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Cup draws, fixtures release and when KO games will be played... some key dates for your diary

PUBLISHED: 12:51 13 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:39 13 August 2020

The League One fixtures and EFL Cup first round draw will be revealed next week. Photos: Archant/PA

The League One fixtures and EFL Cup first round draw will be revealed next week. Photos: Archant/PA

Archant

The EFL have today said when the League One fixtures will be announced, when the EFL Cup and Trophy draws will be made and when their knock-out competitions are scheduled to take place in 2020/21. Here are the key dates for your diary.

Ipswich Town have fallen at the first hurdle in the EFL Cup in three of the last four season. Bailey Clements is pictured here in last season's loss at Luton. Photo: PagepixIpswich Town have fallen at the first hurdle in the EFL Cup in three of the last four season. Bailey Clements is pictured here in last season's loss at Luton. Photo: Pagepix

CUP DRAW

The draw for the first round of the EFL Cup will be made on Sky Sports News next Tuesday (Aug 18) at a time to be confirmed.

It will, as always, be regionalised. However, this year, it will be unseeded. That’s a bonus for Ipswich because they were set to lose their seeding following an 11th place finish in League One.

The Blues could end up facing anyone from the south in tiers two to four, including Norwich.

Ipswich Town were knocked out of the EFL Trophy by Exeter last season. Photo: Ross HallsIpswich Town were knocked out of the EFL Trophy by Exeter last season. Photo: Ross Halls

FIXTURES OUT

At 9am next Friday (Aug 21), the League One fixtures for a truncated 2020/21 campaign will be revealed.

It’s been confirmed that the regular seasons in the Championship, League One and League Two will conclude on May 8/9.

Ipswich Town have played six FA Cup replays in the last seven seasons. Replays have been scrapped for this year's competition. Photo: Steve WallerIpswich Town have played six FA Cup replays in the last seven seasons. Replays have been scrapped for this year's competition. Photo: Steve Waller

With the season six weeks shorter than usual due to Covid-19, there will be 11 midweek league games in League One next season.

The play-off finals will take place at Wembley Stadium over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend of May 29/31.

EFL CUP DATES

The first round is scheduled for September 5, but because that clashes with an international window clubs will have the option to move their ties forward a week to August 29 should they wish.

Town have exited the EFL Cup at the first hurdle in three of the past four seasons.

The schedule for this year’s competition is thus:

Round one: Aug 29 or Sept 5

Ipswich Town will face Colchester United, and former keeper Dean Gerken, in a friendly next week. Photo: PAIpswich Town will face Colchester United, and former keeper Dean Gerken, in a friendly next week. Photo: PA

Round two: Sept 15/16

Round three: Sept 22/23

Round four: Sept 29/30

Round five: Dec 22/23

Semis: Jan 5/6 (to be played at the venue of the club drawn out the hat first)

Final: Feb 28

EFL TROPHY DATES

The competition format remains unchanged – so that’s three group games (regionalised), followed by five KO rounds.

The group stage draw will take place next Tuesday (August 18) at 1.30pm on TalkSPORT 2.

Southern Category One academy sides taking part this year are: Arsenal, Chelsea, Southampton, Fulham, Brighton, Norwich and West Ham.

Dates for games are as follows:

Group game 1: Sept 8/9

Group game 2: Oct 6/7

Group game 3: Nov 10/11

Round of 32: Dec 8/9

Round of 16: Jan 12/13

Quarters: Feb 2/3

Semis: Feb 16/17

Final: March 14

FA CUP

Ipswich have played six FA Cup replays over the past seven seasons, but this year the competition have scrapped them ‘to assist in easing pressure on the football schedule and to ensure that domestic competitions can still be delivered’.

The world famous competition will also be less lucrative for clubs this season, with the overall prize fund returning to the same level as the 2017-18 campaign ‘due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic’.

PRE-SEASON

Town’s warm-up schedule had been due to start tomorrow, but their unnamed opposition have pulled out of the tie for reasons beyond their control.

Paul Lambert’s men will instead get their friendly campaign underway against Colchester United in a double header, at the Community Stadium, next Tuesday (Aug 18).

The evening will consist of two separate games lasting 75 minutes each (6pm and 8pm kos).

Colchester will stream the match online for a fee of £5 with the two clubs splitting that revenue.

The Blues are then set to take on Tottenham, at the Premier League club’s impressive new stadium, next Saturday (Aug 22). Again, that behind-closed-doors match is likely to be streamed by the host club.

Town will have at least two more warm-up games after that, possibly three. It’s understood that a behind-closed-doors friendly against Premier League opposition at Portman Road is pencilled in before the big kick-off.

SUMMARY

After the football famine comes the feast...

Following 26 weeks without competitive action, the Blues will play at least eight games inside the opening six weeks of the new campaign – possibly more.

Altogether, they will play a guaranteed 51 games in 35 weeks across all competitions.

Along the way there will be a minimum of 15 midweek matches.

Lambert does have 41 registered professional footballers though, so Town will be better equipped than most to cope with the congestion. How much he decides to rotate his players this season remains to be seen.


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