FA Cup rules explained ahead of Stoke City v Leicester


Stoke City launch their FA Cup campaign this weekend when they host Premier League high fliers Leicester at the bet365 Stadium.

There are 64 sides remaining in the draw, with 32 ties to be played between Friday (January 8) and Monday (January 11).

The third round gets under way with two all-Premier League clashes – Aston Villa v Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers v Crystal Palace – and will be concluded with Stockport County taking on West Ham United.

There have been a few changes to the format and rules of the FA Cup this season, partly due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s all you need to know…

Stoke City v Leicester pre-match trivia

  • Stoke City last faced Leicester City in the FA Cup in the third round in 2013/14, winning 2-1 under Mark Hughes.
  • The last three meetings between Stoke and Leicester at the bet365 Stadium have all ended 2-2, all in Premier League meetings between September 2015 and November 2017.
  • After a run in which they progressed from seven consecutive FA Cup third round ties between 2009/10 and 2015/16, Stoke have been eliminated from their last four third round ties.
  • Leicester have progressed from all five of their FA Cup ties against Championship opposition since they won promotion to the Premier League in 2014.

Covid-19

With a new national lockdown announced amid a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases, football clubs are not immune and some ties could be at risk of postponement.

Derby County’s trip to Ollie Shenton’s Chorley is expected to go ahead, however, despite an outbreak ruling out a host of first teamers – with Academy director Darren Wassell expected to take under-23 and under-18s players.

If clubs do not have enough players available to fulfil a fixture, it will have to be called off.

Some reports suggest that if postponed matches cannot be rearranged before the fourth round, the affected team will have to forfeit, giving their opponent a bye.

Sky Sports reported on Tuesday that no club will automatically have to forfeit a game if they are hit by coronavirus, with each case to be assessed by the FA on its individual circumstances.

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Substitutions

Clubs can name a maximum of nine substitutes for their ties, with teams permitted a maximum of three opportunities to make substitutions during the match.

However, if a player suffers a concussion (or potential concussion), clubs shall be permitted to use an additional two substitutions.

Replays

There will be no replays in this season’s competition.

The FA introduced the measure “to assist in easing pressure on the football schedule and to ensure that domestic competitions can still be delivered”.

That means if the scores are level after 90 minutes, a period of 30 minutes extra time will be played.

If the sides still cannot be separated, the outcome will be determined by a penalty shoot-out.

VAR

Video Assistant Referees (VAR) will only be used in nine of the 32 third round ties.

They are the ones taking place at Premier League stadiums.

TV and live streaming

Fans in the UK will be able to watch all 32 ties, either on BBC and BT Sport and their digital channels or through The FA Player.

Eight fixtures will be live across the BBC’s platforms, 16 across BT Sport’s digital channels and the remaining eight fixtures broadcast free to supporters on the FA Player.

Here are the full details…

Friday 8 January 2021

Aston Villa v Liverpool (7.45pm) – BT Sport 1

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Crystal Palace (7.45pm) – BT Sport Extra 2

Saturday 9 January 2021

Boreham Wood v Millwall (12pm) – BT Sport Extra 3

Everton v Rotherham United (12pm) – BT Sport Extra 2

Norwich City v Coventry City (12pm) – BT Sport Extra 5

Nottingham Forest v Cardiff City (12pm) – BT Sport Extra 4

Luton Town v Reading (12pm) – BT Sport Extra 6

Chorley v Derby County (12.15pm) – BT Sport 1

Blackburn Rovers v Doncaster Rovers (3pm) – FA Player

Burnley v Milton Keynes Dons (3pm) – FA Player

Wycombe Wanderers v Preston North End (3pm) – FA Player

Stevenage v Swansea City (3pm) – BBC digital platforms

Queens Park Rangers v Fulham (3pm) – BBC digital platforms

Stoke City v Leicester City (3pm) – BBC digital platforms

Blackpool v West Bromwich Albion (3pm) – BT Sport Extra 3

Bristol Rovers v Sheffield United (3pm) – BT Sport Extra 4

Exeter City v Sheffield Wednesday (3pm) – BT Sport Extra 5

Oldham Athletic v AFC Bournemouth (3pm) – BT Sport Extra 6

Arsenal v Newcastle United (5.30pm) – BBC One

Huddersfield Town v Plymouth Argyle (6pm) – FA Player

Brentford v Middlesbrough (6pm) – FA Player

Manchester United v Watford (8pm) – BT Sport 1

Southampton v Shrewsbury Town (8pm) – BT Sport Extra 2

Sunday 10 January 2021

Chelsea v Morecambe (1.30pm) – BBC digital platforms

Manchester City v Birmingham City (1.30pm) – BBC digital platforms

Bristol City v Portsmouth (1.30pm) – FA Player

Cheltenham Town v Mansfield Town (1.30pm) – FA Player

Barnsley v Tranmere Rovers (1.30pm) – FA Player

Crawley Town v Leeds United (1.30pm) – BBC One

Marine v Tottenham Hotspur (5pm) – BBC One

Newport County v Brighton & Hove Albion (7.45pm) – BT Sport 1

Monday 11 January 2021

Stockport County v West Ham United (8pm) – BT Sport 1

Third round draw in full

Huddersfield Town v Plymouth Argyle

Southampton v Shrewsbury Town

Chorley v Derby County

Marine v Tottenham Hotspur

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Crystal Palace

Stockport County v West Ham United

Oldham Athletic v Bournemouth

Manchester United v Watford

Stevenage v Swansea

Everton v Rotherham

Nottingham Forest v Cardiff

Arsenal v Newcastle

Barnsley v Tranmere Rovers

Bristol Rovers v Sheffield United

Boreham Wood v Millwall

Blackburn Rovers v Doncaster

Stoke City v Leicester

Wycombe v Preston

Crawley v Leeds

Burnley v MK Dons

Bristol City v Portsmouth

QPR v Fulham

Aston Villa v Liverpool

Brentford v Middlesbrough

Manchester City v Birmingham

Luton v Reading

Chelsea v Morecambe

Exeter v Sheffield Wednesday

Norwich v Coventry

Blackpool v West Brom

Newport County v Brighton

Cheltenham v Mansfield

The bet365 Stadium will host pre-season dinner

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Round dates

Fourth round proper: Saturday 23 January 2021

Fifth round proper: Wednesday 10 February 2021

Quarter-finals: Saturday 20 March 2021

Semi-finals: Saturday 17 April 2021

The final: Saturday 15 May 2021

Prize fund

Third round proper winners £61,500 (losers receive £20,500)

Fourth round proper winners £90,000

Fifth round proper winners £180,000

Quarter-final winners £360,000

Semi-final winners £900,000

Semi-final losers £450,000

Final runners-up £900,000

Final winners £1,800,000





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