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Last Updated: Monday, 8 March, 2004, 13:36 GMT
Giants drawn together
Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson
Arsenal 10 wins
Manchester United 7 wins
Draws 5
Manchester United and Arsenal have been drawn to face each other in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Sunderland will face either Tranmere or Millwall in the other semi-final, with ties to be played on Sunday 4 April.

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson pitted the country's two footballing powerhouses against each other when he made the draw at FA headquarters.

The draw also means that there may be a Nationwide team competing in Europe next season.

If, as expected, Arsenal and Manchester United finish in the top four in the league, a Uefa Cup spot will definitely go to either Sunderland, Millwall or Tranmere.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said he anticipated another tough battle with Arsenal in the match, which is expected to be played at Villa Park.

"I just felt we would (draw Arsenal). I can smell these things," said Ferguson.

"There is a closeness between the two sides which is emphasised by the results of our last few matches.

"We've had two draws and one win each in the last four games. Their form has been better than ours this season, but Villa Park is a good venue for us."

Arsenal and Manchester United will now face each other on consecutive weekends, with the pair due to play in the Premiership on 28 March.

The two matches fall either side of England's friendly against Sweden in Gothenburg - a fact which is likely to leave Sven-Goran Eriksson short of representatives from either club for the match.

"It's the last friendly we have before we pick the squad for Portugal," Eriksson stressed.

But the Swede added: "As always when it's a friendly game I must be aware of which players might have some problems because it's always very stupid to risk being badly injured in a friendly."

Record bid

Arsene Wenger's men are vying for a record fourth consecutive FA Cup final appearance and a third consecutive FA Cup win.

But Manchester United will be aware that they knocked Arsenal out of the competition at this stage in 1999 when Sir Alex Ferguson's side went on to claim an historic Treble.

The Gunners also have their own Treble in sight. They are nine points clear of United in the Premiership and are going strong in this season's Champions League.

Sunderland were the last First Division team to make the FA Cup final in 1992 when they lost to Liverpool at Wembley.

If Millwall beat Tranmere in the quarter-final replay, Sunderland boss Mick McCarthy would face the only other club side he has managed.

BBC Five Live's Mike Ingham
"United won a thriller the last time they met in the Cup"

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"I'm looking forward to it"

Wilkins relishes replay
08 Mar 04  |  FA Cup
McCarthy on Lions alert
08 Mar 04  |  Sunderland
Little laughs off Euro talk
08 Mar 04  |  Tranmere Rovers

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