Manchester United and Everton have both had disappointing seasons so far, underwhelming, more often than not, in the Premier League, to leave their fans with sour tastes in their mouth. Redemption will come in the way of an FA Cup final and possibly a title from there, and to do that the two teams must find a way to win the semifinal at Wembley on Saturday.
While Manchester United's season has improved a touch, with Louis Van Gaal's men making a serious push for the top four places, the standard of football and the manner of the victories have still been rather poor. A just-about-managed 1-0 victory over relegated Aston Villa was last weekend was a perfect example of that, even if the side performed better against Crystal Palace in midweek.
The fans will take a trip to the FA Cup final over silky football in this match against Everton, but the supporters would be happier if Van Gaal's men can deliver both on Saturday.
"When I am a manager in the final, I will be proud," Van Gaal told the club's official website. "First we have to beat Everton, and that is always difficult in England. Their players shall also be very motivated to play the semifinal, because to play a final is always exceptional."
To play in that final, United's big players need to deliver, be that Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata or Anthony Martial. The biggest problem for Manchester United this season has been finding holes in the attacking third to exploit, and it will be up the Rooneys and Matas to feed the Martials and Marcus Rashfords against a seriously suspect and injury ravaged Everton defence.
Roberto Martinez, who could lose his job if Everton go down in this match, will go into this semifinal without Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes Mori, owing to injury and suspension respectively, while Phil Jagielka and the defensive midfielder Gareth Barry are major doubts. Martinez does not expect either player to make it in time for this semifinal, even if he thinks John Stones will recover in time from illness.
Everton were shambolic in the 4-0 Merseyside derby defeat to Liverpool in midweek, and if they are to turn their fortunes around, they need to change their form, which has seen them go without a win since an FA Cup quarterfinal win over Chelsea on March 12.
The defence needs to stay solid, or at least solid enough to allow the likes of Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku do to their thing up front. This is the perfect stage for someone like Lukaku to show he really is one of the best young strikers in the world, and if the Belgian has one of those unplayable evenings, Manchester United will be in trouble.
Where to Watch Live
Everton vs Manchester United is set to begin at 5.15 p.m. BST (9.45 p.m. IST, 12.15 p.m. ET). Live coverage of the FA Cup semifinal in India will be on AXN and AXN HD. The online live streaming option is on Sonyliv.
BBC One will broadcast the FA Cup semifinal match from Wembley live in the UK, while all the action can also be live streamed on BBC iPlayer. BBC Radio 5 Live is the radio option for listeners in the UK.
Viewers in the US can watch Manchester United vs Everton live on Fox Sports 2, while the action can be live streamed on FoxSoccer2Go.
Sportsnet World and Watch Sportsnet will broadcast the FA Cup game live in Canada.
Bein Sports will broadcast the match live in the Middle East, France and North Africa, with the live streaming option on Bein Sports Connect.
ESPN will broadcast the match live in Australia, with the live stream option on ESPN Player.Viewers in Singapore can flip their remotes to Eleven.