Everton’s FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United is a chance for them to salvage a season that has seen them languish in the bottom-half of the Premier League.
Beating the Red Devils would set up a final against Crystal Palace or Watford, two sides the Toffees should realistically beat, and grant Roberto Martinez’ side qualification to Europe.
The Merseysiders could then go into next season with European football and new investment that is sure to help attract some top players and help the club progress.
Therefore, it can be argued that this match is the biggest the Toffees have had for a long time, but their have been other crucial matches in recent years.
Here are three other important Everton games in the Premier League era:
FA Cup Final vs Chelsea 2009
Obviously making a final is going to be a bigger occasion than a semi-final and David Moyes took the Toffees to one in the 2008/09 season.
Victory over the Blues would have seen Everton collect their first piece of silverware since 1995, but it wasn’t to be as a Frank Lampard winner ensured the Londoners lifted the trophy.
However, the match wasn’t quite as important as this year’s semi-final as the Toffees had a good season in the Premier League, finishing fifth, so didn’t have all their eggs in one basket.
vs Newcastle 2005
Everton had struggled in the early years of the Premier League-era, but a strong showing in the 2004/05 campaign meant they were on the cusp of Champions League qualification.
A win over Newcastle would have meant they were only one point away from a guaranteed fourth-place finish at the expense of local rivals Liverpool.
David Weir and Gary Cahill scored to secure a 2-0 win that meant despite losses to Arsenal and Bolton in their last two outings, the Toffees made it into Europe.
vs Coventry City 1998
As mentioned earlier, Everton had some difficult times in the early years of the Premier League, with the 1997/98 season probably the toughest of them all.
The Toffees were 18th going into the final day of the season and needed to better Bolton’s result to stay up.
Chelsea beat the Trotters 2-0, while Howard Kendall’s men drew 1-1 against the Sky Blues to stay up.
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