Having won at Manchester City to reach the fifth round of the FA Cup, Championship side Middlesbrough must produce another major shock if they are to make further progress after being drawn away to favourites Arsenal last night.
Aitor Karanka’s promotion-chasing team will face another test of their Premier League credentials against Arsène Wenger’s holders when they meet at the Emirates on the weekend of 14-15 February.
The other big giant-killers of the fourth round, Bradford City, were rewarded for their sensational 4-2 win at Chelsea with a home draw against either Sunderland or Fulham. “We’re at home. I think we can win at home,” the Bradford co-chairman, Mark Lawn, said. “They won’t want to come down here and get this lot [the fans] bouncing. I don’t think Sunderland or Fulham will want to come to Valley Parade.”
If Manchester United can see off Cambridge in their replay at Old Trafford they will have another tricky trip to either Preston or cup specialists Sheffield United.
Liverpool will go to Crystal Palace if they beat Bolton Wanderers in their replay – the new Palace manager, Alan Pardew, scored the Eagles’ winner when the two sides met in the 1990 semi-finals.
There are two all-Premier League ties, with Leicester City making the short trip to Midlands rivals Aston Villa and Sam Allardyce’s West Ham disappointed to have to go to improving West Bromwich Albion.
The draw for the fifth round of the FA Cup is as follows:
Crystal Palace v Liverpool/Bolton
Arsenal v Middlesbrough
Aston Villa v Leicester
West Brom v West Ham
Bradford v Sunderland/Fulham
Blackburn v Stoke/Rochdale
Derby v Reading
Preston/Sheffield United v Cambridge/Manchester United
Ties to be played across the weekend of February 14 and 15.