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FA Cup: Fixtures, History, TV schedule and what to expect this year

The FA Cup is the oldest national football competition in the world and remains one of the most iconic tournaments on the sporting calendar.

Although the competition may not be seen to be quite as prestigious as it once was, it still attracts plenty of attention, as smaller clubs from lower down the football pyramid get the chance to take on the big boys in the hope of causing a famous FA Cup upset.

FA Cup Dates 2023/24

Here are all the dates for this season's FA Cup from the first round proper through to the final.

  • First Round Proper - The weekend of Saturday 4th November 2023
  • Second Round Proper - The weekend of Saturday 2nd December 2023
  • Third Round Proper - The weekend of Saturday 6th January 2024
  • Fourth Round Proper - The weekend of Saturday 27th January 2024
  • Fifth Round Proper - The week of Monday 26th February 2024
  • Quarter-final - The weekend of Saturday 16th March 2024
  • Semi-final - The weekend of Saturday 20th April 2024
  • The Final - Saturday 25th May 2024

FA Cup format 2023/24

Any club from the top 10 levels of the English football league system can enter, including 100s of non-league teams.

They compete through six qualifying rounds before the tournament reaches the first-round proper with the 32 teams that made it that far joining the first of the 48 professional teams from Leagues One and Two. Premier League and Championship clubs then enter at the third-round stage.

The teams are whittled down over rounds four and five before the competition reaches the quarter-final and semi-final stage.

The semis are played at Wembley Stadium too, before the final takes place, usually in late-May, with the winners qualifying for the following season's UEFA Europa League.

Replays are contested up until the fourth-round stage if an original tie ends in a draw after 90 minutes.

However, from the fifth round onwards, if a game is level at the end of regulation time, it will go straight to extra time and penalties after that if the two teams still can't be separated.

FA Cup 2023/24 Venues

Each round up to and including the quarter-finals features an open draw, with the first team drawn enjoying home advantage. Replays, where needed, are played at the opposite home ground. 

The FA Cup semi-finals and final are played at Wembley Stadium in London. 

How to watch the FA Cup 2023/24

A large selection of FA Cup matches, from the first round through to the final, are available to watch via bet365's Sports Live Streaming service.

From the 2021/22 season, a shared broadcast deal was also agreed for the FA Cup to be shown on the BBC and ITV.

The leading broadcasters join in at the first-round stage, offering terrestrial exposure to some lesser lights of the game, while they cover as many as four live games from the third round onwards, with each enjoying a 'pick' process that alternates round-by-round to allow them to choose their games for live coverage.

They share the quarter-finals and semi-finals, while both offer live coverage of the FA Cup Final itself. 

History of the FA Cup

The FA (Football Association, England's governing body) Cup was first played during the 1871/72 season and the first winners were Wanderers, a team made up of former public schoolboys based in London, who actually won the competition five times in those very early years.

Between 1872 and 1922, various venues hosted the showpiece game, including Kennington Oval, Crystal Palace, Goodison Park and Old Trafford, before the final was first staged at Wembley Stadium in 1923.

It stayed there until 2000, before relocating to Cardiff for six years while Wembley was being rebuilt, and the 'new' Wembley has hosted the final since 2007.

Most successful teams in FA Cup history 

Arsenal have won the FA Cup the most, lifting the trophy a record 14 times, most recently in 2020.

The Gunners have also appeared in the most finals (21). Manchester United are second on the list, winning the Cup 12 times, while Chelsea and Tottenham have been FA Cup winners eight times each, a number that is matched by Liverpool.

In 2023, the first ever Manchester Derby in an FA Cup final saw Pep Guardiola's City defeat Erik ten Hag's United 2-1, contributing to the Citizens matching the Red Devils' 1999 feat of completing a treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. 

Favourites to win the FA Cup 2023/24

The latest outright odds for the 2023/24 FA Cup can be found here.


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