United's 2022/23 cup competition schedule
With the Premier League fixtures due to be released on Thursday, diaries will soon be filling up with those all-important dates.
Of course, the domestic top flight is not the only competition on the agenda for Erik ten Hag's Reds next term.
There is the challenge of European football in the Europa League, in addition to the Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup. In a season like no other before it, due to the scheduling of the World Cup finals in the winter, we have decided to try to answer some key questions on what to expect in relation to the bid to win these trophies.
WHEN IS THE DRAW FOR THE EUROPA LEAGUE?
We'll know who is in our group when the draw for this stage takes place on Friday 26 August. The path to the final in Budapest, due to be played on 31 May, is starting sooner for some teams with qualifying rounds in everybody's thinking as that draw is held next month.
WHEN ARE OUR EUROPEAN GAMES?
The group stages are all done and dusted by early November because of the World Cup in Qatar. This means two dates in September and three in October, as we look to progress into the knockout rounds. The games are on Thursday nights, kicking off at 18:45 CET and 21:00 CET.
Matchday 1: 8 September
Matchday 2: 15 September
Matchday 3: 6 October
Matchday 4: 13 October
Matchday 5: 27 October
Matchday 6: 3 November
WHAT ABOUT THE LATTER STAGES?
It seems a long way off, and there is much work to do to get to this point, but here are the dates for the knockout rounds in the Europa League. The Reds will hope to win the group but the runners-up go into play-offs in February, along with sides dropping out of the Champions League.
Play-offs: 16 & 23 February
Round of 16: 9 & 16 March
Quarter-finals: 13 & 20 April
Semi-finals: 11 & 18 May
Final: 31 May
IS OUR CARABAO CUP CAMPAIGN STARTING SOON?
In a word, no. The draw for the first round takes place next Thursday but United will not be involved until round three, along with the other clubs in European competition. Due to the unusual nature of the schedule, this stage has been hugely delayed in 2022 and will not begin until 8/9 November, during the final week of Premier League action before everything is put on hold to prioritise international football. The 25 winners from the second round (which is held on 23/24 August) have a long wait until they are joined by the seven teams involved in Europe.
The fourth round is then held a matter of days after the World Cup final in Doha and it is worth noting the semi-finals are still being held over two legs.
Third round: 8/9 November
Fourth round: 20/21 December
Quarter-finals: 10/11 January
Semi-finals: 25 January/1 February
Final: 26 February.
HOW HAS THE FA CUP BEEN AFFECTED?
Well, it all begins for non-league sides on 5 November with the first round proper. The Premier League and Championship clubs enter, as always, in the third round and this is due to be held around the weekend of 7/8 January which, again, is pretty par for the course.
The fifth round is being staged in midweek, as it was in 2021, but the biggest change is surely the final itself at Wembley. Although the finalists will be known on 22 April, the big day itself is not until Saturday 3 June.
Third round: 7 January
Fourth round: 28 January
Fifth round: 1 March
Quarter-finals: 18 March
Semi-finals: 22 April
Final: 3 June
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE TO LOOK OUT FOR?
If you're already craving some United action, our first draw for the new campaign will actually be the Papa John's Trophy. The group stages for this competition, which features Under-21s sides from Premier League clubs, will be known from Thursday 23 June, when they are picked out of the hat live on Sky Sports News.