Major FA Cup fifth round rule change impacting Manchester City and Luton Town ahead of clash

Prior to their match on Tuesday, Manchester City and Luton Town may be affected by a significant modification to the competition rules.

On Tuesday night, Pep Guardiola’s team will travel to Luton Town for an Emirates FA Cup fifth round match. This will be Manchester City’s first-ever matchup with the Hatters in the storied competition since 1969.

When the two teams met in the Premier League in December, City—who had not played at Kenilworth Road since the turn of the century—came from behind to win 1-2, despite goals from Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva coming in rapid succession.

The victory at Luton is a part of the Sky Blues’ current 17-game winning streak. In all competitions, Manchester City has won 15 of the last 17 games, including victories over Tottenham and Huddersfield to advance to the FA Cup fifth round.

Under Guardiola’s leadership, City has advanced to the FA Cup quarterfinals in all but one of the previous seven seasons, winning their last eight FA Cup games by an overall score of 25-1.

Luton advanced to the fifth round by defeating both Bolton and Everton. The Hatters, who haven’t won since January, are attempting to make it to the quarterfinals for the first time since 1994.

The home team hasn’t defeated City since winning the League Cup at Kenilworth Road in 1988, although Rob Edwards’ team has impressed against the elite six this year, putting on strong performances against Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, and City.

The Football Association has announced a modification to the competition rules starting with the fifth round, so if Manchester City and Luton draw on Tuesday night, there won’t be a replay at the Etihad Stadium.

Replays were eliminated in an effort to reduce the number of players competing, so any matches that are tied after 90 minutes in the fifth round will proceed directly to extra time and penalties.

While Luton needed a third-round rematch against League One team Bolton, Manchester City defeated both Huddersfield and Tottenham without the need for one.

In the Premier League, Luton plays Aston Villa on Saturday night, while Guardiola’s team plays Manchester United again on Sunday.


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