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Arsenal and Manchester United favourites ahead of FA Cup Fifth Round Draw


FA Cup holders Arsenal and Manchester United are the front runners to lift the trophy this season, after a host of Premier League sides were dumped out of the competition.

The draw for the Fifth Round will be made later this evening on the One Show, with four of the Premier League's top six not in the hat.

In a weekend where the romance of the FA Cup was reaffirmed, by far the most eye catching results were League One Bradford's 4-2 win over Premier League leaders Chelsea, and Championship side Middlesbrough's 2-0 win over champions Manchester City.

But with third placed Southampton and sixth place Tottenham also crashing out, at the hands of Crystal Palace and Leicester respectively.

Throw into the mix potential dark horses Swansea's defeat to Championship team Blackburn and for the remaining 10 top flight sides, the chance to stake a claim for the trophy looks much improved.

With Manchester United and Liverpool both facing replays, and Stoke fighting it out with Rochdale after the draw this evening, there could be potentially only seven sides left from the top division when the next round of fixtures are played.

For Manchester United, they will be thankful their 0-0 draw with League Two side Cambridge paled in comparison to the calamity of their rivals, but will know they're in for another tough test against a spirited lower league side in the U's.

Liverpool will look to keep the dream alive of their departing captain Steven Gerrard playing his last game for the club at Wembley, and on his birthday no less, by beating Bolton at the Macron next week.

But it's current holders Arsenal who currently look in the best shape, having been clinical in front of goal against Brighton, who in the end were flattered by the 3-2 scoreline.

And one team who will definitely fancy themselves is this season's surprise package West Ham, who have seen a massive change in fortune in the Premier League, and still have ambitions of playing European football next season.

After winning the roulette that is a penalty shoot-out against Everton in the Third Round, they showed their cup pedigree with a hard earned 1-0 win over League One high flyers Bristol City, who certainly didn't make it easy for the East London club.

But after such a dramatic weekend, every side that is in the draw this evening will hold some belief that they could go on to cause an upset or two, or even dream of a walking out at Wembley come May.
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