Local rivalry and the battle for Europe add interest to semi-final draw

"What a great day out. Let's av iiiiit with em." What Rio Ferdinand's tweet lacked in grammar it more than made up for in passion. On a weekend when the capital hosts the London Marathon, it will also provide a stage for the long-running Mancunian feud between City and United.



The first headache is scheduling the event at Wembley which is unlikely to be decided before Manchester City face Dynamo Kiev on Thursday night. Should City go through – and they trail 2-0 from the first leg in Ukraine – they would be on course to play in the Europa League on the Thursday before semi-final weekend, which would force the game to Sunday 17 April, the day of the London Marathon. If City are eliminated, the match is likely to be played on the Saturday, with Bolton facing Stoke the following afternoon.

For the first time since 1977 all four semi-finalists come from the north of England. Then, Everton played Liverpool at Maine Road and Manchester United and Leeds squared up at Hillsborough. Now more will see the semi-finals at a cost of massive travel disruption.

This will be the eighth time Manchester's two halves have met in the FA Cup and United lead 5-2. Their last encounter was in the fifth round in 2004, the year United last won the competition. However, for Roberto Mancini and his players, it is something to look forward to. "I will let you guess how much our next opponents mean to us," commented Vincent Kompany, while his manager said: "I think we have a good chance to go to the final but for sure the semi-final will be very hard."

Since the winners of the other semi between Bolton and Stoke will be guaranteed Europa League football, the big losers from the draw are Liverpool. To be able to stage European football at Anfield next season, Liverpool will either have to win the Europa League or finish fifth.

Bolton have not made an FA Cup semi-final for 11 years, losing to Aston Villa at the old Wembley, while Stoke, who have never reached an FA Cup final, last made a semi in 1972. Their manager, Tony Pulis, however, said he was not celebrating being handed an easier draw. "If you look at Bolton and their history, they have been a Premier League side a lot longer than us and have some very experienced Premier League players."

Semi-final draw

Manchester City v Manchester United
Bolton Wanderers v Stoke City

* Ties to take place at Wembley on weekend of 16-17 April.

* Final Saturday 14 May, Wembley



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen