West Ham United will take on Barnsley at home in the FA Cup third round after the teams were paired together in Sunday afternoon's draw.
The tie will be played on the weekend of 3-4 January and Gianfranco Zola is already relishing the prospect of taking on the Championship side. "It is good to start the FA Cup playing at home. It was very important to play at home but we know with Barnsley that it will not be an easy game. They got to the semi-finals last year so we know it will be tough."
Zola won the FA Cup twice as a player and would love to match those heights as a manager. "The FA Cup is a fabulous competition," he said. "Winning my first FA Cup as a player was one of the best moments of my career. The FA Cup third round is a special occasion for everyone and we are going to be up for it."
The teams last met in the Premier League on 10 January 1998 when the Hammers were 6-0 winners at the Boleyn Ground. The only previous meeting in the FA Cup was a fourth-round date on 24 January 1993 with Barnsley running out 4-1 winners. The Tykes, who reached last year's semi-finals, are 17th in the Championship.
Three-time winners in 1964, 1975 and 1980, West Ham United did not enjoy the best of fortunes in the 2007/08 edition. The club were eliminated at this stage with a 1-0 replay defeat at Manchester City after a goalless draw at the Boleyn Ground. The 2008/09 FA Cup final will take place on Saturday 30 May at Wembley.