Friday 22 April 2016

FA Cup preview: Everton v United

Everton and United (the Reds are the 'away' side) will meet in the FA Cup for the 12th time in total and a third occasion at the semi-final stage.

Both clubs will be keen to mark difficult campaigns- for differing reasons- with a trophy and it was the Toffees- then managed by a David Moyes- whom knocked the Reds at the same stage in 2009.

United go into this last four tie (our 28th FA Cup semi final) off the back of five wins in six- including a victory over the out of form Toffees- and battled past West Ham at Upton Park just over a week ago to reach this stage.

Morale will have been boosted by Wednesday's win- that left United within touching distance of the top four- whilst Everton slumped to an "embarrassing" 4-0 loss at Anfield to pile the pressure on under fire manager Roberto Martinez.
In fact, the Merseysiders are without a win since they themselves progressed in the FA Cup by seeing off Chelsea 2-0 on 12 March. 

Luke Shaw, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Adnan Januzaj and Will Keane are likely to be the only absentees as Louis van Gaal has an otherwise fully fit squad to pick from.
Chris Smalling picked up a knock on Wednesday but the centre-back confirmed his fitness and looks set to start at Wembley.

For Everton, centre-half Ramiro Funes Mori is suspended, Seamus Coleman is injured and Phil Jagielka, Gareth Barry and John Stones will face late fitness tests.

United manager Van Gaal said that he will have to "disappoint six players" when selecting his side for the semi-final. 
"We are the in the semi final of the FA Cup- a big chance for a trophy- and are in the race for the fourth or third position and that was our aim so we can be happy.
"Every player wants to play in a semi-final, I have to select 18 players and now I have everyone fit so there will be six players that shall be disappointed. 
"That is difficult for a manager, but I like me I believe that Roberto (Martinez) has also brought youngsters through and Everton have some very good players."

The Reds have enjoyed the upper hand in both league meetings against the mid-table Merseysiders, winning 3-0 at Goodison Park in October and that narrow win at Old Trafford- courtesy of Anthony Martial- three weekends ago. 

The Toffees are yet to concede a goal en route to the semis but have a paucity of defenders available for this one so that record will surely come under threat. 

Form guide: Everton L L D D D L United W W L W W W
Match odds: Everton 14/5 Draw (extra time and pens) 27/20 United 7/2 

Referee: Anthony Taylor 

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