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Rovers to face Stoke

26 January 2015

Rovers will host Stoke City in the fifth round of the FA Cup after the Premier League outfit overcame Rochdale this Monday evening.

Mark Hughes' side eased to a 4-1 victory at Spotland thanks to goals from Bojan Krkic, Stephen Ireland, Victor Moses and Jonathan Walters. 

Rhys Bennett netted a late consolation effort for Keith Hill's Dale.

Rovers overcame Premier League opposition in the fourth round, beating Swansea City 3-1 at the weekend, and they will hope for a repeat result when the Potters visit Ewood Park over Valentine's weekend.

The two teams have only ever met twice previously in the competition, with Rovers winning 1-0 at Stoke in the last meeting in January 1962. 

Stoke won by the same scoreline in the first FA Cup clash between the sides way back in 1906.

The game will mark a return to Ewood Park for Stoke boss Hughes, who was manager of Rovers between September 2004 and June 2008. During that time, he twice guided Rovers to the semi-final stage of the competition.

The Welshman also served as a player at Ewood Park, scoring seven goals in 64 appearances for the club, which included the Worthington Cup final triumph over Tottenham in February 2002.

Former Rovers Steven Nzonzi, Mame Biram Diouf and Walters, who netted the final goal against Rochdale, are also part of Stoke's squad.

The Premier League side, who currently sit 10th in the table, were held to a 1-1 draw by Gary Bowyer's side at Ewood Park in August, in Rovers' final pre-season fixture before the start of the Championship campaign.

Jordan Rhodes opened the scoring for Rovers with a first-half header, which was cancelled out by former Barcelona man Bojan's second-half strike.

Stoke did the double over Rovers the last time the two teams met in the top-flight, winning 2-1 at Ewood and 3-1 at the Britannia Stadium, with Peter Crouch grabbing three goals. 

Fifth round draw in full:

Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool or Bolton Wanderers
Arsenal vs. Middlesbrough
Aston Villa vs. Leicester City
West Bromwich Albion vs. West Ham United
Bradford City vs. Sunderland or Fulham
Rovers vs. Stoke City
Derby County vs. Reading
Preston North End or Sheffield United vs. Cambridge United or Manchester United.

Ties will be played over the weekend of February 14th/15th.

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