, but Edwards is still only 18. Slight, with a low centre of gravity, Edwards loves to drift to the right flank before cutting inside onto his favoured left-foot. As Pochettino's moniker for him suggests, Edwards loves to carry the fall and commit defenders.  This could potentially stand him in good stead because on thing Spurs lack, for all their qualities, is a wide player with trickery. Their most laboured performances this season have come at Wembley against Burnley, Swansea, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace - teams who put numbers behind the ball and asked Spurs to break them down. The likes of Clinton Njié and Georges-Kévin N'Koudou failed to make the cut, but Edwards could be the final piece in Pochettino's puzzle.  The first of many north London derbies for Marcus Edwards? Credit: Getty Images Watford  Isaac Success He might sound like a minor Martin Amis character, and behave like one off the pitch, but Success is a hugely talented player who Marco Silva believes still has a future at Vicarage Road. The 21-year-old showed enough last season to suggest he might be right, when his pace and ability on the flanks caught the eye. The performances of new singing Richarlison however, might restrict future opportunities.  West Bromwich Albion  Sam Field Tony Pulis is a footballing conservative, so handing eight Premier League appearances to teenage midfielder Sam Field says plenty about his qualities. Pulis even described Field's performance against Chelsea last term as 'smashing'. Despite interest from several Championship clubs this summer, Field has stayed at West Brom to continue his development in the youth teams. Supporting West Brom is a bit of a drag at present, but Field is one reason for optimism.  West Ham United  Declan Rice Reece Oxford will run him close, but Rice could be the long-term answer to the defensive vulnerabilities that have hindered West Ham for so long. The 18-year-old centre back has already tasted Premier League football this season, and Slaven Bilic trusted him to occupy the central position when West Ham played with a back three. There is also evidence of the 'leadership' attributes that coaches crave, as Rice captained West Ham's Under-23s to the Premier League 2 title last season. 

Who is your club's most exciting youth prospect?

Injuries may have forced his hand, but Gareth Southgate won plenty of goodwill from England fans by giving youth a chance against Germany and Brazil. Supporters find themselves rooting for the youngsters in a team for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there is an obvious romantic attachment to those viewed as 'one of your own', players who are more easily related to than your average Premier League player.  Expectation levels are also lowered when there are some fledglings on the team sheet, and because fans are often watching players for the first time their initial instinct is to accentuate good points and turn a blind eye to the bad. A victory is extra special, but any defeat can easily be explained away with 'we had the kids out'. This diffuses the frothing discontent that is so commonplace among fanbases today. So who is your club's most exciting youngster?  Arsenal  Reiss Nelson  Arsenal lost the promising Chris Willock to Benfica last summer and sold Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool, but Nelson can ensure fans quickly forget about both. Spurs were interested in him as a nine-year-old, but the red half of north London acted quickly to take him to Hale End - the site of their academy. Although Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah are promising, Nelson is the jewel in the crown.  The 17-year-old is a natural dribbler, gliding past opponents with ease and usually from the right-flank. During his Carabao Cup and Europa League starts this season, Arsene Wenger has employed him as a right-wing back which has curtailed his offensive potential. Expect to see more spectacular performances if he is played in an advanced position.  Nelson regularly started as a No.10 in the youth teams, so has highly developed spacial awareness and ability to cope in confined areas. Whereas Oxlade-Chamberlain more of a bustling 'push and run' dribbler, Nelson keeps the ball a little closer to him - not unlike his teammate Jack Wilshere, and also has a talent for scoring free-kicks.  Reiss Nelson is Arsenal's best young prospect Credit: Getty Images Bournemouth  Lewis Cook Centre back Brennan Camp, 17, could prove Bournemouth's next homegrown prospect but their best youngster is in fact a recruit from Leeds United. Cook received an England call-up in the last international break, and might well get more opportunities given England's lack of central midfield options. He also played on the flanks while at Elland Road, and Cook's main strength is his ability to carry the ball from central areas. He shields the ball very well, getting his body between ball and opponent. This also means he wins more duels than a player of his stature has a right to. Bournemouth did not attempt to sign Wilshere on a permanent basis, and Cook could well be the reason for that. Burnley Dwight McNeil   Any 17-year-old playing for an Under-23 team is worthy of attention, even if Burnley's academy is not swollen with talent like some of the bigger clubs. McNeil, who usually plays as a winger, has been singled out for praise by youth team coach and former Burnley defender Michael Duffy.   "He was a first year last year with the 18s with me and you can see he's got ability," Duff said. "It's about honing that and channeling it in the right direction, keeping his feet on the ground. He's scored a couple of goals in front of a Turf Moor crowd of about 100, ideally we want him scoring goals in front of a Turf Moor crowd of 25,000. That's the key." McNeil in Burnley Under-23s top goalscorer this season, and a club on Burnley's frugal budget they need to extract every last ounce of potential from their academy.  Brighton and Hove Albion Jayson Molumby  Midfield partner Dessie Hutchinson deserves a mention - Chris Hughton felt confident enough to start both he a Molumby in the Carabao Cup this season. However, Molumby is two years younger and was nominated for Ireland's Under-17 Player of the Year in 2016 - which was eventually won by West Ham's Declan Rice. Ireland desperately need some fresh blood, although Molumby will find Premier League minutes hard to come by as Brighton fight to stay up.  Chelsea Callum Hudson-Odoi Where do you start at Chelsea? Lewis Baker, Dujon Sterling, Trevoh Chalobah, Ethan Ampadu, Ike Ugbo among others could easily have been our choice. However, Hudson-Odoi's versatility mean he has the potential to grow into numerous different roles. This is important because young players rarely get a first-team chance in their 'natural' position, but instead are used wherever there is a lack of bodies.  Callum Hudson-Odoi in last season's Youth Cup final Credit: Rex Features A World Cup winner with England's Under-17s and provider of three assists in the final against Spain, the Chelsea man can occupy any offensive position across the pitch. Has consistently played 'above his age' at during his time at Stamford Bridge, and only turned 17 on November 7.  Crystal Palace Nya Kirby  In an act of minor revenge for the John Bostock saga, Palace managed to prise Kirby away from Tottenham and the England youth international was part of their pre-season tour of the Far East. Kirby has played most of his football in central midfield, where he likes to dribble with the ball to attract opponents and create space ahead of him.  Kirby is another on this list who was part of England's triumphant Under-17s team in India, and said: “When we met up at the start, everyone had a good winning mentality and we went out there trying to win it.We were there for five weeks but we had a good bunch of lads and it was a great place. The fans were amazing; in the final there were 63,000 in attendance which was incredible.” Everton Jonjoe Kenny  Despite their reputation for giving young players first-team opportunities, a number of prospects have proven dead ends: James Vaughan, Victor Anichebe, Jack Rodwell and even, if his situation remains the same, Ross Barkley.  The generation lead by Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are hoping to be more durable, and young full-back Jonjoe Kenny is particularly well regarded. Everton will need a long-term replacement for Seamus Coleman, and the 20-year-old Kenny is the next cab off the rank. Alexis Sanchez gave him a rough ride in a 5-2 defeat last month, and he sliced one into his own net at Leicester, but such chastening experiences are part of a young player's development. Needs to avoid a serious injury, like the one that thwarted a promising full-back from across Stanley Park, Jon Flanagan.  Huddersfield Town Philip Billing Currently on the treatment table, the 21-year-old Danish midfielder caught the eye in Huddersfield's FA Cup replay at Manchester City last season where Alan Shearer described his performance as 'brilliant'. The club's young player of the year in each of the last two seasons, Billing is a rangy central midfielder who stands out from the pack by virtue of being 6ft 5in tall and left-footed. Long-range strikes at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City, Huddersfield's goal of the season in their promotion campaign, are proof of sound technique too.  The best young players in world football Leicester City Hamza Choudhury  An impressive afro makes him instantly recognisable, and Choudhury made his senior Leicester debut against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup this season. The 20-year-old grew up in Leicestershire and captained the club's Under-23s team. A midfielder by trade, he benefited from a loan spell with then League One club Burton Albion. His immediate family are from Bangladesh, and he could prove something of a trailblazer as one of the first top-flight British Asian footballers since Fulham's Zesh Rehman more than a decade ago.  Choudbury told the Leicester Mercury:  “Asians have family everywhere. We are all very close, so when something heart-warming happens everyone gets together to celebrate, like my debut. “I don’t really feel any pressure about being a professional from an Asian background. My family have been a great help with that, just telling me to enjoy it. “If I turned around tomorrow and said I didn’t want to play football any more they would support me. I really have their backing no matter what I don’t feel any pressure.” Liverpool Rhian Brewster An obvious choice after his goalscoring heroics at the Under-17 World Cup. Brewster actually hails from east London, and joined Liverpool from Chelsea's academy aged 15, and has since been fast-tracked into their Under-23 development team. Described as a 'natural striker' by Jurgen Klopp, Brewster has inevitably attracted comparisons to former Melwood whirlwinds Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen.  His eight goals at the World Cup were evidence of intuitive anticipation in the penalty area, but interestingly Brewster has worn the No.10 shirt for Liverpool's youth teams. A glance at his highlights show a player happy to drop off the last line of defence to link play and provide for others, though this might be a reflection of the fact he is comfortably the best player in his age group. These skills might be redundant as he develops into a centre forward at senior level, but the ability to fit into a collective is important in today's game - particularly under Jurgen Klopp. Just ask Daniel Sturridge.  Manchester City Phil Foden Like Chelsea, Man City have a treasure trove of promising players coming through. Brahim Diaz should be mentioned in dispatches, but Phil Foden is the apple of Pep Guardiola's eye. Comfortable in any midfield role, the 17-year-old has already been called up to train with City's first team and would have played against Wolves in the Carabao Cup but for England commitments at the World Cup in India. He played his part in their victory over Spain in the final, scoring twice.  Foden impressed in a pre-season outing against Manchester United this summer, rarely taking more than two touches as a he fitted seamlessly into Guardiola's style of play. Opponents will note he is strongly left-footed, but his spatial awareness and scanning of the pitch means he moves the ball quickly enough before they can force him onto his right. There will be comparisons with Wilshere, but Foden is probably more of a passer than a dribbler.  Rhian Brewster and Phil Foden's mantelpieces will be full after their summer success Credit: PA Manchester United Axel Tuanzebe  As Jose Mourinho prioritised the Europa League in the closing stretch of last season, Tuanzebe got some first-team minutes, notably away at Arsenal. The 20-year-old's favourite position is centre-back, but his opportunities at senior level could come as a full-back while he has also played in central midfield. His signature move is the way he changes gear and drives away from opponents, and his calmness in possession puts Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to shame. With the latter likely to be moved on by Jose Mourinho before too long, a pathway could open up for Tuanzebe.  Newcastle United Dan Barlaser Born in Gateshead but a Turker Under-17 international, Barlaser has just signed a contract extension to keep him at Newcastle until 2019. The 20-year-old midfielder has made three first-team appearances, and is regarded as an energetic midfielder. A former winger, Barlaser looks to control games with his passing range and also likes to shoot from distance. Rafael Benitez will plump for experience as Newcastle look to secure Premier League survival, but it has been too long since Newcastle fans really grew to love a local lad.  Southampton  Callum Slattery  An England international at youth level, Slattery signed a three-year-contract with Southampton this summer which is a mark of the club's faith in the young midfielder. Hoping to follow the likes of Callum Chambers, Matt Targett, Luke Shaw, Jack Stephens and Josh Sims and progress to Southampton's first team, Slattery is viewed as a box-to-box midfielder. The 18-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance on the south coast, and with the amount of competition in Southampton's midfield that is unlikely to change soon. If only he was a striker...  Callum Slattery in action against Cardiff's Under-23s Credit: Getty Images Stoke City Tyrese Campbell Son of pin-stripped former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell, Tyrese was picked out by Stoke manager Mark Hughes as a player with the potential to make it at Premier League level. Hughes said: "He and his father clearly looked at his prospects at Man City, a fantastic operation and clearly a great club and a huge stage for any player, but for younger players it is difficult to break through. “So we presented to him and said, ‘Listen, if you progress and you fulfil the potential that we think you’ve got then there is going to be that pathway to the first team and it is going to happen quicker than you think possibly’.” Campbell's four goals in Premier League 2 this season have all come from the penalty spot, and coach Glyn Hodges has called on him to be more selfish in front of goal.  Swansea City Joe Rodon Dubbed the 'Welsh John Stones', Rodon has attracted the attention of Celtic and Manchester City with his performances at youth level for club and country. The 20-year-old defender is yet to make his full Swansea debut, but did get to train with Chris Coleman's Wales squad in the March international break along with former teammates Neil Taylor and Ashley Williams.  "The old Swansea boys took care of me and I thought I had got off pretty lightly until they turned around and told me I could not go until I had done my initiation," Rodon recalled to Wales Online.  "I can't thank them enough for that! "I ended up doing 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Tyrell. "A few of the boys said it was pretty old school for someone of my age, but I'm definitely not going to say if I did it any justice or not!"  Tottenham Hotspur  Marcus Edwards  Mauricio Pochettino has not even bothered to play it cool with Edwards, nicknaming him 'Mini-Messi' at the Spurs training ground. His name has been on the grapevine for a few years now, but Edwards is still only 18. Slight, with a low centre of gravity, Edwards loves to drift to the right flank before cutting inside onto his favoured left-foot. As Pochettino's moniker for him suggests, Edwards loves to carry the fall and commit defenders.  This could potentially stand him in good stead because on thing Spurs lack, for all their qualities, is a wide player with trickery. Their most laboured performances this season have come at Wembley against Burnley, Swansea, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace - teams who put numbers behind the ball and asked Spurs to break them down. The likes of Clinton Njié and Georges-Kévin N'Koudou failed to make the cut, but Edwards could be the final piece in Pochettino's puzzle.  The first of many north London derbies for Marcus Edwards? Credit: Getty Images Watford  Isaac Success He might sound like a minor Martin Amis character, and behave like one off the pitch, but Success is a hugely talented player who Marco Silva believes still has a future at Vicarage Road. The 21-year-old showed enough last season to suggest he might be right, when his pace and ability on the flanks caught the eye. The performances of new singing Richarlison however, might restrict future opportunities.  West Bromwich Albion  Sam Field Tony Pulis is a footballing conservative, so handing eight Premier League appearances to teenage midfielder Sam Field says plenty about his qualities. Pulis even described Field's performance against Chelsea last term as 'smashing'. Despite interest from several Championship clubs this summer, Field has stayed at West Brom to continue his development in the youth teams. Supporting West Brom is a bit of a drag at present, but Field is one reason for optimism.  West Ham United  Declan Rice Reece Oxford will run him close, but Rice could be the long-term answer to the defensive vulnerabilities that have hindered West Ham for so long. The 18-year-old centre back has already tasted Premier League football this season, and Slaven Bilic trusted him to occupy the central position when West Ham played with a back three. There is also evidence of the 'leadership' attributes that coaches crave, as Rice captained West Ham's Under-23s to the Premier League 2 title last season. 

Who is your club's most exciting youth prospect?

Injuries may have forced his hand, but Gareth Southgate won plenty of goodwill from England fans by giving youth a chance against Germany and Brazil. Supporters find themselves rooting for the youngsters in a team for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there is an obvious romantic attachment to those viewed as 'one of your own', players who are more easily related to than your average Premier League player.  Expectation levels are also lowered when there are some fledglings on the team sheet, and because fans are often watching players for the first time their initial instinct is to accentuate good points and turn a blind eye to the bad. A victory is extra special, but any defeat can easily be explained away with 'we had the kids out'. This diffuses the frothing discontent that is so commonplace among fanbases today. So who is your club's most exciting youngster?  Arsenal  Reiss Nelson  Arsenal lost the promising Chris Willock to Benfica last summer and sold Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool, but Nelson can ensure fans quickly forget about both. Spurs were interested in him as a nine-year-old, but the red half of north London acted quickly to take him to Hale End - the site of their academy. Although Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah are promising, Nelson is the jewel in the crown.  The 17-year-old is a natural dribbler, gliding past opponents with ease and usually from the right-flank. During his Carabao Cup and Europa League starts this season, Arsene Wenger has employed him as a right-wing back which has curtailed his offensive potential. Expect to see more spectacular performances if he is played in an advanced position.  Nelson regularly started as a No.10 in the youth teams, so has highly developed spacial awareness and ability to cope in confined areas. Whereas Oxlade-Chamberlain more of a bustling 'push and run' dribbler, Nelson keeps the ball a little closer to him - not unlike his teammate Jack Wilshere, and also has a talent for scoring free-kicks.  Reiss Nelson is Arsenal's best young prospect Credit: Getty Images Bournemouth  Lewis Cook Centre back Brennan Camp, 17, could prove Bournemouth's next homegrown prospect but their best youngster is in fact a recruit from Leeds United. Cook received an England call-up in the last international break, and might well get more opportunities given England's lack of central midfield options. He also played on the flanks while at Elland Road, and Cook's main strength is his ability to carry the ball from central areas. He shields the ball very well, getting his body between ball and opponent. This also means he wins more duels than a player of his stature has a right to. Bournemouth did not attempt to sign Wilshere on a permanent basis, and Cook could well be the reason for that. Burnley Dwight McNeil   Any 17-year-old playing for an Under-23 team is worthy of attention, even if Burnley's academy is not swollen with talent like some of the bigger clubs. McNeil, who usually plays as a winger, has been singled out for praise by youth team coach and former Burnley defender Michael Duffy.   "He was a first year last year with the 18s with me and you can see he's got ability," Duff said. "It's about honing that and channeling it in the right direction, keeping his feet on the ground. He's scored a couple of goals in front of a Turf Moor crowd of about 100, ideally we want him scoring goals in front of a Turf Moor crowd of 25,000. That's the key." McNeil in Burnley Under-23s top goalscorer this season, and a club on Burnley's frugal budget they need to extract every last ounce of potential from their academy.  Brighton and Hove Albion Jayson Molumby  Midfield partner Dessie Hutchinson deserves a mention - Chris Hughton felt confident enough to start both he a Molumby in the Carabao Cup this season. However, Molumby is two years younger and was nominated for Ireland's Under-17 Player of the Year in 2016 - which was eventually won by West Ham's Declan Rice. Ireland desperately need some fresh blood, although Molumby will find Premier League minutes hard to come by as Brighton fight to stay up.  Chelsea Callum Hudson-Odoi Where do you start at Chelsea? Lewis Baker, Dujon Sterling, Trevoh Chalobah, Ethan Ampadu, Ike Ugbo among others could easily have been our choice. However, Hudson-Odoi's versatility mean he has the potential to grow into numerous different roles. This is important because young players rarely get a first-team chance in their 'natural' position, but instead are used wherever there is a lack of bodies.  Callum Hudson-Odoi in last season's Youth Cup final Credit: Rex Features A World Cup winner with England's Under-17s and provider of three assists in the final against Spain, the Chelsea man can occupy any offensive position across the pitch. Has consistently played 'above his age' at during his time at Stamford Bridge, and only turned 17 on November 7.  Crystal Palace Nya Kirby  In an act of minor revenge for the John Bostock saga, Palace managed to prise Kirby away from Tottenham and the England youth international was part of their pre-season tour of the Far East. Kirby has played most of his football in central midfield, where he likes to dribble with the ball to attract opponents and create space ahead of him.  Kirby is another on this list who was part of England's triumphant Under-17s team in India, and said: “When we met up at the start, everyone had a good winning mentality and we went out there trying to win it.We were there for five weeks but we had a good bunch of lads and it was a great place. The fans were amazing; in the final there were 63,000 in attendance which was incredible.” Everton Jonjoe Kenny  Despite their reputation for giving young players first-team opportunities, a number of prospects have proven dead ends: James Vaughan, Victor Anichebe, Jack Rodwell and even, if his situation remains the same, Ross Barkley.  The generation lead by Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are hoping to be more durable, and young full-back Jonjoe Kenny is particularly well regarded. Everton will need a long-term replacement for Seamus Coleman, and the 20-year-old Kenny is the next cab off the rank. Alexis Sanchez gave him a rough ride in a 5-2 defeat last month, and he sliced one into his own net at Leicester, but such chastening experiences are part of a young player's development. Needs to avoid a serious injury, like the one that thwarted a promising full-back from across Stanley Park, Jon Flanagan.  Huddersfield Town Philip Billing Currently on the treatment table, the 21-year-old Danish midfielder caught the eye in Huddersfield's FA Cup replay at Manchester City last season where Alan Shearer described his performance as 'brilliant'. The club's young player of the year in each of the last two seasons, Billing is a rangy central midfielder who stands out from the pack by virtue of being 6ft 5in tall and left-footed. Long-range strikes at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City, Huddersfield's goal of the season in their promotion campaign, are proof of sound technique too.  The best young players in world football Leicester City Hamza Choudhury  An impressive afro makes him instantly recognisable, and Choudhury made his senior Leicester debut against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup this season. The 20-year-old grew up in Leicestershire and captained the club's Under-23s team. A midfielder by trade, he benefited from a loan spell with then League One club Burton Albion. His immediate family are from Bangladesh, and he could prove something of a trailblazer as one of the first top-flight British Asian footballers since Fulham's Zesh Rehman more than a decade ago.  Choudbury told the Leicester Mercury:  “Asians have family everywhere. We are all very close, so when something heart-warming happens everyone gets together to celebrate, like my debut. “I don’t really feel any pressure about being a professional from an Asian background. My family have been a great help with that, just telling me to enjoy it. “If I turned around tomorrow and said I didn’t want to play football any more they would support me. I really have their backing no matter what I don’t feel any pressure.” Liverpool Rhian Brewster An obvious choice after his goalscoring heroics at the Under-17 World Cup. Brewster actually hails from east London, and joined Liverpool from Chelsea's academy aged 15, and has since been fast-tracked into their Under-23 development team. Described as a 'natural striker' by Jurgen Klopp, Brewster has inevitably attracted comparisons to former Melwood whirlwinds Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen.  His eight goals at the World Cup were evidence of intuitive anticipation in the penalty area, but interestingly Brewster has worn the No.10 shirt for Liverpool's youth teams. A glance at his highlights show a player happy to drop off the last line of defence to link play and provide for others, though this might be a reflection of the fact he is comfortably the best player in his age group. These skills might be redundant as he develops into a centre forward at senior level, but the ability to fit into a collective is important in today's game - particularly under Jurgen Klopp. Just ask Daniel Sturridge.  Manchester City Phil Foden Like Chelsea, Man City have a treasure trove of promising players coming through. Brahim Diaz should be mentioned in dispatches, but Phil Foden is the apple of Pep Guardiola's eye. Comfortable in any midfield role, the 17-year-old has already been called up to train with City's first team and would have played against Wolves in the Carabao Cup but for England commitments at the World Cup in India. He played his part in their victory over Spain in the final, scoring twice.  Foden impressed in a pre-season outing against Manchester United this summer, rarely taking more than two touches as a he fitted seamlessly into Guardiola's style of play. Opponents will note he is strongly left-footed, but his spatial awareness and scanning of the pitch means he moves the ball quickly enough before they can force him onto his right. There will be comparisons with Wilshere, but Foden is probably more of a passer than a dribbler.  Rhian Brewster and Phil Foden's mantelpieces will be full after their summer success Credit: PA Manchester United Axel Tuanzebe  As Jose Mourinho prioritised the Europa League in the closing stretch of last season, Tuanzebe got some first-team minutes, notably away at Arsenal. The 20-year-old's favourite position is centre-back, but his opportunities at senior level could come as a full-back while he has also played in central midfield. His signature move is the way he changes gear and drives away from opponents, and his calmness in possession puts Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to shame. With the latter likely to be moved on by Jose Mourinho before too long, a pathway could open up for Tuanzebe.  Newcastle United Dan Barlaser Born in Gateshead but a Turker Under-17 international, Barlaser has just signed a contract extension to keep him at Newcastle until 2019. The 20-year-old midfielder has made three first-team appearances, and is regarded as an energetic midfielder. A former winger, Barlaser looks to control games with his passing range and also likes to shoot from distance. Rafael Benitez will plump for experience as Newcastle look to secure Premier League survival, but it has been too long since Newcastle fans really grew to love a local lad.  Southampton  Callum Slattery  An England international at youth level, Slattery signed a three-year-contract with Southampton this summer which is a mark of the club's faith in the young midfielder. Hoping to follow the likes of Callum Chambers, Matt Targett, Luke Shaw, Jack Stephens and Josh Sims and progress to Southampton's first team, Slattery is viewed as a box-to-box midfielder. The 18-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance on the south coast, and with the amount of competition in Southampton's midfield that is unlikely to change soon. If only he was a striker...  Callum Slattery in action against Cardiff's Under-23s Credit: Getty Images Stoke City Tyrese Campbell Son of pin-stripped former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell, Tyrese was picked out by Stoke manager Mark Hughes as a player with the potential to make it at Premier League level. Hughes said: "He and his father clearly looked at his prospects at Man City, a fantastic operation and clearly a great club and a huge stage for any player, but for younger players it is difficult to break through. “So we presented to him and said, ‘Listen, if you progress and you fulfil the potential that we think you’ve got then there is going to be that pathway to the first team and it is going to happen quicker than you think possibly’.” Campbell's four goals in Premier League 2 this season have all come from the penalty spot, and coach Glyn Hodges has called on him to be more selfish in front of goal.  Swansea City Joe Rodon Dubbed the 'Welsh John Stones', Rodon has attracted the attention of Celtic and Manchester City with his performances at youth level for club and country. The 20-year-old defender is yet to make his full Swansea debut, but did get to train with Chris Coleman's Wales squad in the March international break along with former teammates Neil Taylor and Ashley Williams.  "The old Swansea boys took care of me and I thought I had got off pretty lightly until they turned around and told me I could not go until I had done my initiation," Rodon recalled to Wales Online.  "I can't thank them enough for that! "I ended up doing 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Tyrell. "A few of the boys said it was pretty old school for someone of my age, but I'm definitely not going to say if I did it any justice or not!"  Tottenham Hotspur  Marcus Edwards  Mauricio Pochettino has not even bothered to play it cool with Edwards, nicknaming him 'Mini-Messi' at the Spurs training ground. His name has been on the grapevine for a few years now, but Edwards is still only 18. Slight, with a low centre of gravity, Edwards loves to drift to the right flank before cutting inside onto his favoured left-foot. As Pochettino's moniker for him suggests, Edwards loves to carry the fall and commit defenders.  This could potentially stand him in good stead because on thing Spurs lack, for all their qualities, is a wide player with trickery. Their most laboured performances this season have come at Wembley against Burnley, Swansea, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace - teams who put numbers behind the ball and asked Spurs to break them down. The likes of Clinton Njié and Georges-Kévin N'Koudou failed to make the cut, but Edwards could be the final piece in Pochettino's puzzle.  The first of many north London derbies for Marcus Edwards? Credit: Getty Images Watford  Isaac Success He might sound like a minor Martin Amis character, and behave like one off the pitch, but Success is a hugely talented player who Marco Silva believes still has a future at Vicarage Road. The 21-year-old showed enough last season to suggest he might be right, when his pace and ability on the flanks caught the eye. The performances of new singing Richarlison however, might restrict future opportunities.  West Bromwich Albion  Sam Field Tony Pulis is a footballing conservative, so handing eight Premier League appearances to teenage midfielder Sam Field says plenty about his qualities. Pulis even described Field's performance against Chelsea last term as 'smashing'. Despite interest from several Championship clubs this summer, Field has stayed at West Brom to continue his development in the youth teams. Supporting West Brom is a bit of a drag at present, but Field is one reason for optimism.  West Ham United  Declan Rice Reece Oxford will run him close, but Rice could be the long-term answer to the defensive vulnerabilities that have hindered West Ham for so long. The 18-year-old centre back has already tasted Premier League football this season, and Slaven Bilic trusted him to occupy the central position when West Ham played with a back three. There is also evidence of the 'leadership' attributes that coaches crave, as Rice captained West Ham's Under-23s to the Premier League 2 title last season. 

Who is your club's most exciting youth prospect?

Injuries may have forced his hand, but Gareth Southgate won plenty of goodwill from England fans by giving youth a chance against Germany and Brazil. Supporters find themselves rooting for the youngsters in a team for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there is an obvious romantic attachment to those viewed as 'one of your own', players who are more easily related to than your average Premier League player.  Expectation levels are also lowered when there are some fledglings on the team sheet, and because fans are often watching players for the first time their initial instinct is to accentuate good points and turn a blind eye to the bad. A victory is extra special, but any defeat can easily be explained away with 'we had the kids out'. This diffuses the frothing discontent that is so commonplace among fanbases today. So who is your club's most exciting youngster?  Arsenal  Reiss Nelson  Arsenal lost the promising Chris Willock to Benfica last summer and sold Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool, but Nelson can ensure fans quickly forget about both. Spurs were interested in him as a nine-year-old, but the red half of north London acted quickly to take him to Hale End - the site of their academy. Although Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah are promising, Nelson is the jewel in the crown.  The 17-year-old is a natural dribbler, gliding past opponents with ease and usually from the right-flank. During his Carabao Cup and Europa League starts this season, Arsene Wenger has employed him as a right-wing back which has curtailed his offensive potential. Expect to see more spectacular performances if he is played in an advanced position.  Nelson regularly started as a No.10 in the youth teams, so has highly developed spacial awareness and ability to cope in confined areas. Whereas Oxlade-Chamberlain more of a bustling 'push and run' dribbler, Nelson keeps the ball a little closer to him - not unlike his teammate Jack Wilshere, and also has a talent for scoring free-kicks.  Reiss Nelson is Arsenal's best young prospect Credit: Getty Images Bournemouth  Lewis Cook Centre back Brennan Camp, 17, could prove Bournemouth's next homegrown prospect but their best youngster is in fact a recruit from Leeds United. Cook received an England call-up in the last international break, and might well get more opportunities given England's lack of central midfield options. He also played on the flanks while at Elland Road, and Cook's main strength is his ability to carry the ball from central areas. He shields the ball very well, getting his body between ball and opponent. This also means he wins more duels than a player of his stature has a right to. Bournemouth did not attempt to sign Wilshere on a permanent basis, and Cook could well be the reason for that. Burnley Dwight McNeil   Any 17-year-old playing for an Under-23 team is worthy of attention, even if Burnley's academy is not swollen with talent like some of the bigger clubs. McNeil, who usually plays as a winger, has been singled out for praise by youth team coach and former Burnley defender Michael Duffy.   "He was a first year last year with the 18s with me and you can see he's got ability," Duff said. "It's about honing that and channeling it in the right direction, keeping his feet on the ground. He's scored a couple of goals in front of a Turf Moor crowd of about 100, ideally we want him scoring goals in front of a Turf Moor crowd of 25,000. That's the key." McNeil in Burnley Under-23s top goalscorer this season, and a club on Burnley's frugal budget they need to extract every last ounce of potential from their academy.  Brighton and Hove Albion Jayson Molumby  Midfield partner Dessie Hutchinson deserves a mention - Chris Hughton felt confident enough to start both he a Molumby in the Carabao Cup this season. However, Molumby is two years younger and was nominated for Ireland's Under-17 Player of the Year in 2016 - which was eventually won by West Ham's Declan Rice. Ireland desperately need some fresh blood, although Molumby will find Premier League minutes hard to come by as Brighton fight to stay up.  Chelsea Callum Hudson-Odoi Where do you start at Chelsea? Lewis Baker, Dujon Sterling, Trevoh Chalobah, Ethan Ampadu, Ike Ugbo among others could easily have been our choice. However, Hudson-Odoi's versatility mean he has the potential to grow into numerous different roles. This is important because young players rarely get a first-team chance in their 'natural' position, but instead are used wherever there is a lack of bodies.  Callum Hudson-Odoi in last season's Youth Cup final Credit: Rex Features A World Cup winner with England's Under-17s and provider of three assists in the final against Spain, the Chelsea man can occupy any offensive position across the pitch. Has consistently played 'above his age' at during his time at Stamford Bridge, and only turned 17 on November 7.  Crystal Palace Nya Kirby  In an act of minor revenge for the John Bostock saga, Palace managed to prise Kirby away from Tottenham and the England youth international was part of their pre-season tour of the Far East. Kirby has played most of his football in central midfield, where he likes to dribble with the ball to attract opponents and create space ahead of him.  Kirby is another on this list who was part of England's triumphant Under-17s team in India, and said: “When we met up at the start, everyone had a good winning mentality and we went out there trying to win it.We were there for five weeks but we had a good bunch of lads and it was a great place. The fans were amazing; in the final there were 63,000 in attendance which was incredible.” Everton Jonjoe Kenny  Despite their reputation for giving young players first-team opportunities, a number of prospects have proven dead ends: James Vaughan, Victor Anichebe, Jack Rodwell and even, if his situation remains the same, Ross Barkley.  The generation lead by Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are hoping to be more durable, and young full-back Jonjoe Kenny is particularly well regarded. Everton will need a long-term replacement for Seamus Coleman, and the 20-year-old Kenny is the next cab off the rank. Alexis Sanchez gave him a rough ride in a 5-2 defeat last month, and he sliced one into his own net at Leicester, but such chastening experiences are part of a young player's development. Needs to avoid a serious injury, like the one that thwarted a promising full-back from across Stanley Park, Jon Flanagan.  Huddersfield Town Philip Billing Currently on the treatment table, the 21-year-old Danish midfielder caught the eye in Huddersfield's FA Cup replay at Manchester City last season where Alan Shearer described his performance as 'brilliant'. The club's young player of the year in each of the last two seasons, Billing is a rangy central midfielder who stands out from the pack by virtue of being 6ft 5in tall and left-footed. Long-range strikes at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City, Huddersfield's goal of the season in their promotion campaign, are proof of sound technique too.  The best young players in world football Leicester City Hamza Choudhury  An impressive afro makes him instantly recognisable, and Choudhury made his senior Leicester debut against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup this season. The 20-year-old grew up in Leicestershire and captained the club's Under-23s team. A midfielder by trade, he benefited from a loan spell with then League One club Burton Albion. His immediate family are from Bangladesh, and he could prove something of a trailblazer as one of the first top-flight British Asian footballers since Fulham's Zesh Rehman more than a decade ago.  Choudbury told the Leicester Mercury:  “Asians have family everywhere. We are all very close, so when something heart-warming happens everyone gets together to celebrate, like my debut. “I don’t really feel any pressure about being a professional from an Asian background. My family have been a great help with that, just telling me to enjoy it. “If I turned around tomorrow and said I didn’t want to play football any more they would support me. I really have their backing no matter what I don’t feel any pressure.” Liverpool Rhian Brewster An obvious choice after his goalscoring heroics at the Under-17 World Cup. Brewster actually hails from east London, and joined Liverpool from Chelsea's academy aged 15, and has since been fast-tracked into their Under-23 development team. Described as a 'natural striker' by Jurgen Klopp, Brewster has inevitably attracted comparisons to former Melwood whirlwinds Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen.  His eight goals at the World Cup were evidence of intuitive anticipation in the penalty area, but interestingly Brewster has worn the No.10 shirt for Liverpool's youth teams. A glance at his highlights show a player happy to drop off the last line of defence to link play and provide for others, though this might be a reflection of the fact he is comfortably the best player in his age group. These skills might be redundant as he develops into a centre forward at senior level, but the ability to fit into a collective is important in today's game - particularly under Jurgen Klopp. Just ask Daniel Sturridge.  Manchester City Phil Foden Like Chelsea, Man City have a treasure trove of promising players coming through. Brahim Diaz should be mentioned in dispatches, but Phil Foden is the apple of Pep Guardiola's eye. Comfortable in any midfield role, the 17-year-old has already been called up to train with City's first team and would have played against Wolves in the Carabao Cup but for England commitments at the World Cup in India. He played his part in their victory over Spain in the final, scoring twice.  Foden impressed in a pre-season outing against Manchester United this summer, rarely taking more than two touches as a he fitted seamlessly into Guardiola's style of play. Opponents will note he is strongly left-footed, but his spatial awareness and scanning of the pitch means he moves the ball quickly enough before they can force him onto his right. There will be comparisons with Wilshere, but Foden is probably more of a passer than a dribbler.  Rhian Brewster and Phil Foden's mantelpieces will be full after their summer success Credit: PA Manchester United Axel Tuanzebe  As Jose Mourinho prioritised the Europa League in the closing stretch of last season, Tuanzebe got some first-team minutes, notably away at Arsenal. The 20-year-old's favourite position is centre-back, but his opportunities at senior level could come as a full-back while he has also played in central midfield. His signature move is the way he changes gear and drives away from opponents, and his calmness in possession puts Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to shame. With the latter likely to be moved on by Jose Mourinho before too long, a pathway could open up for Tuanzebe.  Newcastle United Dan Barlaser Born in Gateshead but a Turker Under-17 international, Barlaser has just signed a contract extension to keep him at Newcastle until 2019. The 20-year-old midfielder has made three first-team appearances, and is regarded as an energetic midfielder. A former winger, Barlaser looks to control games with his passing range and also likes to shoot from distance. Rafael Benitez will plump for experience as Newcastle look to secure Premier League survival, but it has been too long since Newcastle fans really grew to love a local lad.  Southampton  Callum Slattery  An England international at youth level, Slattery signed a three-year-contract with Southampton this summer which is a mark of the club's faith in the young midfielder. Hoping to follow the likes of Callum Chambers, Matt Targett, Luke Shaw, Jack Stephens and Josh Sims and progress to Southampton's first team, Slattery is viewed as a box-to-box midfielder. The 18-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance on the south coast, and with the amount of competition in Southampton's midfield that is unlikely to change soon. If only he was a striker...  Callum Slattery in action against Cardiff's Under-23s Credit: Getty Images Stoke City Tyrese Campbell Son of pin-stripped former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell, Tyrese was picked out by Stoke manager Mark Hughes as a player with the potential to make it at Premier League level. Hughes said: "He and his father clearly looked at his prospects at Man City, a fantastic operation and clearly a great club and a huge stage for any player, but for younger players it is difficult to break through. “So we presented to him and said, ‘Listen, if you progress and you fulfil the potential that we think you’ve got then there is going to be that pathway to the first team and it is going to happen quicker than you think possibly’.” Campbell's four goals in Premier League 2 this season have all come from the penalty spot, and coach Glyn Hodges has called on him to be more selfish in front of goal.  Swansea City Joe Rodon Dubbed the 'Welsh John Stones', Rodon has attracted the attention of Celtic and Manchester City with his performances at youth level for club and country. The 20-year-old defender is yet to make his full Swansea debut, but did get to train with Chris Coleman's Wales squad in the March international break along with former teammates Neil Taylor and Ashley Williams.  "The old Swansea boys took care of me and I thought I had got off pretty lightly until they turned around and told me I could not go until I had done my initiation," Rodon recalled to Wales Online.  "I can't thank them enough for that! "I ended up doing 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Tyrell. "A few of the boys said it was pretty old school for someone of my age, but I'm definitely not going to say if I did it any justice or not!"  Tottenham Hotspur  Marcus Edwards  Mauricio Pochettino has not even bothered to play it cool with Edwards, nicknaming him 'Mini-Messi' at the Spurs training ground. His name has been on the grapevine for a few years now, but Edwards is still only 18. Slight, with a low centre of gravity, Edwards loves to drift to the right flank before cutting inside onto his favoured left-foot. As Pochettino's moniker for him suggests, Edwards loves to carry the fall and commit defenders.  This could potentially stand him in good stead because on thing Spurs lack, for all their qualities, is a wide player with trickery. Their most laboured performances this season have come at Wembley against Burnley, Swansea, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace - teams who put numbers behind the ball and asked Spurs to break them down. The likes of Clinton Njié and Georges-Kévin N'Koudou failed to make the cut, but Edwards could be the final piece in Pochettino's puzzle.  The first of many north London derbies for Marcus Edwards? Credit: Getty Images Watford  Isaac Success He might sound like a minor Martin Amis character, and behave like one off the pitch, but Success is a hugely talented player who Marco Silva believes still has a future at Vicarage Road. The 21-year-old showed enough last season to suggest he might be right, when his pace and ability on the flanks caught the eye. The performances of new singing Richarlison however, might restrict future opportunities.  West Bromwich Albion  Sam Field Tony Pulis is a footballing conservative, so handing eight Premier League appearances to teenage midfielder Sam Field says plenty about his qualities. Pulis even described Field's performance against Chelsea last term as 'smashing'. Despite interest from several Championship clubs this summer, Field has stayed at West Brom to continue his development in the youth teams. Supporting West Brom is a bit of a drag at present, but Field is one reason for optimism.  West Ham United  Declan Rice Reece Oxford will run him close, but Rice could be the long-term answer to the defensive vulnerabilities that have hindered West Ham for so long. The 18-year-old centre back has already tasted Premier League football this season, and Slaven Bilic trusted him to occupy the central position when West Ham played with a back three. There is also evidence of the 'leadership' attributes that coaches crave, as Rice captained West Ham's Under-23s to the Premier League 2 title last season. 

Who is your club's most exciting youth prospect?

Injuries may have forced his hand, but Gareth Southgate won plenty of goodwill from England fans by giving youth a chance against Germany and Brazil. Supporters find themselves rooting for the youngsters in a team for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there is an obvious romantic attachment to those viewed as 'one of your own', players who are more easily related to than your average Premier League player.  Expectation levels are also lowered when there are some fledglings on the team sheet, and because fans are often watching players for the first time their initial instinct is to accentuate good points and turn a blind eye to the bad. A victory is extra special, but any defeat can easily be explained away with 'we had the kids out'. This diffuses the frothing discontent that is so commonplace among fanbases today. So who is your club's most exciting youngster?  Arsenal  Reiss Nelson  Arsenal lost the promising Chris Willock to Benfica last summer and sold Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool, but Nelson can ensure fans quickly forget about both. Spurs were interested in him as a nine-year-old, but the red half of north London acted quickly to take him to Hale End - the site of their academy. Although Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah are promising, Nelson is the jewel in the crown.  The 17-year-old is a natural dribbler, gliding past opponents with ease and usually from the right-flank. During his Carabao Cup and Europa League starts this season, Arsene Wenger has employed him as a right-wing back which has curtailed his offensive potential. Expect to see more spectacular performances if he is played in an advanced position.  Nelson regularly started as a No.10 in the youth teams, so has highly developed spacial awareness and ability to cope in confined areas. Whereas Oxlade-Chamberlain more of a bustling 'push and run' dribbler, Nelson keeps the ball a little closer to him - not unlike his teammate Jack Wilshere, and also has a talent for scoring free-kicks.  Reiss Nelson is Arsenal's best young prospect Credit: Getty Images Bournemouth  Lewis Cook Centre back Brennan Camp, 17, could prove Bournemouth's next homegrown prospect but their best youngster is in fact a recruit from Leeds United. Cook received an England call-up in the last international break, and might well get more opportunities given England's lack of central midfield options. He also played on the flanks while at Elland Road, and Cook's main strength is his ability to carry the ball from central areas. He shields the ball very well, getting his body between ball and opponent. This also means he wins more duels than a player of his stature has a right to. Bournemouth did not attempt to sign Wilshere on a permanent basis, and Cook could well be the reason for that. Burnley Dwight McNeil   Any 17-year-old playing for an Under-23 team is worthy of attention, even if Burnley's academy is not swollen with talent like some of the bigger clubs. McNeil, who usually plays as a winger, has been singled out for praise by youth team coach and former Burnley defender Michael Duffy.   "He was a first year last year with the 18s with me and you can see he's got ability," Duff said. "It's about honing that and channeling it in the right direction, keeping his feet on the ground. He's scored a couple of goals in front of a Turf Moor crowd of about 100, ideally we want him scoring goals in front of a Turf Moor crowd of 25,000. That's the key." McNeil in Burnley Under-23s top goalscorer this season, and a club on Burnley's frugal budget they need to extract every last ounce of potential from their academy.  Brighton and Hove Albion Jayson Molumby  Midfield partner Dessie Hutchinson deserves a mention - Chris Hughton felt confident enough to start both he a Molumby in the Carabao Cup this season. However, Molumby is two years younger and was nominated for Ireland's Under-17 Player of the Year in 2016 - which was eventually won by West Ham's Declan Rice. Ireland desperately need some fresh blood, although Molumby will find Premier League minutes hard to come by as Brighton fight to stay up.  Chelsea Callum Hudson-Odoi Where do you start at Chelsea? Lewis Baker, Dujon Sterling, Trevoh Chalobah, Ethan Ampadu, Ike Ugbo among others could easily have been our choice. However, Hudson-Odoi's versatility mean he has the potential to grow into numerous different roles. This is important because young players rarely get a first-team chance in their 'natural' position, but instead are used wherever there is a lack of bodies.  Callum Hudson-Odoi in last season's Youth Cup final Credit: Rex Features A World Cup winner with England's Under-17s and provider of three assists in the final against Spain, the Chelsea man can occupy any offensive position across the pitch. Has consistently played 'above his age' at during his time at Stamford Bridge, and only turned 17 on November 7.  Crystal Palace Nya Kirby  In an act of minor revenge for the John Bostock saga, Palace managed to prise Kirby away from Tottenham and the England youth international was part of their pre-season tour of the Far East. Kirby has played most of his football in central midfield, where he likes to dribble with the ball to attract opponents and create space ahead of him.  Kirby is another on this list who was part of England's triumphant Under-17s team in India, and said: “When we met up at the start, everyone had a good winning mentality and we went out there trying to win it.We were there for five weeks but we had a good bunch of lads and it was a great place. The fans were amazing; in the final there were 63,000 in attendance which was incredible.” Everton Jonjoe Kenny  Despite their reputation for giving young players first-team opportunities, a number of prospects have proven dead ends: James Vaughan, Victor Anichebe, Jack Rodwell and even, if his situation remains the same, Ross Barkley.  The generation lead by Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are hoping to be more durable, and young full-back Jonjoe Kenny is particularly well regarded. Everton will need a long-term replacement for Seamus Coleman, and the 20-year-old Kenny is the next cab off the rank. Alexis Sanchez gave him a rough ride in a 5-2 defeat last month, and he sliced one into his own net at Leicester, but such chastening experiences are part of a young player's development. Needs to avoid a serious injury, like the one that thwarted a promising full-back from across Stanley Park, Jon Flanagan.  Huddersfield Town Philip Billing Currently on the treatment table, the 21-year-old Danish midfielder caught the eye in Huddersfield's FA Cup replay at Manchester City last season where Alan Shearer described his performance as 'brilliant'. The club's young player of the year in each of the last two seasons, Billing is a rangy central midfielder who stands out from the pack by virtue of being 6ft 5in tall and left-footed. Long-range strikes at Nottingham Forest and Cardiff City, Huddersfield's goal of the season in their promotion campaign, are proof of sound technique too.  The best young players in world football Leicester City Hamza Choudhury  An impressive afro makes him instantly recognisable, and Choudhury made his senior Leicester debut against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup this season. The 20-year-old grew up in Leicestershire and captained the club's Under-23s team. A midfielder by trade, he benefited from a loan spell with then League One club Burton Albion. His immediate family are from Bangladesh, and he could prove something of a trailblazer as one of the first top-flight British Asian footballers since Fulham's Zesh Rehman more than a decade ago.  Choudbury told the Leicester Mercury:  “Asians have family everywhere. We are all very close, so when something heart-warming happens everyone gets together to celebrate, like my debut. “I don’t really feel any pressure about being a professional from an Asian background. My family have been a great help with that, just telling me to enjoy it. “If I turned around tomorrow and said I didn’t want to play football any more they would support me. I really have their backing no matter what I don’t feel any pressure.” Liverpool Rhian Brewster An obvious choice after his goalscoring heroics at the Under-17 World Cup. Brewster actually hails from east London, and joined Liverpool from Chelsea's academy aged 15, and has since been fast-tracked into their Under-23 development team. Described as a 'natural striker' by Jurgen Klopp, Brewster has inevitably attracted comparisons to former Melwood whirlwinds Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen.  His eight goals at the World Cup were evidence of intuitive anticipation in the penalty area, but interestingly Brewster has worn the No.10 shirt for Liverpool's youth teams. A glance at his highlights show a player happy to drop off the last line of defence to link play and provide for others, though this might be a reflection of the fact he is comfortably the best player in his age group. These skills might be redundant as he develops into a centre forward at senior level, but the ability to fit into a collective is important in today's game - particularly under Jurgen Klopp. Just ask Daniel Sturridge.  Manchester City Phil Foden Like Chelsea, Man City have a treasure trove of promising players coming through. Brahim Diaz should be mentioned in dispatches, but Phil Foden is the apple of Pep Guardiola's eye. Comfortable in any midfield role, the 17-year-old has already been called up to train with City's first team and would have played against Wolves in the Carabao Cup but for England commitments at the World Cup in India. He played his part in their victory over Spain in the final, scoring twice.  Foden impressed in a pre-season outing against Manchester United this summer, rarely taking more than two touches as a he fitted seamlessly into Guardiola's style of play. Opponents will note he is strongly left-footed, but his spatial awareness and scanning of the pitch means he moves the ball quickly enough before they can force him onto his right. There will be comparisons with Wilshere, but Foden is probably more of a passer than a dribbler.  Rhian Brewster and Phil Foden's mantelpieces will be full after their summer success Credit: PA Manchester United Axel Tuanzebe  As Jose Mourinho prioritised the Europa League in the closing stretch of last season, Tuanzebe got some first-team minutes, notably away at Arsenal. The 20-year-old's favourite position is centre-back, but his opportunities at senior level could come as a full-back while he has also played in central midfield. His signature move is the way he changes gear and drives away from opponents, and his calmness in possession puts Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to shame. With the latter likely to be moved on by Jose Mourinho before too long, a pathway could open up for Tuanzebe.  Newcastle United Dan Barlaser Born in Gateshead but a Turker Under-17 international, Barlaser has just signed a contract extension to keep him at Newcastle until 2019. The 20-year-old midfielder has made three first-team appearances, and is regarded as an energetic midfielder. A former winger, Barlaser looks to control games with his passing range and also likes to shoot from distance. Rafael Benitez will plump for experience as Newcastle look to secure Premier League survival, but it has been too long since Newcastle fans really grew to love a local lad.  Southampton  Callum Slattery  An England international at youth level, Slattery signed a three-year-contract with Southampton this summer which is a mark of the club's faith in the young midfielder. Hoping to follow the likes of Callum Chambers, Matt Targett, Luke Shaw, Jack Stephens and Josh Sims and progress to Southampton's first team, Slattery is viewed as a box-to-box midfielder. The 18-year-old is yet to make a senior appearance on the south coast, and with the amount of competition in Southampton's midfield that is unlikely to change soon. If only he was a striker...  Callum Slattery in action against Cardiff's Under-23s Credit: Getty Images Stoke City Tyrese Campbell Son of pin-stripped former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell, Tyrese was picked out by Stoke manager Mark Hughes as a player with the potential to make it at Premier League level. Hughes said: "He and his father clearly looked at his prospects at Man City, a fantastic operation and clearly a great club and a huge stage for any player, but for younger players it is difficult to break through. “So we presented to him and said, ‘Listen, if you progress and you fulfil the potential that we think you’ve got then there is going to be that pathway to the first team and it is going to happen quicker than you think possibly’.” Campbell's four goals in Premier League 2 this season have all come from the penalty spot, and coach Glyn Hodges has called on him to be more selfish in front of goal.  Swansea City Joe Rodon Dubbed the 'Welsh John Stones', Rodon has attracted the attention of Celtic and Manchester City with his performances at youth level for club and country. The 20-year-old defender is yet to make his full Swansea debut, but did get to train with Chris Coleman's Wales squad in the March international break along with former teammates Neil Taylor and Ashley Williams.  "The old Swansea boys took care of me and I thought I had got off pretty lightly until they turned around and told me I could not go until I had done my initiation," Rodon recalled to Wales Online.  "I can't thank them enough for that! "I ended up doing 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough' by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Tyrell. "A few of the boys said it was pretty old school for someone of my age, but I'm definitely not going to say if I did it any justice or not!"  Tottenham Hotspur  Marcus Edwards  Mauricio Pochettino has not even bothered to play it cool with Edwards, nicknaming him 'Mini-Messi' at the Spurs training ground. His name has been on the grapevine for a few years now, but Edwards is still only 18. Slight, with a low centre of gravity, Edwards loves to drift to the right flank before cutting inside onto his favoured left-foot. As Pochettino's moniker for him suggests, Edwards loves to carry the fall and commit defenders.  This could potentially stand him in good stead because on thing Spurs lack, for all their qualities, is a wide player with trickery. Their most laboured performances this season have come at Wembley against Burnley, Swansea, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace - teams who put numbers behind the ball and asked Spurs to break them down. The likes of Clinton Njié and Georges-Kévin N'Koudou failed to make the cut, but Edwards could be the final piece in Pochettino's puzzle.  The first of many north London derbies for Marcus Edwards? Credit: Getty Images Watford  Isaac Success He might sound like a minor Martin Amis character, and behave like one off the pitch, but Success is a hugely talented player who Marco Silva believes still has a future at Vicarage Road. The 21-year-old showed enough last season to suggest he might be right, when his pace and ability on the flanks caught the eye. The performances of new singing Richarlison however, might restrict future opportunities.  West Bromwich Albion  Sam Field Tony Pulis is a footballing conservative, so handing eight Premier League appearances to teenage midfielder Sam Field says plenty about his qualities. Pulis even described Field's performance against Chelsea last term as 'smashing'. Despite interest from several Championship clubs this summer, Field has stayed at West Brom to continue his development in the youth teams. Supporting West Brom is a bit of a drag at present, but Field is one reason for optimism.  West Ham United  Declan Rice Reece Oxford will run him close, but Rice could be the long-term answer to the defensive vulnerabilities that have hindered West Ham for so long. The 18-year-old centre back has already tasted Premier League football this season, and Slaven Bilic trusted him to occupy the central position when West Ham played with a back three. There is also evidence of the 'leadership' attributes that coaches crave, as Rice captained West Ham's Under-23s to the Premier League 2 title last season. 

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