Sutton manager Paul Doswell has described drawing Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round as the club’s equivalent of the World Cup final.
The Vanarama National League side are celebrating after being rewarded for their shock victory over Championship Leeds on Sunday with a glamorous home draw in the last 16.
The tie, which will see Arsene Wenger’s men play on the 3G pitch at Sutton’s 5,000-capacity Gander Green Lane home, was the highlight of a fascinating draw.
Other intriguing games will see National League leaders Lincoln also face top-flight opposition in Burnley and Liverpool’s conquerors Wolves host Premier League leaders Chelsea.
Doswell told Sky Sports News: “I have just picked myself back up off the floor – a plum, plum game for us against one of the best sides in England, if not Europe. To imagine Arsenal will be coming to our stadium, our Gander Green Lane little fortress, is just incredible.
“We talked about the Wimbledon game being our cup final, then the Leeds game being like the European Cup final, so this is going to be like the World Cup final. It is as big as that for us.”
Sutton have not revelled in such glory since famously beating Coventry, cup winners two years previously, in 1989.
“The profile of the club has risen so much in the last six to eight weeks,” said Doswell. “It’s a massive credit to our players and at least half of them support Arsenal, and about three of them have played for Arsenal.”
It is the first time in the history of the FA Cup that two non-League sides have reached the fifth round.
Lincoln, who have already beaten three League sides in Oldham, Ipswich and Championship leaders Brighton, will continue their cup run at Turf Moor.
Imps player-coach Jamie McCombe said: “We’re happy with the draw. It is going to be exciting. We have got all the motivation we need. It is obviously going to be difficult but it should be a great day for the players.”
Wolves’ victory over Liverpool was their second in succession over Premier League opposition having seen off Stoke in the third round. The visit of Chelsea to Molineux could prove their sternest test yet.
Elsewhere in the draw, Oxford, who stunned Championship high-flyers Newcastle, will travel to Middlesbrough. Tottenham, after surviving a scare against Wycombe, face an all-London clash at Fulham while holders Manchester United and Manchester City will make the short journeys to Blackburn and Huddersfield respectively.
The final tie of the round will see League One Millwall, conquerors of Watford, host the winners of the replay between Derby and Premier League champions Leicester.
Sky Bet reaction
Sutton are right out to 1500/1 to lift the FA Cup having been handed a dream draw at home to Arsenal on Monday.
The lowest-ranked side left in the competition following their victory over Leeds in round four, they can be backed at a huge four-figure price, whereas the Gunners, who’ve won the competition 12 times in their history, were trimmed to 4/1.
Arsene Wenger’s men are now alongside Manchester United in the outright market, with the Red Devils handed a trip to Blackburn of the Sky Bet Championship.
All he fancied sides were drawn away from home to lower-league opposition, meaning the top of betting barely altered with Chelsea and Manchester City both 7/2 after being drawn against Wolves and Huddersfield respectively.
The Clarets, so strong at home so far this season, were one of the more significant movers in the market and are now 25/1 having been 40/1 immediately after progressing past Bristol City.
FA Cup fifth round draw
Burnley v Lincoln
Fulham v Tottenham
Blackburn v Manchester United
Sutton United v Arsenal
Middlesbrough v Oxford United
Wolves v Chelsea
Huddersfield v Manchester City
Millwall v Derby/Leicester