United host Arsenal in pick of the FA Cup quarter-finals

“It will be a good game, a great game. Against Arsenal is always a great game.”

United host Arsenal in pick of the FA Cup quarter-finals

Manchester United defeated third-tier Preston to set up a high-profile home quarter-final with defending champions Arsenal.

The draw for the last eight, performed by England boss Roy Hodgson, took place before the Red Devils came from behind to claim a 3-1 win at Deepdale, meaning Louis van Gaal’s side knew who was waiting in the next round.

Marouane Fellaini, who scored United’s second to put them ahead for the first time against Preston, was among those already looking forward to meeting up with the Gunners.

“It will be a good game, a great game. Against Arsenal is always a great game,” the Belgian told BBC One.

Arsenal and United met in the 2004-05 FA Cup final, the former’s last piece of silverware until they defeated Hull at Wembley last May.

Liverpool’s hopes of reaching Wembley on the occasion of the departing Steven Gerrard’s 35th birthday were also boosted as they were drawn to face Sky Bet Championship side Blackburn at Anfield, though Rovers have already ousted Stoke and Swansea in this year’s competition.

Giant-killers Bradford, fresh from seeing off top-flight sides Sunderland and Chelsea, avoided Premier League opponents this time and will instead take on second-tier Reading at Valley Parade, ensuring a Football League presence in the last four, with the midlands derby between Aston Villa and West Brom completing the draw.

Blackburn boss Gary Bowyer said the news of a trip to Merseyside went down well among his squad, but reiterated the importance of the league programme between now and the fixtures on March 7/8.

“It was a good reaction. Everybody wants a home draw don’t they, but it’s a fantastic draw for us and for our supporters,” he told BBC Radio Five Live.

“It will be a great day out for our supporters. And it will be 20 years since they last went there and won the league there, so it will be an interesting day.

“We’re going to need a bit of luck like we have done in the previous two games as well (against PL opposition), but we’ve got nothing to lose and it’s a fantastic venue for all the lads to go and play in. It will be a fantastic atmosphere as well.

“For us, because of the craziness of the Championship we’ve got five games before we meet them so our focus is firmly on Cardiff tomorrow night. I think when we finish that last game in midweek then we’ll start focusing on the Liverpool game.

“Liverpool are an outstanding team with outstanding players. But we’ve had a bit of luck along the way and if we can be as organised and as disciplined as we have been in the previous two rounds then who knows?”

There will be no repeat of the controversy surrounding the decision not to show Bradford’s defeat of Sunderland on television, with all four games being broadcast live by BBC or BT Sport, with BBC using their first pick to show United versus Arsenal.

Bradford chairman Mark Lawn told Sky Sports: “We’ve got a chance, haven’t we. Ninety minutes from Wembley, both sides will realise, and they will both be going for it.

“I think it gives Bradford a great chance. I think we’ll sell out here again, hopefully it will be bouncing and we’ll push through. That would be great to get these fans back at Wembley again because they deserve it.

“Reading are only one game from Wembley as well and I am sure Phil (Parkinson) will have them prepared right. There’s that little bit of extra spice because Phil’s a big hero down there.”

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