David Moyes and his Everton team are the latest to stand in Manchester United’s way as they battle in the FA Cup semifinal on Sunday.
With Yakubu and Victor Anichebe both long-term absentees and Louis Saha touch and go with a virus, it is Tim Cahill and Marouane Fellaini who are likely to spearhead Moyes’ attack.
While Saha could be denied the chance to join Tim Howard in renewing acquaintances with his former club, Ferguson’s attack will no doubt include a certain someone who can expect few pleasantries from his former club.
Wayne ‘once a blue always a blue’ Rooney will, of course, be in the red corner come Sunday should he recover from the knock he picked up in the week.
Not renowned for his wide-ranging lexicon, even the former Everton teenager has learned a new word in recent weeks.....having already had a successful trip to both Wembley and Japan this season, ‘quintuple’ is on the tip of just about every United fan’s tongue.
It was less quintuple and more Quinton who was the talk of the town the last time these two sides met in the FA Cup – Fortune one of the scorers in a 2-0 win for United back in 2005.
Cristiano Ronaldo was also on the mark that day as United eased seamlessly on the road to one of their eight FA Cup finals under Ferguson...only three have not ended triumphantly.
If they are to make that figure nine this year, United could hardly be accused – despite finger pointing to the contrary – of doing it the easy way having been pitted against Premier League opposition in 14 of their last 16 rounds in the competition.
Everton have endured an even more arduous route to the last four which, most notably, included Middlesbrough. In each of the last four seasons, the team that has disposed of Boro has gone on to reach the final.
Ferguson should have both Darren Fletcher and Gary Neville back at his disposal as he seeks to bring that most curious of trends to an end.