With player availability and game postponements beginning to grip all four English football leagues, the FA have taken the decision to not add any games to the schedule, and not allow replays to be played in the 3rd and 4th rounds of the FA Cup. All games will be played to a finish on the day, with extra time and penalties if needed to separate the teams.
This should help with game congestion, but at the same time it should also add a little more excitement to the ties that are going to be played. Rather than teams holding on for the replay, especially those who would have the replay played at home, we will see teams having no choice but to go for it and try to win the tie. Amongst the full FA Cup draw, many ties now have a slightly different look to them, given the fact there will be no replays, and the same will happen when the 4th round draw takes place after those games have completed.
The changes to the competition will certainly be of interest to those who are betting on the games that will be played in early January. We have seen a rise in mobile betting, giving people the chance to bet on the go, with enough convenience to suit everyone. With new betting apps with welcome bonus available for players, people can get both the convenience of mobile gaming and the great deal of receiving a welcome bonus as a new player.
What will also be interesting to look at is how managers approach the games. Those playing away in a tough tie, may have played for a draw in the final 10 or 20 minutes of the game, had replayed been in place. However, they cannot do that now, if they don’t win in regular time, extra time and penalties will decide things.
Are There Any Upsets on the Cards?
Given that away teams will not be able to play for a draw and a return fixture, here is a look at some potential upsets that we could see happen in the third round. This is something everyone loves to see, smaller clubs that hit the sports headlines by knocking out clubs that are far bigger than them.
Nottingham Forest have seen a huge upturn in their form since appointing Steve Cooper to take over the club. They are pushing towards the playoffs in the Championship and have a big tie against Arsenal in the 3rd round of the FA Cup. A win here for Forest would not only be a surprise result but would be a great boost in confidence as they look to get in the playoffs during the second half of the season.
Elsewhere, clubs such as Swindon, at home to Manchester City, Mansfield, at home to Middlesbrough and Yeovil, at home to Bournemouth, are amongst the other teams looking to cause a shock in round three.