FA Cup returns-everything you need to know

Written By: BBC

Manchester City are the holders after thrashing Watford 6-0 at Wembley on 18 May 2019

Some 114 days after Manchester United won at Derby County in the fifth round on 5 March, the FA Cup resumes on Saturday with the first of four all-Premier League quarter-finals.

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Norwich City’s game with 12-time winners United at Carrow Road (17:30 BST) – a match you can watch live on BBC One – marks the the return of the competition, which was stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

So who is left in the famous competition? Which two of the remaining eight teams are seeking to win it for the first time? When is the semi-final draw and when does the final take place? Will there be replays?

Why are the quarter-finals in June?

The draw for the quarter-finals took place on 4 March and the four ties were originally scheduled to be played on 21-22 March.

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They were all postponed after football in England was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The FA announced at the end of May a provisional restart date of 27-28 June, with all of this season’s remaining ties to be played behind closed doors.

“The competition has been an integral part of the English football calendar for nearly 150 years, and we’d like to thank the Premier League executive and clubs for their support in scheduling the remaining matches during this unprecedented time,” said FA chief executive officer Mark Bullingham.

When is the draw and where are the semi-finals and final?

The draw for the semi-finals will take place during half-time of Sunday’s Newcastle v Manchester City quarter-final.

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Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer, who will be part of the BBC team at St James’ Park, will conduct the draw.

Due to social distancing rules, BBC guests and presenter Gary Lineker will be stationed at least two metres apart from one another, and crew members.

Former England captain Shearer will be the only person handling the balls during the draw, and all balls and equipment prior to the draw will be thoroughly disinfected.

The semi-finals, which are scheduled to be played at Wembley, will take place across the weekend 18-19 July, with the final on Saturday, 1 August at Wembley – six days after the final day of the Premier League season on 26 July.

This season’s final will be renamed the Heads Up FA Cup final to raise mental health awareness.

Are there replays?

There are no replays at this stage of the competition.

If games are level after 90 minutes, there will be an additional 30 minutes of extra time.

A penalty shootout will take place to decide a winner if the game is still level at 120 minutes.

Who’s left?

Seven-hundred-and-thirty-six teams entered this season’s competition, with the FA Cup starting on 9 August 2019 with the extra preliminary round.

Two non-league sides – Hartlepool United and AFC Fylde – reached the third round, while the last six non-Premier League sides were knocked out of the fifth round.

Norwich City, the lowest ranked club left, and Leicester City are the only two clubs left yet to win the FA Cup, while Arsenal and Manchester United have won it 25 times between them.

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Norwich (hosting Man Utd, Saturday 17:30 BST)

Position – 20th in Premier League. FA Cup winners – 0. Last time reached quarter-finals – 1992. What happened? Norwich City reached the semi-finals for the second time in four seasons after beating Southampton in a replay, before losing to Sunderland 1-0 in a semi-final at Hillsborough.

More of a hindrance than a help? Bottom of the Premier League table with seven matches left, the Canaries are running out of time to save themselves from a quick return to the Championship. However, they are enjoying their best FA Cup run in 28 years. The last time Norwich and Manchester United met in the competition was in the fourth round in 1994, with the Red Devils winning 2-0 at Carrow Road, going on to win the trophy that season.

Key stat: Norwich are winless in their last seven home FA Cup matches (D3 L4) since a 4-1 win against Burnley back in January 2012.

Manchester United (away to Norwich, Saturday 17:30 BST)

Postition – fifth in Premier League. FA Cup winners – 12 times. Last time reached quarter-finals – 2019. What happened? Defender Victor Lindelof was shown a red card as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lost 2-1 to Wolves at Molineux.

Sheffield United (hosting Arsenal, Sunday 13:00 BST)

Position – eighth in Premier League. FA Cup winners – 4 times. Last time reached quarter-finals – 2014. What happened? The Blades were a League One side when they beat Charlton 2-0 to book a Wembley semi-final against Hull City, which they lost 5-3.

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Arsenal (away to Sheffield United, Sunday 13:00 BST)

Position – ninth in Premier League. FA Cup winners – 13 times (record). Last time reached quarter-finals – 2017. What happened? Beat non-league Lincoln City 5-0 on their way to winning the competition by overcoming Chelsea in the final, via a semi-final victory over Manchester City.

Leicester City (hosting Chelsea, Sunday 16:00 BST)

Position – third in Premier League. FA Cup winners – 0. Last time reached quarter-finals – 2018. What happened? Lost 2-1 after extra time at home to Chelsea, who went on to win the competition.

Chelsea (away to Leicester, Sunday 16:00 BST)

Position – fourth in Premier League. FA Cup winners – 8 times. Last time reached quarter-finals – 2018. What happened? Beat Leicester 2-1 after extra time on their way to winning the competition with victory over Manchester United in the final.

Newcastle United (hosting Manchester City, Sunday 18:30 BST)

Position – 13th in Premier League. FA Cup winners – 6 times. Last time reached quarter-finals – 2006. What happened? Lost 1-0 at Chelsea, the result ending captain Shearer’s hopes of winning a trophy with Newcastle.

Manchester City (away to Newcastle, Sunday 18:30 BST)

Position – second in Premier League. FA Cup winners – 6 times. Last time reached quarter-finals – 2019. What happened? Trailed Swansea 2-0 before scoring three times in 19 minutes – including an 89th minute Sergio Aguero winner – on their way to winning the competition.


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