The draw for the fifth round of the FA Cup was announced on Sunday, setting up the pairings for the final 16 teams left in the competition, including a tough visit by Josh Sargent and Norwich to seven-times winners Liverpool.
The matches are set to take place during the midweek on March 1-2, and include only one club from outside the top two divisions of the English soccer pyramid.
With six Americans left in the competition, the luck of the draw only set up one potential Yank vs. Yank battle, as Nottingham Forest will host Huddersfield Town. However, only Duane Holmes is likely to feature for the Terriers, as Ethan Horvath has continued to be overlooked even in Forest’s cup run.
Chelsea were made to work for their place in the final 16, missing their American attacker Christian Pulisic after returning from USMNT duty, and needing 120 minutes to beat League One club Plymouth Argyle over the weekend.
They have drawn another lower-league opponent, and will visit Championship club Luton Town, who are in the mix for one of the coveted spots in the promotion playoff to reach the Premier League.
Similarly Zack Steffen and Manchester City will also visit a Championship club, Peterborough United, as they attempt to reach May’s final in Wembley.
Josh Sargent missed Norwich’s win over fellow Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday due to a positive Covid test. However he will be chomping at the bit to take on their next opponent on March 2, Liverpool FC.
The Canaries have already played Liverpool twice this season, once in Premier League play and once in the League Cup, both times losing by a 3-0 scoreline. The will have not only one, but two more bites of the cherry in the coming weeks, as they will also visit Anfield on February 19 in league play.
Finally, Folarin Balogun, on-loan at Middelsbrough from Arsenal, will have a bit of extra motivation as his temporary home host his permanent club’s neighborhood rivals, Tottenham. Balogun started in Boro’s shocking penalty-shootout upset over Manchester United – another of Arsenal’s biggest historical rivals – in this past weekend’s fourth round, so he will be relishing the chance to topple a second.
FA Cup Fifth-Round Draw
Luton Town – Chelsea (Christian Pulisic)
Crystal Palace – Stoke City
Peterborough United – Manchester City (Zack Steffen)
Liverpool – Norwich City (Josh Sargent)
Southampton – West Ham United
Middlesbrough (Folarin Balogun) – Tottenham Hotspur
Nottingham Forest (Ethan Horvath) – Huddersfield Town (Duane Holmes)
Everton – AFC Boreham Wood