Manchester United’s reward for beating League One side Preston North End 3-1 on the road at Deepdale on Feb. 16 is a date against Cup holders Arsenal in the quarterfinals of the English FA Cup. United has had it easy in their first three rounds as they’ve faced lower-league teams in Yeovil Town, Cambridge United and then Preston. United has been on the road so far in the competition, but will be at home at Old Trafford when they take on the Gunners.
The sixth-round draw of the FA Cup is as follows with games taking place March 7 and 8.
- Liverpool v Blackburn
- Bradford v Reading
- Manchester United v Arsenal
- Aston Villa v West Brom
According to bet365, Liverpool is the favourite to take the trophy this year at 15/8 followed by Man United 11/4, Arsenal 3/1, West Brom 12/1, Aston Villa 14/1, Reading 28/1, Bradford 33/1, and Blackburn at 50/1.
While the draw for the FA Cup games is supposed to be random, some fans always have their doubts, especially when their clubs seem to get drawn against better teams. But as we’ve seen over the years, many lower-division squads have the determination to oust the big boys and there are no longer any easy games. Still, it appears Lady Luck often smiles on some teams. With Man United facing reigning champions Arsenal, the next biggest club left in the event is Liverpool followed by Premier League teams West Brom and Aston Villa.
Looking back over the past six years of the tournament, we see that Liverpool has been drawn against lower-division clubs 56.3 per cent of the time in their last 16 draws with 44.4 per cent of the games being played at home at Anfield. Man United has been drawn against lesser-lights on 37.5 per cent of their last 16 draws with 33.33 per cent of them being home games. In the past three years, Liverpool has been drawn against fellow Premier League sides twice, which were Arsenal and Crystal Palace.
So while it may seem Man United has had an easier draw up until getting paired with Arsenal, Liverpool fans have actually seen their team have a bit of an easier time of it. United has faced lower-league squads six times since the 2009/10 competition season, and one of them, Leeds United, knocked them out of the cup that year. Arsenal has been drawn with 21 different teams over the past six years and 47.6 per cent have been against lower-division outfits with 60 per cent of them being at home at the Emirates.
Man United has faced 10 Premier League teams over the past six years while Arsenal has faced 11 of them and Liverpool has clashed with seven. But no matter who you face, you must beat every team along the way to win the FA Cup.