SUNDERLAND were the only Premier League team Hull City faced en route to the FA Cup final last season.
As seen over the weekend, facing lower-league opposition is far from a gimme.
On the contrary, in a lot of cases.
Potential fifth round opponents Bradford City will be salivating at the prospect of facing a struggling Premier League side, particularly after their League Cup exploits two years ago.
But is a trip to Valley Parade preferable to Stamford Bridge? Of course it is.
With so many of the Premier League’s big boys already out of the competition, everyone left in the FA Cup should be scenting the possibility of this being “their year”.
Sunderland should be no different.
For all the immediate focus is on the magnitude of this weekend’s relegation battle clash against Burnley, there is a gaping window of opportunity in the cup.