Baines relishing Reds clash
Full-back out to avenge Premier League defeats in semi-final
Last Updated: March 28, 2012 4:29pm
Leighton Baines: Looking forward to facing Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-finals
Leighton Baines has admitted that facing Liverpool in the semi-finals of the FA Cup adds to the excitement of going to Wembley and he is confident Everton can emerge triumphant.
The Toffees set up a last-four meeting with their Merseyside rivals by beating Sunderland 2-0 in a quarter-final replay at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night.
David Moyes insisted after the match that Liverpool would start as favourites after Premier League victories at home and away against Everton this season.
Baines accepts that it will be a tough game on 14th April but he is looking forward to the challenge of trying to knock out the Reds.
The full-back said: "It's a one-off game. Anyone can win it. Obviously, we will look to fare better than we did last time, and we will feel confident that we can.
"Playing at Wembley in the semi-final is great, and something for all of us as players and fans to look forward to.
"The fact that it's against Liverpool only adds to that.
"It was a great incentive, going into the game knowing that we could play Liverpool in the semi-final, and it's a fantastic game for us now to look forward to.
"As the next week passes, we will start to look forward to it a bit more, and then fully focus on it in the week leading up to that game."
Kirkby-born Baines, 27, grew up in the city and was on Everton's books as a schoolboy before making the breakthrough at Wigan, and he knows exactly what to expect in the run-up to the semi-final.
He said: "It's massive for the city and being a local lad, I know what it means to everyone.
"I've got family and friends that are red and blue, so it will be an exciting week building up to the game."
Baines was delighted with the way Everton played in beating Sunderland, as a Nikica Jelavic strike and David Vaughan own goal sealed an impressive victory.
He said: "It was a good performance. It was pretty composed from us. We put them under quite a bit of pressure as we did at the weekend against Swansea.
"We looked to pick up where we left off from there, and we were good value for the win in the end."