Hello and welcome to the first FA Cup semi-final. There’s no doubt who comes into this tie as favourites: Everton have made a strong start to this season, winning both their opening league matches before defeating Chelsea, no less, in Sunday’s quarter-final.
By contrast, Everton lost their opening two leagues games, which doesn’t augur well for their chances of avoiding another relegation scrap but, on the other hand, they suggested that they are improving fast by reaching this semi-final at the expense of Brighton, who had beaten them three weeks previously in the league. Mind you, that win, on penalties, may have taken a lot of the team, which is why manager Carla Ward denounced the “ridiculous” scheduling of this match, just two full days later. But this is where we are. So Birmingham have to find a way to muster another big performance if they are to set up a FA Cup final date with either Arsenal or Manchester City.