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eriktous

Is the FA Cup draw really random? Really?

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Just venting my frustration here. I can't seem to catch a break with the draw for the FA Cup. In three seasons and eleven opponents I've only managed to draw one Championship side; all others were Premier League.

Just look at the most recent one. When Man City came out off the hat, I already knew my side would be up next.

English%20FA%20Cup_%20Overview%20Stages_zpsdmntdb5a.jpg

These are all my cup ties so far:

Schedule_%20%20Senior%20Fixtures_zpspshzjcku.jpg

Schedule_%20%20Senior%20Fixtures-2_zpsvst7uft8.jpg

Schedule_%20%20Senior%20Fixtures-3_zpskj8zlcbh.jpg

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Short answer: yes it is random.

Long answer: yes it is random, why would they bother fixing the draw, what would SI gain from doing so?

Longer answer: yes it is random, and really while you've quoted ten Prem sides out of eleven, you should bear in mind that beyond the fourth round it's pretty unlikely that you'd tend to get a lower-league team because they're usually out by then. Your run of Prem draws in rounds three and four is unusual, but by no means unique or evidence of a stitch-up.

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The only thing I've ever thought was weird about the cup draws was in latter rounds I nearly always draw a team I'm due to face in the league around the same time.

Just looking back on my current save;

FA Cup 6th Round v West Brom 07/03/2015

League v West Brom 14/03/2015

(went out early in the Capital One Cup to Championship opposition so let's not mention that)

The following season;

Capital One Cup QTR Final v Liverpool 16/12/2015

Liverpool Premier League 23/12/2015

Capital One Cup Semi Final Leg 1 v Man Utd 20/01/2016

2nd leg v Man Utd 26/01/2016

League v Man Utd - 03/02/2016

FA Cup 4th Round v QPR 23/01/2016

League v QPR 30/01/2016

...and I've noticed it quite often in previous saves and previous editions of Football Manager. Never saw it as a problem but it's always led me to think if it's really random.

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Let's take your example...

It's the 5th round, and you're Chelsea, one of eighteen sides left in the draw. Until you confirm otherwise, I'm going to assume that Swansea and Hull are Premiership sides, and for conservatism I'll assume that QPR, Watford and Leicester are Championship sides. Coventry can be League One. That gives you...

8 Premiership sides

7 Championship sides

2 League One sides

Therefore, at the start of the draw, your chances are...

~47% - Premiership

~41% - Championship

~12% - League One

Now, I'm no statistician, but surely you can see that in this particular example, it's pretty likely you're going to draw a Premiership side, and almost certain that you'll draw a side from the top two tiers.

But the shorter answer is of course - yes, it is very much random.

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The only thing I've ever thought was weird about the cup draws was in latter rounds I nearly always draw a team I'm due to face in the league around the same time.

Just looking back on my current save;

FA Cup 6th Round v West Brom 07/03/2015

League v West Brom 14/03/2015

(went out early in the Capital One Cup to Championship opposition so let's not mention that)

The following season;

Capital One Cup QTR Final v Liverpool 16/12/2015

Liverpool Premier League 23/12/2015

Capital One Cup Semi Final Leg 1 v Man Utd 20/01/2016

2nd leg v Man Utd 26/01/2016

League v Man Utd - 03/02/2016

FA Cup 4th Round v QPR 23/01/2016

League v QPR 30/01/2016

...and I've noticed it quite often in previous saves and previous editions of Football Manager. Never saw it as a problem but it's always led me to think if it's really random.

This happens to me every season without fail. I can't remember the last version of FM where this didn't happen.

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It's random. Look at who has knocked Watford out in the real-life FA Cup in the past seven years and you'll realise that this happens in real life too. Not that I'm bitter or anything....

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This happens to me every season without fail. I can't remember the last version of FM where this didn't happen.

I agree.. i manage FCBarca in the Liga BBVA and it's also the case with the Spanish cup draws.. it seems to coincide with league fixtures, as in, we often (way more than half the time) get to play the same team about 4 times in a row..

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Last season I had the opposite in the Dutch Cup. I only drew opposition from the league below me until the final, where I played Ajax. From memory there were 2 teams in the quarters from a lower league and one team in the semis. Everyone else was Eredivisie. You have just been unlucky.

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The chance of hitting a team in a cup at the same time as a league match is schedule, especially local cups, is quite high statistically.

Had 3 Arsenal matches (Ark enemy club), due to meeting them in the Champions Cup and league, that was a bit more of a fluke, but since there isn't actually all that many matches in a season, it's not all that unlikely.

Thats not to say SI's random generating of match schedules work, I don't believe most game coders actually understand random. They just code something to happen X% of the time overall, problem is each person does not exist overall, we live in our own little slice of the random numbers in the game and here it's entirely possible that one player gets all tails and the next one get all heads. So within that players games, the game engine might be entirely broken, because each roll is independent and therefore doesn't ensure that the chance of something happen is x%.

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I've had it once in 3 seasons. In other saves it does seem like it happens often but it's just a coincidence.

0962b7ac528c1e02df8393026eafbad9.png

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~47% - Premiership

~41% - Championship

~12% - League One

Now, I'm no statistician, but surely you can see that in this particular example, it's pretty likely you're going to draw a Premiership side, and almost certain that you'll draw a side from the top two tiers.

Sure, other than that Hull are Championship and QPR Premiership, you're right. You're looking at a single event, though. In my fourth round I had a 42% chance of drawing a Premiership side, and in my third round a 30% chance. This results in about a 6% probability of three Premiership sides in a row. Now add the previous two seasons and it will get vastly lower.

For clarity, I didn't start this thread out of actual frustration. It's all in good humour and nothing more than an observation of a curious event.

But the shorter answer is of course - yes, it is very much random.

Ah, you've seen the code?

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every version did that cup stacking junk, had it a few times where I had league cup FA cup league and even europe.... same team at the same period of time.

on FM12 on my Blackpool save I played Arsenal twice in the league, twice in the league cup, twice in the Europa league and in the FA cup... through the season obviously, but quite funny.

and every game was a draw :lol:

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This happens to me every season without fail. I can't remember the last version of FM where this didn't happen.

It's a statistical point. There are 19 teams that you'll play over the season, you'll face a handful of cup ties. Let's say you play 4-5 on average a season. For each cup ties the chance that you'll face a side that you've just faced in the league ~1/19. But of course, most will count it if it comes just after, which again, is ~1/19. So that's about ~10% (1-(18/19)^2), per cup tie, that it'll happen if it's truly random. The chance that it won't happen is ~90%, and (90%)^5 (for 5 cup ties) comes to ~58%, so about ~42% chance if you're in a cup with only teams in your league. If it were a 1/40 chance of facing your the same opponent, it would be ~22% chance of happening. Of course, the cup doesn't quite work like that, and finding the true probability would require more than 5 seconds of calculating, but the point is that you'd expect it to happen a lot more than you'd think. At the very least you'd expect it to be about a ~1 in 5 year moment at worst, and if you're a team that plays a lot in the cup (i.e. you regularly make the final of the League and FA Cups), that is, 6 FA Cup games and 6 in the League Cup (here FA Cup replays are not taken into account), then even a 1/63 chance (there are 64 teams in the FA Cup third round), if you're playing 12 Cup games a season that's still a ~32% chance of happening (per season) as a very low estimate (the chance of playing a team in your league increases the longer you're in the cup). That's also before taking into account other cups as well (Europe for example).

The thing though is that in our minds we are more adapted to picking out things that are "odd" than normal. It's the reason you can drive home from work and have pretty much no memory of what happened on the drive, as you were completely conscious, but there was nothing of note and it's so mundane you make no significant memories from it. In this case the majority of cup ties that aren't like that are just water under the bridge, but that handful that are like that stick out, so you remember them. As most players get through quite a number of seasons per FM, it's likely that this will have happened quite a few times, creating the impression that it occurs regularly.

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On the flip side, I once won an FA Cup in 14 without facing a single Premiership team. Now that was strange.

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I was thinking about this age old problem when my game had Everton playing someone else 4 games out of 5 in a row in 3 different competitions.

People mockingly talking about conspiracies or saying 'what does SI have to gain by fixing the draw?' are having it fly way over their heads. No one even mentioned conspiracies or doing it on purpose. Very Freudian.

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On the flip side, I once won an FA Cup in 14 without facing a single Premiership team. Now that was strange.

Not so strange, just luck. I've done it with Werder Bremen on this years game. Dortmund knocked out by Bayern, who got knocked out by Schalke who got upset by a Bundesliga 2 team in semi final

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The only thing I've ever thought was weird about the cup draws was in latter rounds I nearly always draw a team I'm due to face in the league around the same time.

J

Agreed. I do believe there is still some kind of bug in the cup "random" draws that does this. I've seen this countless times for years! I believe it was looked at at some point 'cos there was one particular release where you always seemed to be drawn against a team you were playing either the league match before or after the cup game.

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This happens to me every season without fail. I can't remember the last version of FM where this didn't happen.

Every edition of the last 5 FMs, the same thing happens to me !

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In my current game I've had 30 cup games so far (not including replays) - 22 of these I've been drawn away.

Of course, should I ever get to FAC3 (I'm non-league), I will obviously draw Man Utd at home.

CONSPIRACY!!!!

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IRL We've (Reading) have been drawn away in like 8 out of the last 11 draws, mostly to Championship teams. This year alone we have had 4 away draws, 3 of which have been to teams in our league.

Sometimes you just don't get the luck.

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Not so strange, just luck. I've done it with Werder Bremen on this years game. Dortmund knocked out by Bayern, who got knocked out by Schalke who got upset by a Bundesliga 2 team in semi final

I should have pointed out, I was a Championship side too, in fact I don't think any Premiership side even made the semis.

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In my current game I've had 30 cup games so far (not including replays) - 22 of these I've been drawn away.

Of course, should I ever get to FAC3 (I'm non-league), I will obviously draw Man Utd at home.

CONSPIRACY!!!!

Home advantage is your friend :p

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Agreed. I do believe there is still some kind of bug in the cup "random" draws that does this. I've seen this countless times for years! I believe it was looked at at some point 'cos there was one particular release where you always seemed to be drawn against a team you were playing either the league match before or after the cup game.

Real life must be bugged as well then as it happens almost every season. As Some Guy says though, you never notice it when it doesn't happen, therefore it appears more common than it actually is.

No bug, no conspiracy, just the game giving you a random draw. I think there was a couple of FM's where the very early round of a cup in the opening season was hardcoded. (The League and Challenge Cup in Scotland in FM13 for example), but that's about it.

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IRL We've (Reading) have been drawn away in like 8 out of the last 11 draws

From 2008 to 2012 Middlesbrough had 12 consecutive away game in the Capital One Cup, ended up putting on free travel for the fans in the end

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Real life must be bugged as well then as it happens almost every season. As Some Guy says though, you never notice it when it doesn't happen, therefore it appears more common than it actually is.

No bug, no conspiracy, just the game giving you a random draw. I think there was a couple of FM's where the very early round of a cup in the opening season was hardcoded. (The League and Challenge Cup in Scotland in FM13 for example), but that's about it.

Oh well it must be true since you put it like that,..... No sorry, I'm Still not convinced.

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Oh well it must be true since you put it like that,..... No sorry, I'm Still not convinced.

As I said, from a statistical point of view you expect to see it at the very least every few seasons (high estimate around once every second season, low around 1 in 5, depending on how long you're in the cup). You see it in the real world quite a bit, around the world too.

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Oh well it must be true since you put it like that,..... No sorry, I'm Still not convinced.

Yeah, may as well just blame a piece of software for bad draws rather than, you know, just the random nature of a draw.

SG put it very well with actual provable statistics, which is something you haven't managed for your theory.

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Oh well it must be true since you put it like that,..... No sorry, I'm Still not convinced.

Doesn't really matter whether you're 'convinced' or not, there is no bug. Because a bug like that would affect everyone, as there is no reliance on human input.

And if there's one thing I've learned about this forum. People are never slow to shout about perceived problems in the game.

This is a complete non-issue. It's something completely coincidental that happens as regularly in real life as it does in the game.

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It's a statistical point. There are 19 teams that you'll play over the season, you'll face a handful of cup ties. Let's say you play 4-5 on average a season. For each cup ties the chance that you'll face a side that you've just faced in the league ~1/19. But of course, most will count it if it comes just after, which again, is ~1/19. So that's about ~10% (1-(18/19)^2), per cup tie, that it'll happen if it's truly random. The chance that it won't happen is ~90%, and (90%)^5 (for 5 cup ties) comes to ~58%, so about ~42% chance if you're in a cup with only teams in your league. If it were a 1/40 chance of facing your the same opponent, it would be ~22% chance of happening. Of course, the cup doesn't quite work like that, and finding the true probability would require more than 5 seconds of calculating, but the point is that you'd expect it to happen a lot more than you'd think. At the very least you'd expect it to be about a ~1 in 5 year moment at worst, and if you're a team that plays a lot in the cup (i.e. you regularly make the final of the League and FA Cups), that is, 6 FA Cup games and 6 in the League Cup (here FA Cup replays are not taken into account), then even a 1/63 chance (there are 64 teams in the FA Cup third round), if you're playing 12 Cup games a season that's still a ~32% chance of happening (per season) as a very low estimate (the chance of playing a team in your league increases the longer you're in the cup). That's also before taking into account other cups as well (Europe for example).

The thing though is that in our minds we are more adapted to picking out things that are "odd" than normal. It's the reason you can drive home from work and have pretty much no memory of what happened on the drive, as you were completely conscious, but there was nothing of note and it's so mundane you make no significant memories from it. In this case the majority of cup ties that aren't like that are just water under the bridge, but that handful that are like that stick out, so you remember them. As most players get through quite a number of seasons per FM, it's likely that this will have happened quite a few times, creating the impression that it occurs regularly.

A perfect explanation, thnk you. :)

The problem is that humans pretty much suck at understanding the concept of probability. This is why people keep losing money in casinos all the time, they simply can't get their minds around the fact that true randomness means that even an unlikely scenario - like getting 15 reds in a row in a roulette - will happen sooner or later.

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I took Brentford to the FA Cup semi Final before I faced my first Premier league team.

The league cup got to the quarters and faced all premier league opposition.

I've no complaints.

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I remember one year there was a bug where rivals always drew each other, they fixed it in a update and admitted there was a bug, so I think they would have admitted it if there was a problem in FM15. I don't see a problem in FM15, I've been very lucky more often than not. I just love it when I draw a league 2 or league 1 side and can play the (wonder)kids.

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I remember one year there was a bug where rivals always drew each other, they fixed it in a update and admitted there was a bug, so I think they would have admitted it if there was a problem in FM15. I don't see a problem in FM15, I've been very lucky more often than not. I just love it when I draw a league 2 or league 1 side and can play the (wonder)kids.

I don't think that was the "bug" as such, it was actually just a mistake in the date input. As in real life some of the earlier qualifying rounds are partially renationalised to reduce travelling distances and expenses for amateur or semi-pro teams, but they applied that to the whole competition. So it wasn't a "draw your rivals" bug, but "draw someone who tends to be geographically close to you" which of course normally increases the chance of picking out your rivals. Think this was back in FM08 or something though.

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Im sure there was one FM where the Cup draws were messed up a bit - something like drawing the same team every season is in my head for some reason, but cant fully remember it.

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i just saved game before champions league draw, every single time i loaded game made a draw, groups looked exactly the same. Draws are not random

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11 minutes ago, hezyzz said:

i just saved game before champions league draw, every single time i loaded game made a draw, groups looked exactly the same. Draws are not random

Draws are decided under the hood before (I think after the previous rounds matches?) we get to see it, so a save and reload on the day will see "fixed" draws as the calculations have already been done.

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It's actually a day or two before the game will 'conduct' the draw where the user can see. This is part of the process to making sure the fixtures remain sane and things can be reorganised. 

So yes, reloading as you are will mean the draw remains the same. 

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