Everton will look to stop Manchester United from completing a clean sweep of English domestic trophies this season after being drawn against Sir Alex Ferguson's side in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Today's draw saw Arsenal or Hull City playing Chelsea in the other semi-final, with both last four games being staged at Wembley Stadium on the weekend of 18-19 April. The draw means a 'dream' final between Premier League leaders United and second-placed Chelsea is still a possibility.
Less than an hour after they came from behind to defeat Middlesbrough 2-1 in their quarter-final, Everton found themselves with the draw no-one wanted. United, who dominated Fulham 4-0 in the quarter-finals on 7 March, are aiming for an unprecedented five major trophies in one season, having already won the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2008 and the English League Cup, as well as reaching the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
They will be firm favourites to defeat the Merseysiders, but the last time Everton won the FA Cup, in 1995, they did so after a 1-0 win in the final against United. Louis Saha, who scored Everton's winner against Boro, knows better than most the quality of the squad at Old Trafford, having played for United.
"I think it is going to be a really tough game, but we have been great all season so far," he said. "We have shown great commitment in the FA Cup so, obviously, we have to show that to keep winning the next two games. You have to beat the big teams at some point and this will be a big test for us because they are the best team around."
And while traditionalists are unhappy with the semi-finals being played at Wembley, there are no such concerns for United's Park Ji-Sung. The Korea Republic star, who scored his side's fourth goal against Fulham, has yet to play a match at Wembley and the winger said: "I'd love to be involved because I haven't yet experienced what it feels like to play there.
"Injuries have meant I've missed out when we've been there and I didn't play in the recent Carling [League] Cup final win," he added. "I know what a great stadium it is and hopefully I'll get the chance to play this time."
Arsenal, a round behind after their delayed fourth-round replay against Cardiff City, must defeat Premier League new boys Hull if they are to face Chelsea in what would be a repeat of the 2002 all-London FA Cup final, which the Gunners won 2-0. Arsene Wenger's men reached the quarter-finals with a 3-0 win over Championship side Burnley at the Emirates Stadium earlier today.
Arsenal or Hull v Chelsea
Manchester United v Everton
Matches to be played at Wembley Stadium on 18 and 19 April