FA Cup final avoids clash with Premier League fixtures

FA Cup final day
The FA Cup final is traditionally at season's end

The FA Cup final will not clash with the penultimate round of Premier League fixtures after they were moved to accommodate the Wembley showpiece.

The Cup final traditionally takes place at the end of the season but was in danger of being overshadowed by a full round of Premier League encounters.

But only three or four of the scheduled eight or nine games will now be played on Saturday 14 May.

Those matches will start at 1245 BST and the Cup final at 1500 BST.

Two of the four semi-finalists - Manchester United, Manchester City, Bolton and Stoke - will have their Premier League fixtures postponed if they reach the final.

City and Stoke are due to meet that weekend, meaning only their match will be rearranged if they both reach the final.

Any other combination of finalists would see two matches postponed, with all four semi-finalists currently scheduled to play at 1245 BST.

Five games have been moved to Sunday 15 May, with most kicking off at 1600 BST.

It is understood the Premier League had planned to avoid a clash with the Cup final as soon as this season's fixtures were announced.

The FA Cup final cannot be played any later than 14 May this season as Uefa rules say Wembley must not be used for two weeks before the Champions League final on 28 May.

FA Cup final weekend Premier League fixtures:

Saturday 14 May (kick-off 1245 BST): Blackburn v Man Utd*, Blackpool v Bolton*, Man City v Stoke*, Sunderland v Wolves, West Brom v Everton.

Sunday 15 May (kick-off 1600 BST unless stated): Chelsea v Newcastle (1330), Arsenal v Aston Villa, Birmingham v Fulham, Liverpool v Tottenham, Wigan v West Ham.

* Will be postponed if teams involved reach FA Cup final

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