We’re down to the last four games of the FA Cup and with smart money on Manchester United or Chelsea to win the Cup. While a United-Chelsea final still possible after they were drawn apart in the quarter-finals, fans would be hoping to avoid a repeat of last season’s tactical deadlock that was decided on one moment of brilliance (and the lack of video replays).
Full draw for FA Cup quarter-finals:
Sheffield United or Middlesbrough v Cardiff City
Manchester United v Portsmouth
Bristol Rovers v West Brom
Barnsley v Chelsea
Matches to be played on the weekend of 8 and 9 March.
Boro *should* navigate the replay and the quarterfinal game easily – it’s not as if Middlesbrough have anything else to play for this season, do they?
West Brom are the rare Championship team that have looked capable of staying up next season if they got promoted to the Premier League, so on paper they should be able to navigate this tie, regardless of the fact that they travel away. However, while West Brom would harbor a chance of progressing beyond the semifinal (especially if United and Chelsea are paired together), the Rovers have already overachieved (no disrespect intended). Still, that’s what the FA Cup is all about, right, the luck of the draw?
Speaking of luck, Manchester United’s luck sucks. This is the god-knows-how-many time that Manchester United have been paired with Premier League opposition in the FA Cup – at least it’s at home, but at this point I’d have taken Chelsea at home and be done with it. Portsmouth are tough opposition but United *should* get through. It’ll be interesting to see the team Fergie plays, I predict another Anderson start plus another day for Ronaldo on the bench or in the stands.
Chelsea are away to ‘giant-killers’ (the ‘giant’ claim is currently under dispute) Barnsley, but considering Chelsea’s squad depth and the fact that Chelsea play a strong team in every competition, they will probably make a struggle of it and go through to the semis, and with their luck, get Cardiff or Bristol Rovers.
Discuss the matches in the comments below.