Liverpool and Everton renew one of the classic rivalries with one of the most important Merseyside derbies in years in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday.

With a place in the final of the world's oldest cup competition at stake, tensions are sure to be high at Wembley when the two teams from across Stanley Park take to the field in North London.

For the first time in recent memory, Everton arguably warrant being considered favorites for the clash. David Moyes' side currently lay one point and a single place above their rivals in the Premier League standings.

Despite once again having limited resources at his disposal, Moyes has led Everton on an excellent run of form in the second half of the season. The Toffees are on a five-match unbeaten run and have only lost twice in their last 17 games in all competitions.

By contrast, their neighbors in red have been on a woeful run of form in the Premier League. All hope for Champions League qualification has long-since disappeared and, just two days before the momentous semi-final, the club parted ways with director of football Damien Comolli.

A run of eight defeats and just two victories in 13 league matches, before Tuesday, since the turn of the year is relegation form. Yet a dramatic late winner from Andy Carroll last time out could be just the tonic all at Liverpool need to take them into Saturday with asome much-needed optimism.

With nothing left to play for in the league except for the pride of not wanting to finish below their Merseyside rivals, Liverpool have everything riding on the semi-final.

It has all the makings of a classic match-up. And there have been plenty of them over the years.

May 1989 FA Cup Final: Everton 2-3 Liverpool AET

If Saturday's meeting comes close to approaching the drama of this encounter between the sides at Wembley, then all soccer fans will be in for a treat. Just a month after the Hillsborough disaster, Liverpool and Everton produced a treat to at least temporarily lift some of the sorrow felt on Merseyside.

John Aldridge, who infamously missed a penalty in the FA Cup Final the year before, got some atonement early on as he pounced to put the Reds in front. But Stuart McCall stretched out a leg to poke home from close range and take the match into extra time.

And what a 30 minutes it was.

First Ian Rush turned superbly to finish past Neville Southall and then McCall clawed Everton back into the match once more with a stunning chest-down and volley into the top corner from outside the area.

But Liverpool would not be denied and a enticing cross from John Barnes was headed in by Rush to hand the trophy to Liverpool.

April 2001 Premier League: Everton 2-3 Liverpool

When this match took place over Easter, Everton were battling hard against relegation, while Liverpool were on their way to claiming a cup treble.

Goals from Emile Heskey and Markus Babbel twice put Liverpool in front, only to be begged back by first Duncan Ferguson and then a controversial penalty converted by David Unsworth.

In a bad tempered affair, Everton looked like securing a draw when Igor Biscan was shown his second yellow card and sent down the tunnel.

But this action-packed derby was to have one final sting in the tail. When Gary McAllister stepped-up to take a free-kick from almost 45 yards out, everyone, including Everton goalkeeper Paul Gerrard was expecting a cross. But the veteran Scottish midfielder had other ideas as he curled the ball low into the corner for one of the great Merseyside derby finishes.

February 1991 FA Cup Fifth Round Replay: Everton 4-4 Liverpool 4-4 AET

Back in the days when FA Cup ties had no extra time and there could be endless replays, Liverpool and Everton played out an absolute thriller in the first replay after a 0-0 tie at Anfield.

Title challengers that season, Liverpool were favorites against an Everton side submerged in midtable. And all seemed to be going to plan when the Reds, led by manager Kenny Dalglish took the lead through a Peter Beardsley strike. But Everton struck back just after halftime with a Graeme Sharp header.

And, incredibly, Liverpool went in front on three more occasions, before in each instance being pegged-back back by Everton. Tony Cottee's extra time equalizer proving all too much for Dalglish, who resigned after the game. Everton would later prevail in the subsequent replay.

May 1986 FA Cup Final: Everton 1-3 Liverpool

In the midst of three seasons where Liverpool and Everton occupied the top two positions in the English first division, the rivalry between the two clubs was as fierce as ever. And with Liverpool having regained the title Everton had won the previous season, the Toffees were desperate to prevent their rivals from doing the double.

And things looked good for Everton when star striker Gary Lineker, just before he announced himself on the international stage at the 1986 World Cup, struck the opening goal.

But Liverpool turned things around to earn full bragging rights on Merseyside, through two goals from Ian Rush and another from Craig Johnston.

April 1999 Premier League: Liverpool 3-2 Everton

That it was a disappointing season for both clubs, with Liverpool finishing down in seventh and Everton in 14th did not stop them producing one of the most memorable Merseyside derbies of recent times.

Olivier Dacourt, in his only season at Goodison Park, opened the scoring in spectacular fashion as he smashed in a long-range effort in the first minute at Anfield.

But Liverpool soon struck back with a penalty from Robbie Fowler after Paul Ince was fouled by future Zinedine Zidane head-butt recipient Marco Materazzi. But it is Fowler's subsequent celebration for which this derby will perhaps best be remembered. The once deadliest of finishers took to the ground and appeared to snort the white line marking the penalty box. Then-Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier rather ludicrously tried to pass it off as the striker pretending to eat grass. A more reasonable explanation being that Fowler was mocking Everton fans who had previously accused him of taking cocaine.

There was plenty of action in the rest of the contest too. Fowler made it 2-1 with a header from a corner, before a crazy last 10 minutes began with Czech star Patrick Berger volleying into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

But Everton came oh so close to snatching a point, as first Francis Jeffers, the future failed fox-in-the-box for Arsene Wenger, hit an unstoppable shot into the top corner on the turn. Then an 18-year-old Steven Gerrard, on as a substitute, introduced himself to the Anfield faithful who would come to adore him, by clearing off the line from Danny Cadamarteri as the seconds ticked away.