Fans of English football live in fear of the unbroadcast cup tie, the fixture deemed not interesting enough to be chosen by one of the domestic broadcasters and so often unavailable for viewing anywhere in the world. Often, it is games between mid-level opponents that get the could shoulder as marquee matchups and potential upsets get selected.
Sometimes, though, a big team gets left out—and their fans get lose out. Liverpool at least won’t have to worry about that for their third round FA Cup tie against either Plymouth or Newport. BT Sport has decided that the drawing power of the Reds plus the chance for a League Two side to experience the magic of a cupset makes the game worth selecting.
By doing so, they also nail down the time and date. The game is now set to kick off at 1:30PM GMT from Anfield on Sunday, January 8th. Plymouth and Newport will face off this Saturday to replay their second round tie after neither side could score and it ended 0-0 the last time out despite Newport being down to ten men for a time.
Plymouth currently sit third in League Two, level on points with the second place side and only a point back of first, one of a trio of promotion favourites with the season a third of the way through. Newport, on the other hand, currently sit dead last in the division and face the possibility of being relegated to the National League—formerly Conference National.
For Liverpool, the game comes a week after a league date at Sunderland and three days before they travel to St. Mary’s for the first leg of the EFL Cup semi-final, making it likely that a lot of younger and fringe players will get the chance to impress against their League Two opponents in the FA Cup.