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FA Cup: Man United could face Chelsea in quarter-finals but will it be all north west semis?

Football News 24/7
Whilst many pundits may look at Sunday's 6th Round draw and be salivating at the prospect that Manchester United could face Chelsea in a mouth-watering FA Cup quarter-final if both clubs progress through their respective fifth-round ties, the real possibility is two, all North Western semi-finals with fans being again expected to stump up for expensive trips to Wembley

Look at the draw below in full, and of the 11 teams left, only Chelsea, Millwall and Reading are southern based. There are no Midlands clubs at all. There are six clubs from the North West and two from Yorkshire if you count Middlesboro on their traditional boundaries.

One of Everton, Oldham and Wigan is bound to make the semis, and with Man City at home to Barnsley you would expect at least two North Western clubs to progress.

Blackburn may fancy their chances in London again having put out Arsenal which leaves the Manchester United v Reading and Boro v Chelsea clashes. With home advantage United must be favourites of the four to progress.

FTD's John Booth reflects: 'As an Oldham fan of over 40 years the prospect of a quarter-final or even semi-final appearance brings back memories of better times. Im' just grateful for the money Latics have made so far in the hope it can help the club's finances.

'Realistically though, it will be either Everton or Wigan in the semis. On balance I can easily see four Northern clubs, potentially four North West based clubs in the semis. If that happens it will surely raise the question as to whether it is right to expect supporters to incur the costs of expensive trips to London from distance.'

'Better to have the semis at Old Trafford and Anfield if that happens surely?'

FA Cup quarter-final draw
•Oldham Athletic or Everton v Wigan Athletic
•Millwall v Blackburn Rovers
•Manchester City v Barnsley
•Manchester United or Reading v Middlesbrough or Chelsea
The ties will take place on the weekend of the 9 and 10 March.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, who had earlier seen his side comfortably defeat Huddersfield 4-1 ,was delighted with the draw and believes his side are capable of progressing.

"It's a great tie," Martinez said. "Oldham have been magnificent and it's a game that is still open so we will follow that one with interest. Every game is a priority for us.

"What's important as a football club is that you are capable of facing two competitions. I think two, three, four years ago, we never had the opportunity to have a pool of 16-17 players and now we have that strength."

Chelsea, who are looking to win the competition for a fourth time in five years, secured their place in round five with a 4-0 fourth-round replay defeat of Brentford.

With Manchester City's Premier League campaign faltering and the club already out of Europe, manager Roberto Mancini knows the FA Cup takes on extra importance.

"Every team plays in the FA Cup like it is in a Champions League final," he said.

"The cup is an important trophy in England. Teams may change players in the Capital One Cup but in the FA Cup every team plays seriously.

"You could play in a final at Wembley in front of more than 80,000 people so that has to be good."

Blackburn sealed the weekend's biggest upset after they defeated Premier League giants Arsenal 1-0 at the Emirates. They travel to fellow Championship side Millwall.

Oldham, the lowest ranked club left in the competition, sealed a fifth-round replay after Matt Smith equalised for the League One club deep into injury time of their tie against Everton. The pair face each other again on 27 February.

Jb

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