What the teams think: Players pass judgement on their semi-final oppone nts

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The Independent Online
Paul McGrath

Aston Villa

LIVERPOOL gave us a hard time at Anfield, a game I missed. They've given us more trouble than anyone else this season, but there's a lot of mutual respect. I'll be up against Robbie Fowler, who's in great form at the moment, and Stan Collymore. We've now got another Wembley appearance under our belts, and that experience helps, but there is something personal about playing at Old Trafford for me. Alex Ferguson wrote me off at Manchester United seven years ago, but here I am at 36 looking forward to getting to the FA Cup final. I think I've proved him wrong before, but I want to do it again.

Danger man: Robbie Fowler

John Barnes

Liverpool

ASTON VILLA were magnificent in the Coca-Cola Cup final last Sunday. They've impressed me all season even though we beat them 2-0 down there and 3-0 at home. I know League performances are no guide to the FA Cup, but they're one of the top teams of the season and play good football. They're strong in most areas, particularly Dwight Yorke up front. I wouldn't mind the sort of start we had against them at Anfield, but what's important is how we finish, and I'd be happy with 1-0 and another visit to Wembley because, it doesn't matter how often you play there, it remains everyone's dream.

Danger man: Dwight Yorke

Lee Sharpe

Manchester United

CHELSEA have been inconsistent, so we've just got to hope we catch them on one of their not so brilliant days. We've got to keep their two key players under control - Ruud Gullit and Mark Hughes, both world class. We had "Sparky" with us for so long we know what he's like, and he'll want to score against his old club, but Gullit is special. He's one of only a few imports who have settled in and played well here. But we've got a few good foreign players of our own. I don't know why we've been taken to so many replays. We've created a lot more chances than we've taken and relied too much on Cantona.

Danger man: Ruud Gullit

Gavin Peacock

Chelsea

MANCHESTER UNITED are on a roll. We could hardly have met them at a worse moment with Eric Cantona in top form. I always feel he is the difference. They've got good players throughout the side, especially down the middle, but Cantona is the catalyst. He has the same effect as Ruud Gullit has for us. Cantona takes the lead and opens doors. His aura is similar to that of Ruud. Then, Ryan Giggs has been very consistent in a different role. But United have their off days and the roll has to come to an end. We have some very good days and we beat them twice in the League the season before last.

Danger man: Eric Cantona

Chelsea

Hitchcock

Clarke

Duberry

Lee

Johnsen

Phelan

Burley

Gullit

Wise

Spencer

Hughes

Man United

Schmeichel

G Neville

Bruce

P Neville

Irwin

Sharpe

Butt

Keane

Giggs

Cole

Cantona

Villa Park 1.30pm, BBC1

Aston Villa

Bosnich

Charles

Ehiogu

McGrath

Southgate

Wright

Taylor

Draper

Townsend

Yorke

Milosevic

Liverpool

James

McAteer

Scales

Ruddock

Wright

Jones

Thomas

Barnes

McManaman

Fowler

Collymore

Old Trafford 4pm, Sky Sports

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