Saturday, April 23rd
FA Cup Semi-Final: Manchester United vs. Everton –12:15PM, Fox Sports 2
On April 3rd, Manchester United defeated Everton 1-0 at home in Old Trafford, spurred by an Anthony Martial goal that finished off a dazzling and impressive 5-player sequence. On Saturday, these two sides will face-off yet again, but this time in the FA Cup semifinal in London’s Wembley Stadium. United have won this tournament 11 times, one short of Arsenal’s record, while Everton have claimed five. The winner will surely be the favorite to add another title to that collection when they meet one of Watford/Crystal Palace in the final.
Louis van Gaal’s reign at United has been costly and unsuccessful (measured of course by Sir Alex Ferguson’s standards) and rumor has it that even winning this FA Cup won’t save his job. However, adding a new piece of silverware to United’s trophy cabinet (and first since Fergie’s departure) will no doubt elate one of the largest fan bases in world football.
On the other hand van Gaal’s counterpart, Roberto Martinez, just might save his job at Everton if he manages to bring home the cup. Unfortunately, before his side even gets to face United, they’ll have to go through Liverpool in league play on Wednesday. A loss in the Merseyside derby, especially an embarrassing one, might just seal his fate first.
Friday, April 22nd
Cleveland Cavaliers @ Detroit Pistons (Game 3) – 7:00PM, ESPN
If Detroit has a chance at all against the #1 seeded Cavs, then they’ll prove it Friday night at home in Game 3. Cleveland eked out the first win of the round on Sunday, but unlike your average 8th seed (looking at you Houston) the Pistons hung around deep into the fourth quarter. Cleveland’s trio of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love combined for 81 of the team’s 106 points, and are talented enough to will Cleveland through the first round alone. But, Detroit could make it interesting, and Friday will be the one worth watching to see if they can.
Tuesday, April 19th
Pittsburgh Penguins @ New York Rangers (Game 3) – 7:00PM, USA
The Rangers and the Penguins head into Game 3 of their Eastern Conference playoff tied at one win apiece, splitting their first two games in Pittsburgh. The Rangers will look to take the series advantage at home in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, but face a Penguins team that has been red hot for two months and put up five goals against them in Game 1.