Postades 22nd Apr 2016
The FA Cup appears to be the only saving grace for both under-fire managers as Roberto Martinez and Louis Van Gaal contest for a place in the final at Wembley.
Roberto Martinez’ position appears to have reached breaking point in a season defining week which has already seen his side lose to Southampton and later humiliated by Liverpool in a damaging 4-0 Merseyside derby defeat at Anfield, as fans begin to lose their patience with the Spaniard.
A short distance along the M62 to nearby Manchester, Louis Van Gaal faces a future of uncertainty following another mediocre season. The jury is well and truly out on the Dutchman, who despite looking set to seal a top four finish, an FA Cup triumph still might not be enough to keep him at Old Trafford next season.
Both clubs will be desperate to book their place in final and a return trip to Wembley next month. Martinez will be looking to take the Toffees to their first FA Cup final since 2009, whereas Louis Van Gaal will look to progress in the competition which United haven’t won since 2004.
If the Blues are to reach the final they are going to have to do it with a depleted squad as Martinez struggles to find four fit defenders for their trip to the capital.
Seamus Coleman has been ruled out and question marks still remain over Phil Jagielka, John Stones and Gareth Barry who all face late fitness tests. Ramiro Funes Mori also misses out, serving the first of his three match ban for his red card against Liverpool on Wednesday.
Manchester United’s Chris Smalling has been declared fit and is a welcome boost. Meanwhile, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luke Shaw and Adnan Januzaj remain sidelined for the Red Devils.
Everton come into the game on the back of poor form domestically, however the FA Cup has been a totally different story. Everton remain the only side in the competition yet to concede a goal, and they have Romelu Lukaku who has six goals in his five cup appearances so far.
For United, Marcus Rashford has staked his claim for a starting berth with his recent goalscoring form as Anthony Martial will look to add to his three assists in the tournament. .
Defeat for Martinez will surely be the final nail in the coffin as his relationship with the Everton faithful sours. However, if he can lead his side to glory and clinch silverware by lifting the FA Cup all will be forgotten as the manager looks to patch up a miserable campaign.
Louis Van Gaal will be hoping to make his first trip to Wembley a memorable one and secure a place in the final against Crystal Palace or Watford on 21st May.
Recent form looks promising for Manchester United, following five wins from their last six, with their last being a midweek victory over fellow semi-finalists, Crystal Palace.
United were eliminated in the Fourth Round of the Capital One cup to Middlesbrough, before a Group Stage exit in the Champions League led to a damaging Europa League exit to rivals Liverpool, meaning the FA Cup is the last straw for Van Gaal.
Football Ticket Pad is a secure online ticketing website where you can purchase FA Cup tickets for both the semi finals and final at Wembley.