No other team made as many changes as Sheffield United for the FA Cup third round.

For their home clash with National League side AFC Fylde, manager Chris Wilder changed his entire starting XI.

11 new players came in for the Blades, who had a nervy end to their eventual 2-1 win at Bramall Lane. That is the most changes made by a Premier League team this weekend.

Next on the list is Leicester City and Southampton, who both made 10.

The elimination of Fylde means there are no non-league representatives in the competition as of round four.

Once a huge event in the English football calendar, Wilder says the third round has lost its appeal. Which is why he decided to alter his team so much.

“It’s certainly lost a touch in the build-up to it,” Wilder told BBC Sport.

“You never used to see any changes in the third round. But the introduction, rise and growth of the Premier League means that’s by far the biggest competition in this country.

“I hope people understand why we made 11 changes.”

Is the Sheffield United boss right about the FA Cup?

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Low attendances across the country would suggest that Wilder has a point. There was a drop of more than 150,000 on previous home gates for the third round.

At Bramall Lane, for instance, the Kop was closed entirely – meaning there were only three stands open. Of all the clubs from the top two divisions, the Blades had the biggest drop in attendance compared to their previous home match.

Just over 11,000 fans turned up on Saturday. That’s in comparison to more than 30,000 who watched them draw 1-1 with Watford on Boxing Day.

Yet this was by no means an anomaly. Of the Premier League and Championship sides playing at home, only one saw an increased attendance from their previous home game. That was Middlesbrough, who drew 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur.

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