Middlesborough will stand in the way of Arsenal’s bid to retain the FA Cup this season after the draws for the fifth round was made Monday evening.
The Championship team will come to the Emirates on the weekend of February 14/15 in a bullish mood after performing a repeat of the Gooners performance at the Etihad in the fourth round with a fully deserved 2 – 0 victory. Currently on second spot seeking their way back to the Premier League next season, Boro will look to stop Arsene Wenger from winning a record 12th FA Cup for Arsenal.
Given the other possibilities in the mix, this cannot be a bad draw for Arsenal especially given it is a home tie. The Cup was won in London last season and a home tie in the next round will come as a reward for a deserved win at Brighton last Sunday.
History will count on the part of Wenger’s team also as Arsenal have qualified from four of the last four FA Cup ties involving Middlesborough, per Opta, including the win in the semi-final in 2002 en route the Double.
However, Wenger will be wary that his last fifth round defeat was a home game to a Championship team, Blackburn in 2013 and there will be no complacency in the approach to this game in three weeks.
Boro midfielder Adam Clayton has added some spice to the tie by suggesting a good away day for their away fans:
“Another Easy away day for the boroooo boys hahaha can’t wait !! #utb”
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