FA Cup Fifth Round Draw
The draw for the fifth round of the FA Cup threw up some rather interesting ties with the giant killers Brighton and Hove Albion being handed an away trip to Anfield after their 1-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday evening.
The favourites to win the cup will be thankful they avoided some of the bigger names such as Liverpool, Arsenal and Spurs on what they hope will be on their way to a seventh FA Cup triumph and a fourth in six years.
The aforementioned Tottenham Hotspur were rewarded from their win at Vicarage Road on Friday night with more Football League opposition in the shape of an in-form Stevenage side. The League One club, under new management, beat Notts County to reach the fifth round and will not be a walkover by any means in their first fifth round match in their history.
Arsenal who have yet to play Aston Villa at the Emirates will be given an away tie to the winners of the replay which will be contested in a week and a half's time which sees Sunderland travel to Middlesbrough in the hope that Martin O'Neill can seal a fifth round berth for the first time since 2004.
The North-East derby concluded with both sides cancelling each other out despite controversy over a Craig Gardner goal which might've been.
The lowest ranked side in the competition is League Two's Crawley Town who remain to be the only side that the fourth tier has to offer. Crawley have been given Premier League opposition and a home tie against Premier League opposition, Stoke City in their second successive season in the fifth round. They have beaten the likes of Bury, Redbridge, Bristol City and Hull City in yet another fantastic cup run from the Red Devils, the only Red Devils in the draw.
Elsewhere in the draw, Everton were given a choice of opposition following their Friday night win over Fulham, given a tie at Goodison Park against either Blackpool or Sheffield Wednesday thanks to a late Kevin Phillips leveller at Bloomfield Road in the initial tie.
Those two will meet on a week on Wednesday as will Millwall and Southampton who will be competing for the berth to entertain Bolton Wanderers at home in the fifth round. The last time Millwall entered the fifth round, they went the distance, only to be beaten by Manchester United in the final eight years ago. The remaining tie sees Premier League club Norwich City entertain Leicester City at Carrow Road with Jermaine Beckford looking to improve his FA Cup goal record of 14 goals in 16 matches.
Liverpool v. Brighton & Hove Albion
Everton v. Blackpool or Sheffield Wednesday
Chelsea v. Birmingham City
Crawley Town v. Stoke City
Stevenage v. Tottenham Hotspur
Norwich City v. Leicester City
Sunderland or Middlesbrough v. Arsenal or Aston Villa
Millwall or Southampton v. Bolton Wanderers
Ties to be played the weekend of February 18th and 19th.