Great Britain

Why are FA Cup 5th round ties in midweek, and what dates are they being played?

FIXTURE congestion is the modern manager's biggest bugbear.

Teams at the top end of the pyramid in England are worried that their stars are playing too many games - and replays have been scrapped from the FA Cup fifth round onwards as a result.

The world's oldest cup competition has been running since 1871 and Man City are out to defend the crown they won so emphatically last May.

Why are FA Cup 5th round ties in midweek?

THIS year's competition is well underway and the fourth round draw has thrown up some tasty looking ties.

But you may have noticed that the fifth round games won't be played over a traditional weekend.

The FA have made the controversial decision to scrap replays from this stage onwards - and also hold each match in midweek.

It's simply to alleviate fixture congestion in what is a notoriously busy time of year.

The move was made last year after six Premier League clubs reached the Champions League and Europa League knockout stages.

EFL chiefs agreed the change with the Premier League and FA last June - but it remains to be seen in the long term is replays remain in their current format or are culled altogether.

What dates are they being held?

THE draw has been made for the fourth round and ties are being played across weekend January 24-27.

Replay dates will be confirmed once all of the ties have been completed ahead of the fifth round draw.

The schedule for the remainder of this year's FA Cup looks like this:

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