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Cup draw opens path to Wembley for Arsenal and Spurs

Arsenal must beat two non-league teams, while Spurs once again avoid Premier League opposition

19 February, 2017 — By Richard Osley

BOTH Arsenal and Spurs will be confident of reaching the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley after they escaped Premier League opposition in the draw for the last eight.

The Gunners must still beat non-league Sutton tomorrow night (Monday) to feature in the quarter-finals of the competition but learned this evening that they if they do they will face another team from outside of England’s four professional divisions. They were drawn at home to Lincoln City, the non-league conquerors of Ipswich Town, Brighton and Hove Albion and, yesterday (Saturday), Burnley.

Meanwhile, Spurs, who coasted to a fifth round win against Championship side Fulham earlier, will also be happy with the way the balls were drawn out. They face the prospect of reaching the final four without having to play a top league team after being drawn at home to Millwall, who are seventh in League One. Before their visit to Craven Cottage today, Spurs had previously beaten Aston Villa and Wycombe Wanderers.

Elsewhere, double-chasing Chelsea and Manchester United will face off in a heavyweight quarter-final, while Middlesbrough will host either Manchester City or Huddersfield who played out a goalless draw yesterday. The ties, however, leave the door open for Arsenal and Spurs to meet once more in the FA Cup.

Arsenal won 2-0 in a third round tie in 2014, but more memorable were the rivals’ semi-final clashes.Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne helped Tottenham earn a famous 3-1 win at that stage in 1991 before Arsenal quickly got their revenge in 1993 when a Tony Adams header won the cup derby, again in the semi-finals. In 2001, the semi-final draw again pitched the two rivals together, this time at Old Trafford as Wembley was being redeveloped, with Arsenal coming from behind to win 2-1. The clubs, however, have never met in the final itself.

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