Everton - Chelsea FA Cup Quarter-Final Preview: Toffees target a place in the semi-finals

Roberto Martinez's side will be attempting to garnish a frustrating campaign for the Blues by booking a Wembley visit and a place in the competition's last-four.

Everton - Chelsea FA Cup Quarter-Final Preview: Toffees target a place in the semi-finals
Everton take on Chelsea in the FA Cup at 17:30 (GMT) on Saturday 12 March. (Image: VAVEL)

Everton host Chelsea on Saturday in the FA Cup quarter-finals attempting to garnish a frustrating campaign by booking a Wembley visit and a place in the semi-finals.

Only two points separate the teams in the Premier League table, but the FA Cup will now take priority for both sides following Chelsea's Champions League exit on Wednesday.

Head-to-head

The tie will be a repeat of the 2009 FA Cup final, when Guus Hiddink was in charge of the Chelsea side which came from behind to defeat David Moyes' Everton. The Toffees made a dream start when striker Louis Saha put them ahead after just 25 seconds - the quickest goal in cup final history - before Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard completed Chelsea's comeback.

Roberto Martinez's side will be looking for revenge this weekend, but they will take confidence having scored three times twice against Chelsea this season. A perfect hat-trick from Steven Naismith saw the Toffees beat last season's Premier League champions 3-1 at Goodison Park last September, before drawing 3-3 away in January when Chelsea scored a controversial 97th minute equaliser.

Everton target cup success

The 2009 final still remains the closest the Toffees have come to adding to their trophy cabinet since lifting the FA Cup in 1995 for the fifth in their history. Having fallen short in the Capital One Cup semi-final in January, this weekend represents their only chance to keep hopes of silverware alive.

Victory in the FA Cup would certainly help manager Roberto Martinez to prove that he is the right man to lead the Toffees into a new era after fresh investment last week and give the club a lift after another frustrating season.

The Toffees have lost the same number of matches as fourth-placed Manchester City, but their inability to see games out has been the source of much frustration and has left the Blues 12th in the table. This frustration was arguably at its highest last weekend after another disappointing ending to an all too familiar story against West Ham United.

Adrian's penalty save from Lukaku proved to be a turning point in the match. | Image: Getty Images
Adrian's penalty save from Lukaku proved to be a turning point in the match. | Image: Getty Images

Had Romelu Lukaku converted his penalty kick with just over 20 minutes to go, the Toffees would have been leading 3-0 and heading for a huge win in their pursuit of the top-six. However, the Belgian missed and the Hammers went onto score three goals in the final 12 minutes to take all the spoils.

The defeat to West Ham was their seventh home defeat of the season, but Everton do boast an impressive recent FA Cup record at Goodison Park, with just one home defeat in 10 games since 2011.

Brighter times could be ahead, though, with the club announcing new investment last week and there are certainly signs that Everton are capable of more - only Leicester City and Manchester City have scored more than the Toffees in the league this season.

However, whether or not Martinez is overseeing those brighter times could well depend on Everton's progress in this year's FA Cup. Martinez's side have not yet conceded in this season's competition, but they have yet to face opposition of Chelsea's calibre, with victories over Dagenham and Redbridge, Carlisle United and Bournemouth.

The opposition

Since Everton last won the FA Cup, Chelsea have won it no fewer than six times. Guus Hiddink remains unbeaten in this competition over his two spells in interim charge, guiding the Blues all the way to Wembley glory in 2009 with victory over the Toffees.

In the league, the Dutchman has lost just once in his two spells in charge and he is yet to lose during his current spell having started his second tenure with a 15-match unbeaten streak in the Premier League.

The unbeaten run has not extended to Europe, however, and the FA Cup is the only trophy they have left to fight for following their Champions League exit at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night.

Hiddink has opted to field strong teams in the FA Cup this season, a sign of intent, cruising past Scunthorpe United in the third round, before beating MK Dons 5-1 and a weakened Manchester City to reach the quarter-finals.

Chelsea will be eager to end what is now a four-year wait to win this competition. | Image: Getty Images
Chelsea will be eager to end what is now a four-year wait to win this competition. | Image: Getty Images

Team news

Roberto Martinez is monitoring the condition of Bryan Oviedo, who is battling against a chest infection, but fellow left-back Leighton Baines is available after ankle treatment.

Aaron Lennon will also be checked as he attempts to recover from a tight hamstring, while Tom Cleverley and Gareth Barry are but fully fit following their recent illnesses.

Chelsea are sweating on Diego Costa and Eden Hazard who were both forced off early in Wednesday night's Champions League defeat to Paris Staint Germain.

John Terry could again be absent with the hamstring injury that there has seen the former England captain miss the last six matches, while fellow defender Kurt Zouma is a definite absentee having suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury against Manchester United last month.