Manchester City's Raheem Sterling runs during the League Cup soccer match final between Aston Villa and Manchester City, at Wembley stadium, in London, England, Sunday, March 1, 2020. Manchester City is the F.A. Cup defending champion.
Manchester City's Raheem Sterling runs during the League Cup soccer match final between Aston Villa and Manchester City, at Wembley stadium, in London, England, Sunday, March 1, 2020. Manchester City is the F.A. Cup defending champion.|Ian Walton | Associated Press
Soccer

New look F.A. Cup shrugs off critics, will be played midweek for the first time in history — here is the draw, schedule, and odds to win

Sean Miller

Sean Miller

The F.A. Cup fifth round starts Monday with its first midweek proper round.

You may have noticed that the F.A. Cup fifth round is not being played in its usual spot this year.

For 2020, the oldest cup competition in the world (this is the 139th edition dating back to 1871) will be cut down to eight quarterfinalists, after starting last summer with 735 teams.

This year, from the fifth round, there will be a few added wrinkles. Starting Monday, as Portsmouth hosts Arsenal, there will be no replays, to help alleviate fixture congestion that has plagued teams in the past years. This round, the matches have also been moved to midweek for the first time: the match today will kickoff eight games spread over four days.

Manchester City is the defending champion, after the Cityzens routed Watford 6-0 at Wembley last May. They also just won the Carabao Cup for the third straight year, with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa Sunday.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the new moves the English F.A. made to this round, with many of the old school supporters complaining about midweek travel. But the games will go on, and come Thursday night, we will know the identity of the final eight teams.

The draw for the sixth round (quarterfinals) will be held at Hillsborough Wednesday night, after the Sheffield Wednesday Manchester City match with these ball numbers:

  1. Sheffield Wednesday or Manchester City

  2. Reading or Sheffield United

  3. Chelsea or Liverpool

  4. West Bromwich Albion or Newcastle United

  5. Leicester City or Birmingham City

  6. Derby County or Manchester United

  7. Tottenham Hotspur or Norwich City

  8. Portsmouth or Arsenal

FIFTH ROUND MATCHES

Monday, March 2

Portsmouth vs Arsenal (3 p.m.)

Tuesday, March 3

Chelsea vs Liverpool (2:45 p.m.)

Reading vs Sheffield United (3 p.m.)

West Bromwich Albion vs Newcastle United (3 p.m.)

Wednesday, March 4

Leicester vs Birmingham (2:45 p.m.)

Sheffield Wednesday vs Manchester City (2.45 p.m.)

Tottenham vs Norwich City (2:45 p.m.)

Thursday, March 5

Derby County vs Manchester United (2:45 p.m.)

TOP EIGHT ODDS TO WIN F.A. CUP

All lines from Parx Casino Sportsbook

Manchester City (+175)

Liverpool (+500)

Tottenham (+800)

Chelsea (+1100)

Leicester City (+1100)

Manchester United (+1100)

Arsenal (+1200)

Sheffield United (+2000)

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