The FA Cup quarter-final replay between Manchester United and Chelsea is likely to be shown on television after the English football Association confirmed that the tie will be played on April 1st. As a result of this announcement, Chelsea’s Premier league encounter with Southampton has been moved. This has disappointed the Premier league strugglers, who have said in a statement that this decision causes a lot of trouble and inconvenience to the supporters. Southampton have also noted that this fixture has already been moved once in order to accommodate the TV schedule.
It was already evident after the 2-2 draw between Chelsea and Manchester United that both teams were going to provide the FA with a lot of headache in terms of fixture congestion. This has been made complicated especially due to the presence of Chelsea in the Europa league. Rafa Benitez and his men will have to face even more congestion if they get past the Romanian club Steaua Bucharest in the Europa league. The European champions trail the Romanians 1-0 from the first leg. The team has already been playing two matches a week almost since the start of the season. The club could well be looking at over 60 matches this campaign if they progress in the Europa league as well.
“The game had already been moved once for the purposes of live Sky TV coverage – to Sunday, 31 March – however, the Premier League have deemed it acceptable to move the fixture once more. The club is extremely disappointed that this decision has been taken; not least because of the significant inconvenience a second change to the fixture will cause our supporters,” said a statement on the official website of Southampton. Southampton would rather play their game in hand now rather than see the rivals overtake them in the table.