Mark Lawrenson predicts surprise in Preston v Manchester United FA Cup tie

Preston North End

Mark Lawrenson believes Preston will draw with Manchester United in Monday's FA Cup tie.

The FA Cup gets back underway this weekend, with the fifth round now upon us, and with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, Southampton and Tottenham all out of the competition, teams are sensing a long run in the tournament is there for the taking.

One of the most intriguing ties of the fifth round takes places on Monday night, as Manchester United travel to Deepdale to take on League One side Preston North End.

The Lilywhites are flying up in fourth place of the third-tier table under Simon Grayson, who led Leeds to a shock win at Old Trafford in the FA Cup back in 2010.

BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson was born in Preston, played for Preston and supports Preston, so the matter of this game was unsurprisingly of keen interest to the former Liverpool defender.

In his weekly prediction column for the BBC, Lawrenson wrote that Preston would get a draw against United, despite Louis van Gaal's side winning on a regular basis.

"As a Preston fan, I would take a draw now," said Lawrenson. "I was at Deepdale as a fan when United last played there in 1972 and won with two Alan Gowling goals.

"Back to the present and United's recent form is amazing really, because they have not really played that well in lots of games but they keep on getting positive results."

"Bearing that in mind, I cannot see them being beaten but I am going to back Preston to get a draw," he added.

United will obviously be hot favourites to win the game, but having stumbled through previous ties against Yeovil Town and Cambridge United, maybe Lawrenson isn't too far off base for suggesting that Preston could get a draw - and a subsequent money-spinning replay at Old Trafford.

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