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The pros and cons of FA Cup replays returning for the 2021/22 season

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FA Cup replays to return

After a season without FA Cup replays the phenomenon is set to return for the upcoming season.

For those out of the know, during the first meeting of any two teams from the first round to the quarter-final, in the event of a draw the match will be replayed at the ground of the away side from the initial meeting.


The immediate positive is that fans will be able to witness more games next season in the tournament. The world’s oldest domestic cup competition throws up some of the best games of football in the world with amazing shocks and classic clashes.

For teams further down the footballing pyramid the possibility of playing more games against higher-level opposition also brings with it financial gain.

Should the games be televised then some clubs can get an injection of money which they wouldn’t have otherwise seen. This can be often used to improve facilities like training grounds and stadium refurbishments, not to mention the obvious transfer implications.

It also gives teams opportunities to give time to young players who otherwise would be unable to earn minutes in the league or Europe.

The pros and cons of FA Cup replays returning for the 2021/22 season

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 06: Philippe Sandler of Manchester City is substituted on during the FA Cup Third Round match between Manchester City and Rotherham United at the Etihad Stadium on January 6, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)


The downside to FA Cup replays are almost exclusive to those in the top 2 divisions of English football.

More games means a more congested fixture schedule and those competing in European competitions will find themselves playing more than one game a week throughout the season.

Due to the pandemic, there was a situation where some teams had to play more than two games in a single week which was a huge detriment to player fitness. This meant coaches rotating so heavily that entire first elevens were swapped out.

With Chelsea also being involved in the Club World Cup this year, having won the Champions League, their season could be further prolonged should they be taken to replays.

The pros and cons of FA Cup replays returning for the 2021/22 season

PORTO, PORTUGAL – MAY 29: (—-EDITORIAL USE ONLY â MANDATORY CREDIT – “UEFA / ALEXANDER HASSENSTEIN / HANDOUT” – NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS – DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS—-) Players of Chelsea celebrate with the trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League final match against Manchester City at Dragao Stadium on May 29, 2021 in Porto, Portugal. Chelsea won the 2021 Champions League title after beating Manchester City 1-0 in the final on Saturday. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein – UEFA/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

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This article was edited by Ben Browning.

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2 Liverpool FC 5 11 13
3 Manchester United 5 9 13
4 Brighton & Hove Albion 5 3 12
5 Manchester City 5 10 10
6 Everton FC 5 3 10
7 Tottenham Hotspur 5 -3 9
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9 Brentford FC 5 3 8
10 Aston Villa 5 1 7
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12 Leicester City 5 -3 6
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15 Southampton FC 5 -2 4
16 Wolverhampton Wanderers 5 -3 3
17 Leeds United 5 -7 3
18 Newcastle United 5 -7 2
19 Burnley FC 5 -6 1
20 Norwich City 5 -12 0
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Player Team Goals
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 5
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 5
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 4
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 4
Benrahma, Said West Ham United 3
Gray, Demarai Everton FC 3
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 3
Lukaku, Romelu Chelsea FC 3
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 3
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 3
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 3
Raphinha Leeds United 3
Greenwood, Mason Manchester United 3
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