Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool still in action during World Cup

It isn’t ALL about the World Cup! Leagues One and Two carry on regardless, non-League giant-killers hope to land a big name in the FA Cup while Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool jet off to sunny climes… the best of the non-Qatar action ahead

  • The World Cup will be taking over our television screens in the coming weeks
  • But that doesn’t mean the rest of football is coming to a complete standstill
  • League One and League Two in the EFL will be ongoing during the tournament 
  • The second round of the FA Cup sees numerous non-league hopefuls involved
  • Women’s football takes centre stage with domestic and European action
  • In December, some of the leading Premier League clubs have friendly games 
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

The World Cup is set to dominate the television schedules in the weeks ahead with fans able to gorge on a feast of live football from morning until night.

All the games from Qatar will be screened live by the BBC and ITV, with pretty sociable kick-off times ranging from 10am until 7pm to offer a nice distraction from the cold winter days – or, indeed, from work.

However, it would be wrong to say the World Cup is the only football action between now and Christmas.

The World Cup in Qatar is set to dominate the BBC and ITV schedules for the next few weeks

But there will still be plenty of televised football that isn’t the World Cup for UK-based fans

In England, every league below the Championship is going to be carrying on regardless and no doubt enjoying a rare spell in the spotlight.

We’ve also got the FA Cup second round, where a handful of non-league giant-killers will be hoping to tee up a third round tie against a Premier League big boy.

The Women’s Super League and Champions League will run parallel to the action in Qatar and, if you’re really missing the Premier League, several clubs will be playing warm weather friendlies.

Manchester United are off to Spain, while Liverpool and Arsenal will compete in the Dubai Super Cup to keep legs fresh ahead of the frenetic festive period.

Sportsmail scans the TV schedules to bring you the best of the football if the Qatar World Cup isn’t to your taste.


There are just 25 players heading to the World Cup from Championship clubs but the division is still going to get a nice breather until December 10, when the tournament will be at the quarter-final stage.

That leaves League One and League Two to fill the EFL void and they’re ploughing ahead.

In the third tier, it’s Plymouth Argyle leading the way and they currently boast a four-point advantage over Ipswich Town and are five ahead of Sheffield Wednesday in third.

Plymouth Argyle lead the way in League One – which will continue throughout the tournament

Meanwhile, some big names like Portsmouth, Derby County and Bolton Wanderers are all in and around the play-off positions as the promotion race shapes up in intriguing fashion.

The lack of Championship games means Sky Sports will be screening more games from League One.

They’ve got Portsmouth vs Derby from Fratton Park on Friday night and then Exeter vs Ipswich from St James Park as the Saturday lunchtime offering.

On Sunday December 4, they’ll broadcast Wycombe vs Portsmouth.

Derby County’s visit to Portsmouth in League One will be one of Sky’s televised fixtures

Over in League Two, Leyton Orient are setting the standard, having won 13 of their opening 18 games, but Stevenage, Northampton and Bradford are in hot pursuit.

There’s no live League Two action on Sky until December 27, however, when they show Leyton Orient vs Stevenage.

Nonetheless, all the lower league clubs will be hoping a few top-flight fans lend their support to boost attendance and the coffers while the World Cup is on.

And if you really miss it, the live Championship games on Sky resume with a Lancashire derby between Blackburn and Preston on December 10, with leaders Burnley at QPR the next day.

Burnley are leading the way in the Championship – which will resume on December 10

Saturday TV blackout lifted 

With League One and League Two taking centre stage in the EFL during the World Cup, the Saturday afternoon broadcast blackout known as Article 48 is being lifted.

This means fans unable to make it to the stadium can watch the action via live streams on club websites, whereas ordinarily they wouldn’t be able for Saturday 3pm kick-offs.

In all, 93 third and fourth-tier games, plus all Papa Johns Trophy games, will be available on iFollow or club streaming services.

EFL Chief Executive Trevor Birch said: ‘With EFL fixtures continuing throughout the World Cup, we have a fantastic opportunity to showcase our competition, with supporters able to enjoy more access to watch their Club play, whether at the ground, in the pub or at home.

‘While the winter World Cup has brought challenges for domestic leagues, for the EFL it also brings this opportunity to test how the streaming of live matches during traditionally blocked hours is received by fans that wish to watch their team, wherever they may be.’


The second round of the FA Cup falls on the weekend of November 26-27, midway through the World Cup group games.

It’s an important stage because everyone that gets through has the chance of drawing the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool or Chelsea in a lucrative third-round tie.

The BBC One and ITV1 have both carved out room in their schedules to bring us four live matches alongside the likes of Spain vs Germany.

Seventh-tier Alvechurch caused a sensation when they beat Cheltenham in the FA Cup

On Saturday November 26, the Beeb have a double header. National League North King’s Lynn Town, who beat League Two Doncaster in the first round, will hope to take another scalp as they host Stevenage.

Then Alvechurch, of the seventh-tier Southern League Premier Division Central and the lowest-ranked club remaining, travel to League One Forest Green Rovers.

ITV then have two live games on the Sunday. Non-league Ebbsfleet United host Fleetwood Town of League One at lunchtime and that’s followed by Derby’s trip to Newport County.

Other games involving non-league teams that weekend include Wrexham vs Farnborough, Accrington Stanley vs Barnet, Dagenham and Redbridge vs Gillingham, AFC Wimbledon vs Chesterfield, Bristol Rovers vs Boreham Wood, Burton Albion vs Chippenham Town and Ipswich Town vs Buxton.

Non-league Chippenham beat Lincoln and now take on more EFL opposition in Burton Albion


It’s been an excellent year for women’s football in England and the Super League will be able to enjoy a few weeks in the sun.

Sky are offering a live double-header this Saturday as Everton play Manchester City and Arsenal take on Manchester United – the second of those a meeting of first and third in the table.

BBC One are then showing the London derby between Chelsea and Tottenham on Sunday as an appetiser to Qatar vs Ecuador, the first World Cup game.

Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal will then be in Champions League group action the following midweek, which can be watched through DAZN.

Another Super League highlight is the Manchester derby between City and United on Sunday December 11, to be shown on BBC One.

The Women’s Super League will take centre stage while the World Cup is going on


While many of their team-mates have flown off to Qatar, those Premier League stars left behind will be working hard in training.

The good news is that, in some cases, they’ll be put through their paces in lovely warm weather in a break from the chilly English winter.

Arsenal and Liverpool, for example, are set to play in the Dubai Super Cup in early December, where they will face Lyon and AC Milan but not each other in a mini-tournament.

LFCTV will be showing both of Liverpool’s games from Dubai live.

Erik ten Hag, meanwhile, will take his squad to Spain for a warm weather training camp and two friendlies against Cadiz and Real Betis, which will be broadcast on MUTV.

Erik ten Hag is taking his non-World Cup Manchester United players to Spain for training

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool will play AC Milan and Lyon as part of the Dubai Super Cup

Featured non-World Cup action 


Portsmouth vs Derby County (League One, 8pm kick-off, Sky Sports Main Event and Football)


Exeter City vs Ipswich Town (League One, 12pm, Sky Sports Main Event and Football)

Everton Women vs Manchester City Women (Women’s Super League, 3pm, Sky Sports Main Event, Football, Premier League and Showcase)

Chesterfield vs Solihull Moors (National League, 3pm, BT Sport 1)

Arsenal Women vs Manchester United Women (Women’s Super League, 5.30pm, Sky Sports Main Event, Football, Premier League and Showcase)


Everton vs Celtic (Sydney Super Cup, 3.45am, Celtic TV and Everton TV)

Chelsea Women vs Tottenham Hotspur Women (Women’s Super League, 1pm, BBC One)


Everton vs Western Sydney Wanderers (Sydney Super Cup, 8.45am, Everton TV)


Juventus Women vs Arsenal Women (Women’s Champions League, 8pm, DAZN)


King’s Lynn Town vs Stevenage (FA Cup second round, 12.45pm, BBC One)

Forest Green Rovers vs Alvechurch (FA Cup second round, 3pm, BBC One)

Wrexham vs Farnborough (FA Cup second round, 3.15pm, S4C)


Ebbsfleet United vs Fleetwood Town (FA Cup second round, 12.30pm, ITV1)

Newport County vs Derby County (FA Cup second round, 3.15pm, ITV1)


Manchester United Women vs Aston Villa Women (Women’s Super League, 12.30pm, Sky Sports Football)

York City vs Wrexham (National League, 12.30pm, BT Sport 1)


Reading Women vs Tottenham Hotspur Women (Women’s Super League, 12.30pm, BBC Red Button)

Wycombe Wanderers vs Portsmouth (League One, 12.30pm, Sky Sports Football)


Cadiz vs Manchester United (Friendly, 7pm, MUTV)

Arsenal Women vs Juventus Women (Women’s Champions League, 8pm, DAZN)


Real Madrid Women vs Chelsea Women (Women’s Champions League, 8pm, DAZN)


Blackburn Rovers vs Preston North End (Championship, 12pm, Sky Sports Football)

Real Betis vs Manchester United (Friendly, 5pm, MUTV)


Manchester City Women vs Manchester United Women (Women’s Super League, 12.30pm, BBC One)

QPR vs Burnley (Championship, 1pm, Sky Sport Football)

Liverpool vs Lyon (Dubai Super Cup, 2pm, LFCTV)

Oldham Athletic vs Torquay United (National League, 3pm, BT Sport 1)

Aston Villa Women vs Arsenal Women (Women’s Super League, 4.15pm, Sky Sports Football)

Chelsea Women vs Reading Women (Women’s Super League, 6.45pm, Sky Sports Football)


Sunderland vs West Bromwich Albion (Championship, 8pm, Sky Sports Football)


Liverpool vs AC Milan (Dubai Super Cup, 3.30pm, LFCTV)

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