MANCHESTER United will face Chelsea in a mouthwatering FA Cup quarter-final if both clubs progress through their respective fifth-round ties.
Chelsea, the defending champions who are looking to win the competition for a fourth time in five years, secured their place in round five with a 4-0 fourth-round replay defeat of Brentford yesterdayand will face Championship side Middlesbrough next.
The winner of that tie will then play either runaway Barclays Premier League leaders United or Reading in the quarter-finals, with those teams playing their fifth-round clash at Old Trafford tonight.
Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benitez and captain John Terry insisted their relationship is sound following the victory over Brentford.
After goals from Juan Mata, Oscar and Frank Lampard - his 199th for Chelsea - Terry made a goalscoring return with a headed fourth as the holders overcame npower League One Brentford to set up a fifth-round clash with Middlesbrough.
A report yesterday claimed Terry, who made his third start under Benitez following a knee injury sustained in November, and the Spaniard clashed earlier this month, but both parties branded it “rubbish” and were adamant they were on good terms.
“We were surprised today with some comments,” said Benitez, who kept Chelsea on course for a fifth FA Cup triumph in seven seasons.
“It’s totally rubbish. We didn’t have any problem. We were talking about football with the team.
“He was training yesterday, we had normal conversations. Everything was fine. I was really surprised.”
Reigning Premier League champions Manchester City, who saw off Leeds 4-0 yesterday in their fifth-round clash, were handed a home tie with Championship outfit Barnsley in the last eight as they look to repeat their 2011 FA Cup success.
Blackburn’s reward for their shock 1-0 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium was an away tie with fellow Championship side Millwall, who ended the run of non-league Luton in the fifth round with a 3-0 triumph.
The other quarter-final will see Wigan, 4-1 victors over Huddersfield, travel to either Oldham or Everton.
League One Oldham, the lowest-ranked side still in the tournament, earned a fifth-round replay with Everton at Goodison Park after Matt Smith scored a stoppage-time equaliser in a 2-2 draw on Saturday.
n FA Cup quarter-final draw: Oldham/Everton v Wigan; Manchester City v Barnsley; Manchester United/Reading v Middlesbrough/Chelsea; Millwall v Blackburn
The quarter-final ties will be played on the weekend of March 9 and 10.