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Liverpool the big winners after cushy FA Cup quarter-final draw

| 17.02.2015

At last Brendan Rodgers has something to thank England manager Roy Hodgson for; his part in gift-wrapping Liverpool the dream FA Cup quarter-final draw.

With Liverpool already guaranteed a home tie, Hodgson plucked out Blackburn Rovers of the Championship as the Reds’ sixth-round opponents.

The former Fulham boss then piped the icing onto Rodgers’ FA Cup cake by pairing up Arsenal with Manchester United at Old Trafford, thereby absolving himself of his alleged role in Daniel Sturridge-gate early in the season.

Thanks to the rub of the green Liverpool have now shot to the front of the betting with Ladbrokes to lift the FA Cup at 15/8, while there is not a huge amount to choose between 11/5 shots United and the Gunners at 10/3.

Having failed to beat United in eight visits to Old Trafford in all competitions, tasting defeat in seven of those games, the odds on the holders may feel a little skinny.

The 2-1 Premier League victory at the Emirates earlier in Louis van Gaal’s reign also extended United’s unbeaten run to seven matches home or away against Arsenal in the top-flight.

In the other ties, giant-killing Bradford have a golden chance to keep their exceptional run going with 16th-placed Championship side Reading the visitors to Valley Parade.

Only Blackburn (40/1) are given less chance than the League One outfit of glory, at 33s, but with Premier League Sunderland joining Chelsea on Bradford’s list of victims, anything now seems plausible for the Bantams.

The other tie has thrown up an intriguing all-Premier League west Midlands derby, as Tim Sherwood’s new club Aston Villa play host to Tony Pulis’ rapidly-improving West Brom side.

Despite being the away team in the tie, the Baggies’ thumping 4-0 win over West Ham which booked their quarter-final spot in style, sees them marginally ahead of 14/1 shots Villa at 12/1 for the cup.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.