Photo by Øyvind Vik- Wikipedia
James Cox looks ahead to the FA Cup quarter-final ties following last night’s draw
Roy Hodgson was the guest of honour as the BBC conducted the quarter final draw before last night’s final FA Cup fifth round tie between Preston North End and Manchester United. The Preston fans reacted joyously to the possibility of hosting the cup holders Arsenal but it wasn’t to be as United stumbled to a 3-1 victory. Thecity.ie gives you the lowdown on an exciting quarter-final draw.
Aston Villa v West Brom
This all premier league tie has the potential to be a cracker or a damp squib. We’re going to take a positive view and go with the cracker. West Brom pulled off a shock beating high flying West Ham 4-0 in the fifth round and appear rejuvenated under Tony Pulis. However Villa are in the honeymoon phase under Tim Sherwood and enjoy home advantage so don’t be surprised to see them go through.
Bradford City v Reading
Reading have veteran striker Yakubu in form and should have the advantage over a League One side, but Bradford won’t read the script. Enjoying home advantage and having already disposed of Premier League leaders Chelsea and Sunderland, you should expect their fairytale run to continue. Another trip to Wembley after the 2013 league cup final seems on the card for the Bantams.
Liverpool v Blackburn
Blackburn pulled off a shock to defeat Premier league side Stoke 4-1 in the fifth round so will come to Anfield full of confidence. Rudy Gestede will be a danger man for Rovers in particular. Bolton already pulled off an unexpected draw at Anfield this season; however Liverpool have found their best form of the season since then. Liverpool will edge this one, but it will be tight.
Manchester United v Arsenal
Last but not least, this one is definitely the pick of the bunch. Manchester United have drawn criticism from all corners for their displays under Louis Van Gaal but attractive football or not, they have been getting results. United sit third in the Premier League and with no other distractions their sights are firmly on the cup that Arsenal currently hold. Arsenal are on better form at the moment but much can change between now and the weekend of 7th and 8th March when the ties are due to take place. Wenger’s men will be desperate to keep their hands on the trophy, but it seems when these teams meet that no matter how badly United play, Arsenal just can’t win. In their last 11 games against Manchester United, the record reads: United wins: 7, Draws: 3, Arsenal wins: 1.