Chelsea at home again in bid to retain the Cup

Sixth-round draw sends either Stoke or Manchester City to Stamford Bridge
Click to follow
The Independent Online

He has spent most of the last month attempting to avoid all mention of Chelsea and a certain ex-team-mate, but the Manchester City left-back Wayne Bridge could be set for two reunions in a week with former England captain John Terry following yesterday's FA Cup sixth-round draw.

Should Roberto Mancini's side dispatch Stoke in next week's replay, Bridge faces a quarter-final match at Stamford Bridge a week after City are due to visit the same ground in the Premier League. City won the club's last meeting, 2-1 at Eastlands in December.

Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea were handed a third home draw in four rounds of this season's competition – their reward for beating Cardiff 4-1 on Saturday – as they bid to become only the second team in 28 years (and fifth post-war) to retain the FA Cup.

Their West London neighbours Fulham will face the winners of another all-Premier League replay, Bolton or Tottenham, at Craven Cottage after overcoming Notts County 4-0 yesterday. That scoreline was also the result the last time Roy Hodgson's side met Spurs in the competition, a fifth-round defeat for the Cottagers three seasons ago.

After facing lower league opposition in each of the last two rounds, Aston Villa will again face a non-Premier League side if they overcome Crystal Palace in the replay a week on Wednesday. Stiliyan Petrov's late equaliser at Selhurst Park yesterday extended their unbeaten domestic cup record to eight matches this season and Martin O'Neill's side will travel to either Reading or Midlands rivals West Bromwich Albion if they progress.

Financially-challenged Portsmouth host Birmingham in the only definite sixth-round pairing as the South Coast side look to reach the last four for a second time in three seasons and make a fourth (and possibly fifth) Wembley appearance in the same period. Birmingham triumphed in the last FA Cup meeting between the sides, a 1-0 third-round victory in 1977.

FA Cup sixth round: Draw details

*Chelsea v Manchester City/Stoke Blues set for a possible second meeting with City in a week.



*Fulham v Bolton Wanderers/ Tottenham Hotspur

Fulham's daunting home record will be tested to the full as they have never beaten Bolton or Spurs in the FA Cup.



*Reading/West Bromwich Albion v Crystal Palace/Aston Villa

Three Championship sides stand in the way of Aston Villa and another Wembley appearance.

*Portsmouth v Birmingham City

City have not won on seven visits to the South Coast side.

Ties to be played on 6/7 March.



*Fifth round replays

Wednesday 24 February

Aston Villa v Crystal Palace, Stoke v Manchester City, Tottenham v Bolton, West Bromwich Albion v Reading



Odds: Chelsea 5/4, Tottenham 11/2, Aston Villa 6/1, Man City 8/1, Birmingham 11/1, Fulham 14/1, Portsmouth 16/1, Stoke 25/1, W Brom 33/1, Bolton 50/1, C Palace 66/1, Reading 80/1 ......... (Ladbrokes)

Comments