Manchester United travel to Goodison Park to face a struggling Everton in a Sunday fixture in the Premier League.
Manchester United come into the game after back-to-back home games against West Ham United. While the Premier League game last weekend ended 1-1, The Red Devils thrashed the Hammers 4-1 in the EFL Cup in the midweek.
And, despite the draw in the Premier League, their performances have been positive, something which could not be said for Ronald Koeman’s Everton side. The Toffees have regressed after a brilliant start to the season and a defeat last weekend at Koeman’s former home piled further agony on the Dutch manager.
The defensive worries are present for both the sides and it would be interesting to see if Manchester United are able to convert their chances into goals as they did during the mid-week as The Hard Tackle take a closer look at the fixture.
Team News & Tactics
Muhamed Besic is a long-term absentee with a knee injury and will be unavailable for Ronald Koeman. But, the midfielder is perhaps the only one that has been outright sidelined for the game, along with Mathew Pennington, who has got a look-in into the first-team but is not a part of the first-team setup.
James McCarthy missed the Southampton game due to a hamstring injury but has recovered. His match fitness still remains a doubt, along with that of Tyias Browning. Arouna Kone, too is a doubt for the game, but Ronald Koeman is unlikely to make much changes to the eleven that narrowly lost to Southampton last weekend.
Koeman would be hoping for Lukaku to show some of his lethal finishing touch while Idrissa Gueye, a real standout in the current campaign, would be tasked with the responsibility of matching up to United’s superstar Paul Pogba. The seasoned central defensive pairing of Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka started out well but have been prone to a few errors that has contributed to Everton’s woeful run of form.
Probable Lineup ( 4-2-3-1 ): Stekelenburg; Coleman, Williams, Jagielka, Baines; Barry, Gueye; Lennon, Barkley, Bolasie; Lukaku
It is United captain Wayne Rooney’s turn to serve his 1-match suspension for accruing five yellow cards in the current campaign. But, Jose Mourinho has the returning Paul Pogba at his disposal after the Frenchman served his suspension during the midweek. Marouane Fellaini is also back in contention for the game.
United’s central defensive duo of Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly, who are out with injuries to their toe and knee respectively, are still sidelined. But, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo has more than covered their absence with impressive performances.
Elsewhere, Luke Shaw is a doubt for the game with an unspecified injury. One of the major talking points would be the wing options Jose opts to deploy. The duo of Martial and Mkhitaryan caused havoc during the mid-week against West Ham United and Mourinho could retain either or both of them with Mata likely to come in to replace the suspended Wayne Rooney.
Probable Lineup ( 4-2-3-1 ): De Gea; Valencia, Jones, Rojo, Blind; Carrick, Pogba; Mkhitaryan, Mata, Martial; Ibrahimovic
1. Romelu Lukaku is yet to score for Everton against Manchester United in the Premier League in six meetings between the sides, the longest drought against one single team for the Belgian.
2. No duo has created more chances for each other in the Premier League this season than Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (16).
3. United have done the double in the league over Everton only thrice in the last three seasons, with only 1 in the last five.
4. Everton have won 3 of the last 5 Premier League matches against Manchester United at Goodison Park.
5. Everton and Manchester United have both scored in the same game in only 2 of the previous 10 occasions, neither of them coming at Goodison Park.
1. Over 3.5 Cards @ 1.66
2. Over 10.5 Corners @1.83
3. Over 2.5 Match Goals @ 2.00
1. Result – Manchester United & Over 2.5 Match Goals @ 3.25
2. Manchester United to score in both Halves – YES @ 3.25
Everton 1 – 4 Manchester United
A similar scoreline from the weekend could be on the cards. Even though the two sides are close to each other on the league table with Everton only a point and a place shy of Manchester United, who are at sixth place, the Red Devils have put in positive performances with the results and goals not coming so easily for Mourinho’s men.
Everton, on the other hand, seems to have lost all of their early season momentum and have been really lackluster in the recent weeks. And the midweek showed that Manchester United may just be close to ticking, which is a really daunting prospect for any side.
The Toffees do not look up for it and apart from Manchester United’s own inability to convert chances, there isn’t much that could save Everton the blushes on Sunday and the Red Devils may just be the latest of defeats in a poor run of results for Koeman’s side.
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