Two English FA Cup Sixth Round (Quarter Final) Fixtures are scheduled to take place on Saturday 12th March 2011, as four teams, all from the Barclays Premier League, do battle to go into the hat for the Semi-Final of the prestigious football tournament.
Birmingham v Bolton – Kick-Off (GMT) 12:45
The day begins with recently crowned Carling Cup champions, Birmingham City, taking on Premier League top-halfers, Bolton Wanderers in a fascinating encounter at St Andrews.
Birmingham have a long list of potential first team players who look likely to miss out, including Lee Bowyer, David Bentley, Keith Fahey, Stephen Carr, Liam Ridgewell, Craig Gardner, Nikola Zigic, Alexander Hleb, Scott Dann and James McFadden. Barry Ferguson will also miss out, meaning Birmingham have very few options open to them, and will likely start this match with several players who have injury niggles at the start of the match.
Jlloyd Samuel, Zat Knight, Sean Davis, Joey O’Brien and Sam Ricketts are all injured for Bolton, while Daniel Sturridge has appeared for Chelsea in an earlier round, and is therefore cup-tied.
Expect a close match, though Bolton, who have a wider pool of their more experienced players to choose from, and better league form this term, must start the match as favourites.
Man Utd v Arsenal – Kick-Off (GMT) 17:15
The tie of the round is undoubtedly Manchester United taking on long-time Premier League rivals Arsenal at Old Trafford. Arsenal were in four competitions a couple of weeks ago, now they have only this FA Cup and the Premier League to aim for, having lost int he final of the Carling Cup and been knocked out by a dazzling Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League, meaning they’ll be keen to stay in this competition.
The Gunners’ job is made more difficult by the absence of captain Cesc Fabregas, however, and they also will miss Wojciech Szczesny, Theo Walcott, Alex Song and Thomas Vermaelen. Robin van Persie is set to captain Arsenal in Fabregas’ absence.
Man Utd will be without their best player of the season, too, as Nani suffered a gashed leg against Liverpool that looks set to keep the Portuguese out for up to a month. Rio Ferdinand and Park Ji-sung are also out for United, but Vidic is back from suspension, adding some strength to the heart of their defence.
United are a force to be reckoned with at Old Trafford, though they will need to find an attacking outlet that does not rely upon the absent Nani, who has had a hand in most of their good moves this season. Rooney and Berbatov will need to be right up to their best today, if Man Utd are to secure a place in the Semi-Finals in front of their home support. Arsenal must score today, which is no easy task against the power of Vidic and the ability of van der Sar in the United goal, though, if they can score once or twice, their own rearguard is good enough to make this into an exciting encounter.
Man Utd v Arsenal is always an exciting prospect at any time: today – with no clear favourite, in the latter stages of a knock-out competition – will be no exception.
FA Cup 2011 Sixth round Fixtures – Saturday 12th March 2011
- Birmingham v Bolton – Kick-Off (GMT) 12:45
- Man Utd v Arsenal – Kick-Off (GMT) 17:15