Probably the most attractive fixtures of the FA Cup’s Sixth Round is also one that has neither participant decided as of yet with Manchester United, Reading, Middlesbrough and Chelsea all still embroiled in their Fifth Round encounters.
As far as the neutral fan goes, many will be hoping to see a Manchester United vs. Chelsea tie emerge, although it's disappointing that such a clash couldn’t happen later on.
Should that be the encounter that comes about, a Red Devils win would appear to be the smartest bet.
With 16 points separating the two teams in the English top flight, recent morale a relative symbol of the pair’s differing trajectories, and considering United already beat Chelsea once this season, you can bet that Sir Alex Ferguson’s record over Rafa Benitez will only continue.
What’s more, Middlesbrough would surely see a similar fate even if they were to stage a Fifth Round upset against Chelsea when they meet later on this month.
The Riverside outfit have the fifth worst defence in the Championship and will unfortunately be going up against the best attack in England, even if the likes of Javier Hernandez or Danny Welbeck were to be given increased responsibility.
In the off-chance that Reading pull off an underdog win over Manchester United, an improving Premier League record might just provide the Berkshire club with the means to continue their FA Cup journey.
Only recently did Brian McDermott’s side grab a 2-2 draw against Chelsea, and you can rest assured that the obstacle of Boro or the Blues will see the Hoops call upon their strongest squad.
If that’s the case, Chelsea’s inconsistent form might see them struggle against their domestic rivals and it’s unlikely that Middlesbrough will fare much better.