“There are many Manchester United fans who are equally set against their manager Louis van Gaal, but the Dutchman’s greatest trick this season has been to repeatedly conjure a result when he needs one most – the quarter-final replay win at West Ham was just the latest example.
“For the record this is the 12th FA Cup meeting between Manchester United and Everton, and the Blues have the upper hand with six wins to five – including victories in both previous meetings at this stage.”
Everton manager Roberto Martinez: “We carry hurt and that’s normal after what happened in the last game, but clearly the focus is about the opportunity of being in the semi-final of the FA Cup.
“Since the quarter-final against Chelsea, results haven’t been good enough, and that’s something we’ll try to look into next week when we face the next league game.
“But at the moment everything is about the semi-final and everything is about taking our football club to Wembley with a really strong feeling of being together, of facing adversity in an exemplary way and being as good as we can in front of a very strong opposition.”
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal on the importance of this match: “It it not for me to judge that – I have said that already in former press conferences.
“I do my utmost best and I have said that. We are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, we are still in the race for the fourth position in the Premier League and that was our aim.”
If he wins the FA Cup, Roberto Martinez might get more time because they have not won anything since 1995, but if they get rolled over by Manchester United then he is in big trouble.
I don’t think United boss Louis van Gaal has changed the way his side play, but there was a little bit more urgency about them in their win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Van Gaal’s future is in doubt even if he wins the FA Cup, though. For me, he needs a top-four finish and Champions League football to keep his job.
Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
This is the third FA Cup semi-final between the sides. Colin Harvey gave Everton a 1-0 win at Burnden Park in 1966 and the Toffees also went through on penalties after a 0-0 draw at Wembley in 2009.
Overall, the clubs have been paired together 11 times in the cup, with Everton triumphant in six of those ties and United winning five.
Manchester United have won three of the four most recent meetings (all in the league), winning both of this season’s encounters without conceding a goal.
The Toffees have reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the 26th time – a tally bettered only by Manchester United and Arsenal (both 28, excluding replays). Everton have gone on to reach the final 13 times.
They have won all four of their FA Cup games this season, scoring nine goals without reply.
Romelu Lukaku has scored in each of his five FA Cup appearances for Everton (six goals in total).
Everton have progressed in six of their last seven FA Cup semi-finals – the exception being their last appearance, a 2-1 defeat by Liverpool in 2012.
United are in the semi-finals for the 28th time. They’ve reached the final on 18 occasions – latterly in 2007.
They have been eliminated in their last two FA Cup semi-final appearances, against Everton in 2009 and Manchester City in 2011. Before that they had progressed in 13 consecutive appearances at this stage between 1976 and 2007.
They have won just four of their last 14 matches at Wembley (excluding matches won on penalties).
United have not won an FA Cup game at Wembley since beating Newcastle in the 1999 final.
They have won five of their last six games in all competitions.