The quarter-final lineup for this season's FA Cup was drawn on Sunday, with Guus Hiddink's in-form Chelsea poised to take on Everton in the next round after defeating Manchester City 5-1.
Holders Arsenal will face Watford in the last eight if they can beat Hull City in their fifth-round replay, while Manchester United will take on West Ham United if they defeat Shrewsbury Town on Monday. Here's the quarter-final fixture list in full:
|Shrewsbury/Manchester United||vs.||West Ham United|
Fixtures will be played across the weekend of March 12.
Reading are the only non-Premier League outfit assured of a place in the quarter-finals, but League One Shrewsbury remain the lowest-placed team left in the competition as they look to shock the Red Devils.
The date for Arsenal's fifth-round replay against Hull City is yet to be confirmed.
Chelsea's tie against Everton is the only quarter-final tie guaranteed to involve two Premier League outfits, and the Blues will view an away trip to Goodison Park as one of the toughest fixtures they could have faced.
KICCA's Ian Stafford also highlighted that while Arsenal's quarter-final status is yet to be confirmed, they could have one of their easier matchups on their schedule if they make it past Hull:
Even better for Arsenal you'd think if they get past Hull. Chelsea have Everton away, United have West Ham at home. Gunners? Watford home!— Ian Stafford (@IanStaffs) February 21, 2016
Arsene Wenger's side were disappointed to see they'd require a replay against the Tigers in order to book their quarter-final spot, especially as their calendar already looks packed entering a busy period.
Opta statistician Orbinho noted the Gunners have been fortunate in recent draws, with another FA Cup home fixture potentially in their sights:
If they get through Arsenal will have had 11 home ties in the last 13 draws (excluding semis & final).— Orbinho (@Orbinho) February 21, 2016
The north Londoners need all the help they can get, too, considering they host Barcelona on Tuesday before facing Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Swansea City in the space of eight days.
Even the former leader of the Labour party, John Prescott, gave his account of the draw and tipped Hull to defeat Arsenal when they eventually see out their replay:
On paper, Manchester United appear to be shoo-ins against third-tier Shrewsbury Town, but after failing to win their last three fixtures, Red Devils fans will know Monday's fifth-round decider is all but won.
The prize for Louis van Gaal's side if they make it to the quarters is a tie opposite Slaven Bilic's West Ham, a fixture Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News professed to holding good memories for United:
West Ham in the Cup offers #mufc fans good memories. 6-0 in 2003 featured a P.Neville chip and Van Persie scored one of his finest in 2013.— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) February 21, 2016
The prospect of a home fixture in the next round also gives United an advantage to look forward to, but West Ham's away form this term means they'll pose a stiff challenge.
The Hammers currently sit just a point below United in the Premier League and have won five times on the road, scoring 20 goals in the process, not to mention earning a 0-0 draw in their last trip to Old Trafford.
Reading sit 16th in the Championship and are hoping the FA Cup will give them a happy distraction from their league struggles. After defeating West Bromwich Albion in the last round, Alan Pardew's Palace will be the next top-flight outfit in their sights.
Pardew finished his playing career at Reading before managing the Royals from 1999 to 2003, and he'll hope the Eagles are capable of helping him clinch a personal victory in the next round.