FA Cup is saving grace for Everton boss ahead of Man Utd clash

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Everton go into their FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester United on the back of a humiliating 4-0 Merseyside derby defeat.

This has led to criticisms of their leaky defence and questions over the future of Roberto Martinez.

However, it’s a different story for them in football’s oldest competition, where the Toffees have kept clean sheets in all four previous rounds.

Keeping the likes of Dagenham & Redbridge and Carlisle United at bay is to be expected for a Premier League club, but shutting out Bournemouth and Chelsea is an achievement.

The Cherries put three past the Merseysiders in their one league encounter but failed to muster a single goal in the cup, despite both games being at the Vitality Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Blues had scored in all of their eight previous games across all competitions before heading to Goodison Park.

Backing Everton to contain Man Utd and win is priced at 5/1 and would be sensible given the fact that the Red Devils have only scored more than once on two occasions over all of their last 11 outings.

Clearly United are not the most threatening attacking outfit and this is further highlighted as they failed to find the net in three matches in the aforementioned run.

The possibility of an Everton triumph is further boosted when you look at the FA Cup record of their under-fire manager.

Martinez lifted the trophy with Wigan back in 2013, the first time they ever did so, during what was his worst Premier League season with the Lancashire outfit.

The Latics ended up relegated despite their Wembley heroics and the focus on a cup campaign obviously had a knock on their top-flight form.

Similarly, the Toffees need to get eight points in their last four matches to avoid their lowest total under the former Swansea boss, despite their strong showing in the cup.

The focus now has to be on the United match for Everton and given the importance of this to resurrect their campaign, along with their form in the competition, this makes them a good bet to win the whole thing at 3/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Dan Ross

After a brief stint as a commentator, Dan took his passion for football into writing and went on to gain an NCTJ in sports journalism. A lifelong Walsall fan, he's followed the Saddlers through the highs, getting to Wembley for the first time ever last season, and the lows, namely relegation to League Two in 2006.