We’re getting down to the nitty gritty of the FA Cup with just nine teams remaining in the competition – with that figure being set to become eight when Derby County host Manchester United later on tonight.
The Rams serve as the last remaining hope for a non-Premier League side to reach the quarter-finals in a year that hasn’t really featured all too many surprises in football’s oldest club competition.
In the wake of most of the results from the fifth round coming in, the sixth round draw was made at Hillsborough as we look ahead to what should be an intriguing quarter-final line-up.
Sheffield United vs Arsenal
Sheffield United’s memorable first season back in the Premier League mirrors Wolves last season in a lot of ways, and they could emulate them in another way if they’re able to also reach the semi-finals at Wembley. In order to do so, however, they’ll have to try and edge their way past Arsenal.
The Gunners have been incredibly successful in this competition, especially across the last few years, and they’ll be hoping that Mikel Arteta can make the FA Cup his first official piece of silverware as manager.
Newcastle vs Manchester City
Newcastle have qualified for the last eight for the first time in god knows how long, and their reward is a tie against the reigning Champions of England. Alas, while it may not be ideal, the prospect of a trip to Wembley will be enough to get the Magpies bouncing for this game.
City are the firm favorites to retain their FA Cup crown once again, as Pep Guardiola continues to push this team towards the kind of domestic cup dominance that we haven’t seen in a long time.
Norwich vs Derby/Manchester United
Norwich City’s memorable penalty shootout win over Tottenham Hotspur means that they are also just one game away from a return to Wembley. It’s been a difficult campaign up to this point with the looming threat of relegation, but there’s still some fight left in the Canaries as they proved against Spurs.
They’ll be hoping that Derby County can pull off the upset in the Rooney derby against Manchester United, but it certainly seems as if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has his heart set on going after FA Cup glory with everything he’s got.
Leicester vs Chelsea
Leicester narrowly missed out on a place in the 2020 Carabao Cup Final, and Brendan Rodgers won’t want to let another chance at visiting Wembley pass him by. They’ve got a solid, well-organized squad, and they have no real reason to fear Chelsea.
With that being said, the Blues did manage to pull off a memorable win over Liverpool in the last round to give themselves a nice bit of momentum – which is something they don’t have in the Champions League.
In terms of predictions we’re going to go with Sheffield United, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea being the four teams to make it into the semi-finals, and while that may upset some Gunners fans, it’s really difficult to look past the Blades right now.