Leicester City have been drawn against Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
The two teams played at the same stage at Stamford Bridge back in 2012 when the Foxes last reached the sixth round. The game back then finished 5-2 to the hosts who went on to lift the trophy come the end of the season.
This time however, the teams will clash at the King Power Stadium on the weekend of the 17th of March.
City were awarded a place in the sixth round on Friday night after progressing past opponents Sheffield United more convincingly than the 1-0 score-line suggested. Jamie Vardy latched onto an inch perfect cross from Riyad Mahrez once again to head home the only goal of the game in the second half. The Foxes put out a strong team at home against the Blades seemingly proving that manager Claude Puel is taking the competition very seriously.
90 minutes from Wembley
Chelsea coasted past Hull City in the previous round with a 4-0 thumping at Stamford Bridge. Antonio Conte’s team will travel to the East Midlands with the match to be played over the weekend of 16–19 March. The winner of the round will be rewarded with a trip to Wembley Stadium in the semi-finals. Leicester haven’t made it to the last four since 1982.
As well as the FA Cup, Chelsea are still competing on other fronts including the UEFA Champions League. They have been drawn against the Catalans, Barcelona in the first knockout round. Conte’s men are also in the running for a top four finish in the Premier League. It will be interesting to see if the Chelsea team will have to use squad rotation with the pressures of these extra games.
For the first time, there will be no replays at the quarter-final stage. Any matches that end in a draw will go straight to extra-time and, if required, penalties. A decision made back in May 2016 in an effort to add more excitement to the cup and to also ease any congested fixture lists.
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A chance of Europe
Winning the FA Cup is an outstanding honour in its own right, however an extra prize of winning the oldest domestic cup competition in the world, is the qualification into the Europa League cup competition for the following season.
With ‘bigger’ teams such as Arsenal and Liverpool already being knocked out, this could be a real chance for Leicester to push on for a successful cup run.