Why Arsenal draw is the best Manchester United could have hoped for

Why drawing Arsenal in the FA Cup is the best outcome for Manchester United.

Manchester United's win over Preston North End set up an FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal, which fortunately for them they will play at home.

The Red Devils have a strong record against Arsenal in recent seasons, but would a game against Bradford City or Aston Villa have been preferable?

Here's why facing Arsene Wenger's side at this stage is the best draw United could have asked for.

Best chance to eliminate big rival 

United are one of three favourites to win the FA Cup, along with Arsenal and Liverpool. Getting the chance to eliminate the Gunners now is the ideal option for them. Should they manage to, a softer tie may await in a semi-final or final, which would be played on neutral turf. The home advantage will give United the edge they need to beat the Gunners, if they can raise their game accordingly.

Answers questions over soft draw

The draw United have had this season in the FA Cup has been soft, even if they have made hard work of it. They have not faced a single Premier League or Championship team, instead being drawn against Yeovil Town, Cambridge United and Preston. While they are at home for this one, if they knock out Arsenal, any claims they have been given an easy ride in the competition will diminish somewhat.


The Red Devils are not in European competition this season, but Arsenal have to play the game at Old Trafford in between their Champions League second round matches. The Gunners face Monaco later this month and in March, with a three week gap between both ties. They already have Premier League fixtures against QPR, West Ham and Everton between the games, and now a trip to Old Trafford packs their schedule, and will test their squad. 

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