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CARABAO CUP FIFTH ROUND DRAW; THE BIG GUNS SET APART AS UNITED FACE BRISTOL CITY

The 2017 Carabao Cup Fifth round draw has been concluded and holders Manchester United will face Championship side Bristol City in the quarter-final of the 2017 Carabao Cup, while Arsenal were handed a London derby against West Ham United in the draw on Thursday.

Chelsea will host Bournemouth, while Manchester City face a tricky trip to Leicester City in the other ties. Meanwhile, Sky Sports confirmed the matches will be played across Tuesday and Wednesday, December 19-20.

Once the draw was made, four of the Premier League’s big guns were kept apart. It means there is a chance of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and United all being involved in the semi-final ties.

United look the strongest bet to go through after drawing opposition from outside England’s top flight. Yet Bristol City have made a habit of beating Premier League opposition en route to the fifth round.

They bounced out Crystal Palace, Stoke City and Watford in previous rounds. However, United will represent an altogether different challenge as holders.

The Red Devils are loaded with squad depth and can turn to the likes of Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata as part of a talented cup squad. Manager Jose Mourinho has also lifted this cup four times and places more stock in winning it than many other managers.

In contrast to Mourinho, Arsenal chief Arsene Wenger has yet to win this trophy. The Gunners have lost in two finals and appeared in numerous other semi-finals, as Wenger has usually treated the tournament as an opportunity to give academy players a chance.

His policy paid dividends in the previous round when 18-year-old forward Edward Nketiah came off the bench to score twice and beat Norwich City.

Wenger applauded Nketiah’s qualities, per Joe Mewis of the Daily Mirror: “I know that he can score goals and that he has character. He is not afraid. He can give and go, and once a player has that in his game, they have a chance.”

Expect Nketiah and fellow academy players Reiss Nelson, Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles to play some part against a Hammers side buoyed by coming back from two down to beat Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday in the previous round.

Leicester may fancy their chances against Premier League leaders Manchester City after appointing Claude Puel as manager on Wednesday, per Goal’s Ryan Benson. The Frenchman guided Southampton to the final last season, where the Saints were unlucky to lose to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-inspired United.

Arsenal and Manchester City’s progress was mired in controversy amid rumours both clubs could face a Football League probe after making too many substitutes in Round 4, per Charlie Wyett of The Sun.

As things stand, both Arsenal and City remain present in a quarter-final draw with the potential to set up some heavyweight ties in the last four

THE DRAW IN FULL

Chelsea vs Bournemouth

Arsenal vs West Ham

Leicester City vs Manchester City

Bristol City vs Manchester United

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