FA Cup: Top two clash in fifth-round draw
Monday 28 January 2008
Manchester United and Arsenal have been drawn against each other in the FA Cup fifth-round draw.
The two sides have been doing battle at the top of the Barclays Premier League for much of the season and their meeting at Old Trafford means at least one of the remaining six top-flight sides will drop out before the next stage.
Frank Stapleton, who played for both Arsenal and the Red Devils, believes the game will be a great occasion between two sides packed with flair.
He told Sky Sports News: "The big rivalry is there but both teams want to entertain and to score goals.
"People felt after the weekend's games that two of the big four might meet and that's what has come out.
"Who is going to win it is another question."
But although it is sure to be a keenly-fought match, Stapleton believes the staging of the match at Old Trafford could swing it the way of Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
"It's a great competition as we know and you just feel when you get to this stage of the draw and you get a big team you want a home draw - that's a big advantage."
Holders Chelsea have been drawn against Coca-Cola League One side Huddersfield at Stamford Bridge, while Liverpool have a home draw with Barnsley.
The other two Premier League sides have both been handed trips to second-tier opposition, with Middlesbrough travelling to Manchester City's conquerors Sheffield United and Portsmouth visiting Preston, who hammered Derby in the fourth round.
The draw is completed by Coventry versus West Brom, Cardiff against Wolves and Southampton's visit to the bottom-ranked team in the draw, Bristol Rovers.
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp, who fears that one of the top four Premier League clubs will again win the FA Cup, was delighted with the trip to Preston.
He said: "It could have been a good deal worse. It's a decent draw against a club with great history and I'm looking forward to going up there maybe meeting people like Tom Finney.
"Everyone wants a home tie at this stage but we are quite happy about this. We've got a chance because we have our African Nations Cup players back and when we're at our strongest I think we can give anybody a game.
FA Cup fifth round draw (ties to be played on weekend of February 16/17)
Bristol Rovers v Southampton
Cardiff v Wolves
Sheff Utd v Middlesbrough
Liverpool v Barnsley
Manchester United v Arsenal
Preston v Portsmouth
Coventry v West Brom
Chelsea v Huddersfield
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