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Mar, 9, 2009

Saha relishing FA Cup semi against Man Utd

Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha believes Everton can repeat their 1995 heroics and derail Sir Alex Ferguson's bid for a domestic and European quadruple.

The pair were pitted against each other following Sunday's FA Cup semi-final draw, with Arsenal or Hull City facing Chelsea in the other last-four clash.

The Toffees' previous major piece of silverware came 14 years ago when they upset Ferguson's United at Wembley thanks to Paul Rideout's goal.

The Red Devils have been in awe-inspiring form so far this season, and having already won the Carling Cup, are also favourites to win the Premier League and are still in contention in the Champions League, facing Inter Milan in the last 16 on Wednesday.

Underlining their dominance, United have also won FIFA's Club World Cup and the Community Shield, the only blot on the club's copybook was defeat in the UEFA Super Cup to Zenit St Petersburg.

The Old Trafford club reached the FA Cup semi-finals in style on Saturday with a 4-0 rout of Fulham, but Saha - who played for United for more than four years before joining Everton last summer - believes Everton can rise to the occasion.

He told Everton official website: ''It is a difficult one, but it is a special thing to go to Wembley. I think it is going to be a really tough game but we have been great all season so far.

''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,'' added the Frenchman, who scored the winner in Everton's 2-1 quarter-final victory over Middlesbrough on Sunday.

United winger Park Ji-sung, meanwhile, is just hoping to be part of the Wembley experience after missing out on playing at the national stadium thus far.

''I'd love to be involved because I haven't yet experienced what it feels like to play there,'' he told MUTV. ''Injuries have meant I've missed out when we've been there and I didn't play in the recent Carling Cup final win. I know what a great stadium it is and hopefully I'll get the chance to play this time.''

Arsenal won their delayed fifth-round tie on Sunday afternoon, beating Burnley 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

And Arsene Wenger's side will be firm favourites to get past Hull, despite the Tigers' shock victory in north London in the league this season.

The Gunners and Chelsea, who beat Coventry 2-0 on Saturday to reach the last four, last faced each other in the FA Cup in the fifth round in 2004, when Arsenal triumphed 2-1.

Indeed, Guus Hiddink's side may have to overcome more than 60 years of history if they are to reach the final again - they have not beaten Arsenal in the FA Cup since 1947.

The matches will be played at Wembley Stadium on April 18 and 19.

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