The quick turn-around would have United play three matches in seven days, set to appear at The Emirates three days after meeting Olympique Marseille for a UEFA Champions League match in Manchester.
There are four factors that are compelling the quick turnaround, set to give us a rare Friday FA Cup match:
- With April quickly approaching, the reality of Manchester United being alive in three competitions means there is little room for scheduling second match. (Yes, this seems like a great argument for doing away with replays entirely, but that's obviously not an option this tournament.)
- With the semifinals set in stone for the weekend of April 16, the FA has a small window within which to find a date.
- That window is made smaller because of Saturday's Tottenham-West Ham match, with local police not wanting to secure two secure two matches on the same day.
- Local transportation issues (construction) preclude a Sunday match.
Should the replay be required, United and Arsenal's weekend matches (with Bolton and West Ham, respectively) would be postponed, and with Manchester United's injury situation compelling Alex Ferguson to start a team better suited to defend, the Red Devils are closing in on a very busy week.