FA Cup 2013 quarterfinals: Chelsea, Manchester United coming off European failures

Clive Rose

The best tie of the quarterfinal round is clearly Manchester United - Chelsea. In fact, the other three are seriously lacking in intrigue.

There are six Premier League teams remaining in the FA Cup, and yet only one of four quarterfinal ties constitutes a must-watch game. It overlaps with the Tottenham-Liverpool game, mostly because the FA and Richard Scudamore hate you.

Manchester United and Chelsea, both coming off surprising (and in United's case, controversial) European defeats, meet at Old Trafford in one of the biggest games of the season for either club. Given that United have the Premier League title all but wrapped up and Chelsea are out of the title race, while both teams are out of the Champions League, it wouldn't be surprising to see both teams prioritize the FA Cup. It is a trophy, after all.

Millwall take on Blackburn at The Den in what should be an evenly matched encounter, possibly featuring fans who throw things at officials. Wigan might pull off an upset away to Everton, but given their current predicament in the league, it wouldn't be stunning to see Roberto Martinez pick a rotated squad. In the round's least interesting tie, Manchester City host Barnsley, who they should beat without their best players in the starting XI.

Now that I've said that, watch as Barnsley lays a beating on the Citizens.

Schedule (all times ET)

Everton vs. Wigan Athletic - Saturday, 7:45 a.m.
Manchester City vs. Barnsley - Saturday, 12:30 p.m.
Millwall vs. Blackburn Rovers - Sunday, 10 a.m.
Manchester United vs. Chelsea - Sunday, 12:30 p.m.

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