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The 2016 FA Cup third round draw is today - here's what you need to know!

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Here's what you need to know about the first step of Arsenal's attempt to defend the FA Cup again this year.

Squad goals
Squad goals
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

The Mirror describes today as "perhaps the best day of the year for football fans." Although The Mirror may be overstating it just a tad, there is reason for excitement. With the FA Cup third round draw today, Arsenal begin their second consecutive FA Cup campaign as holders, having defeated Aston VIlla 4-0 in the 2015 final at Wembley Stadium back on May 30, with goals coming from Theo Walcott, Alexis, Per Mertesacker, and Olivier Giroud. Arsenal are now the most successful club in FA Cup history, having won the competition twelve times to Manchester United's eleven. Arsenal fans could only have dreamed of such a cracking final, and will surely be hoping for another chance to see the boys lift a trophy at Wembley after this campaign as well.

As you probably know, the FA Cup is a competition with a long and rich history. Clubs from the four top tiers of English soccer (the Premier League and the Football League, which consists of the Championship, League One, and League Two) automatically qualify. The competition begins in August, wherein teams from the ninth tier and below compete in the Extra Preliminary Round. Premier League teams enter in the third round draw, which is today.

The draw for every round sees each team assigned a number which is then placed inside a ball and chosen at random. This means that Arsenal, in ball number two (ball number one is occupied by Alphabet League winners AFC Bournemouth), could face a number of interesting opponents, including Manchester City, Manchester United, Leicester City, Tottenham, or even a plucky team in or near the relegation zone trying to make their season mean something. Like Chelsea. There are sixty-four balls in the pot and only twenty of them are Premier League teams, so statistically we're more likely to go up against someone more like QPR or Rotherham United than the likes of a Premier League club, but stranger things have happened. Also, one can never write off lower-tier opposition; they often come in with nothing to lose and give it their all.

The draw takes place today at 7pm GMT / 2pm ET / 11am PT, with the third round matches to be played the weekend of January 8-11, 2016. If for some reason you get the BBC, it will be shown live on BBC Two, although it's much more likely you'll just follow it on Twitter and in the comments here.

The full ball list is below, with some balls being reserved for the winners of matches not yet played. Here's to another defense!

1 AFC Bournemouth

2 Arsenal

3 Aston Villa

4 Birmingham City

5 Blackburn Rovers

6 Bolton Wanderers

7 Brentford

8 Brighton & Hove Albion

9 Bristol City

10 Burnley

11 Cardiff City

12 Charlton Athletic

13 Chelsea

14 Crystal Palace

15 Derby County

16 Everton

17 Fulham

18 Huddersfield Town

19 Hull City

20 Ipswich Town

21 Leeds United

22 Leicester City

23 Liverpool

24 Manchester City

25 Manchester United

26 Middlesbrough

27 Milton Keynes Dons

28 Newcastle United

29 Norwich City

30 Nottingham Forest

31 Preston North End

32 Queens Park Rangers

33 Reading

34 Rotherham United

35 Sheffield Wednesday

36 Southampton

37 Stoke City

38 Sunderland

39 Swansea City

40 Tottenham Hotspur

41 Watford

42 West Bromwich Albion

43 West Ham United

44 Wolverhampton Wanderers

45 Bradford City or Chesham United

46 Barnet or Newport County

47 Peterborough United or Luton Town

48 Portsmouth or Accrington Stanley

49 Stourbridge or Eastleigh

50 Northampton Town or Northwich Victoria

51 Exeter City or Port Vale

52 Cambridge United or Doncaster Rovers

53 Grimsby Town or Shrewsbury Town

54 Yeovil Town or Stevenage

55 Rochdale or Bury

56 Welling United or Carlisle United

57 Leyton Orient or Scunthorpe United

58 Millwall or Wycombe Wanderers

59 Colchester United or Altrincham

60 Chesterfield or Walsall

61 Sheffield United or Oldham Athletic

62 Salford City or Hartlepool United

63 Dagenham & Redbridge or Whitehawk

64 Oxford United or Forest Green Rovers