BOSS Eddie Howe has described as “one of the toughest draws possible” Cherries’ date with Chelsea in the fifth round of the Carabao Cup.

Cherries, who host the Blues at Vitality Stadium on Saturday, will travel to Stamford Bridge during the week commencing Monday, December 18.

The last-eight showdown is sandwiched between Premier League clashes at home to Liverpool and away at Manchester City during the week before Christmas.

Manager Howe will be looking to lead Cherries into the semi-final for the first time in their history following Tuesday’s win over Middlesbrough in the fourth round.

Howe presided over a memorable 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge in Cherries’ first season in the Premier League, one of the club’s greatest results.

Howe told the Daily Echo: “In any cup competition, you always hope for a home draw, especially for the supporters.

“Although we are away to Chelsea, it is not too far to travel for a midweek game and I know our fans will turn out in their numbers.

“Stamford Bridge holds special memories for them and us after the win there in our first season in the Premier League.

“It is one of the toughest draws possible but a game we will really look forward to.

“We have a lot of games in the Premier League to concentrate on before then so will be giving them our full focus.”

Cherries, the only team in the quarter-finals never to have reached the last four, exited the competition at the hands of Chelsea – over two legs in the second round – in 1994-95.

Carabao Cup quarter-final draw: Chelsea v Cherries, Arsenal v West Ham, Leicester v Manchester City, Bristol City v Manchester United.