The FA Cup quarter final draw is out, and as usual, we have some mouth-watering fixtures to look forward to. Chelsea beat Manchester City 5-1 in the fifth round of the FA Cup to set up a date with Everton in the next round.
Holders Arsenal could face Premier League outfit Watford at the Emirates, should the Gunners overcome a Hull City challenge in their fifth-round replay. The competition also presents Manchester United a golden opportunity to win a silverware this season, but first they must reach the last eight stage with a win over Shrewsbury Town on Monday.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the 2015-16 FA Cup quarter final fixtures:
Reading vs Crystal Palace
Everton vs Chelsea
Arsenal / Hull City vs Watford
Shrewsbury / Manchester United vs West Ham United
Date: All the matches will be played across the weekend of March 12.
Major Talking Points
Arsenal’s congested fixture list
Following their 0-0 draw with Hull City at the Emirates, the FA Cup has been been relegated to third in Arsenal’s priority list. Barcelona, Manchester United, Swansea, Tottenham and Barcelona – are the fixtures await the Gunners before March 12, and they have to play the FA Cup replay as well in between.
“If we have no injuries I think we can cope with it [the replay], but it’s not ideal, of course,” Wenger told BT Sport.
“I’m not especially [happy], no. [The replay] is not what we wanted. But Hull defended very well. We had a lot of the ball, but we were probably not incisive enough or accurate enough in our passing in the final third.
It can very well happen that Wenger may opt to field a weak side like City, depending on other results. In a situation like this, it is hard to approach with a mindset like ‘let’s take it one game at a time’ because you’re already aware of the type of games you’re facing, and you need to plan beforehand accordingly.
All the best, Arsene!
Pellegrini kept his words
It may seem ridiculous, but I feel the real winners of the fifth round FA Cup ties are City and Spurs. We are going through one of the greatest ever seasons in the Premier League history, and there’s no point in jeopardising it.
Heading into March, we’ve title contenders with one that haven’t won a title in a decade, the second favourite haven’t won in 54 years, and there’s another unlikely-but-deserved side who have never won a title before. Trust me, it’s tough to top that!
So, Pellegrini can be excused for fielding a weak team against Chelsea. He has kept his promise. He made his stance clear. FA Cup was his fourth priority this season. There’s a daunting trip to Ukraine, Carling Cup clash with Liverpool, followed by two tricky Premier League fixtures – no way Pellegrini was willing to ruin City’s campaign.
Big chance for Chelsea to end the season on a high
FA Cup, however, remains Chelsea’s top priority this season. They have vastly improved under Guus Hiddink, and were excellent in their 5-1 win against a young Manchester City side. There were plenty of positives from the game, but what would have given Hiddink a huge relief was the form of Eden Hazard. The Belgian has struggled for consistency this season, but on this occasion he hinted of returning to true form with a goal and a two assists to his name.
Payet is simply outstanding
“I haven’t seen better players than that,” said Bilic after the game. “He is also doing the dirty work and on the ball he is up there with Luka Modric from the players I have trained so far.”
With nine goals and six assists to his name, the Frenchman is surely up there with other top #10’s in the league.