A change in the FA Cup draw process this year is being brought in, to allow teams to adequately plan their upcoming games in a crowded schedule.
It’s a fairly innocuous alteration, but one which managers might be glad of when the games come every three or four days in February and March once more.
Usually, the draw for the next round takes place once all the games are over and done with – other than replays – but this year the FA have announced they’ll draw the fourth and fifth-round ties together.
Liverpool are up against Aston Villa in the third round on Friday night, with most of the other ties being played over the weekend.
And on Monday, 11 January the final fixtures will take place along with the draw.
The fourth round draw should take place around 7:10pm, live on the FA Cup Facebook page or on BT Sport 1.
As soon as that’s done, the fifth round fixtures will be pulled out too, leaving the Reds to know their route to the quarter-finals…if they overcome Villa, of course.
The fourth-round games will be played the weekend of 23 January, with the fifth round across the midweek of Wednesday, 10 February.
Aston Villa or Liverpool will be ball No. 23 in the initial draw for the fourth round, with new numbers allocated for teams and ties after that round’s fixtures are confirmed.