Manchester United vs Everton: Preview and Prediction

Manchester United will be desperate to return to winning ways when they host Everton at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The 2023/24 Premier League season will resume this weekend, with Gameweek 28 starting on Saturday. Manchester United and Everton get us underway in the latest round of fixtures at Old Trafford, with both teams eager to return to winning ways.

Manchester United began 2024 well, showing some signs of a turnaround. They were unbeaten in their first seven matches of the year, closing the gap to the top four while reaching the FA Cup fifth round. But the Red Devils have lost their last two Premier League games, with the pressure mounting on Erik ten Hag.

As for Everton, they received good news last week as a ruling changed their points deduction for breaching the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability Rules from ten to six. That has lifted the Merseyside club to 16th, five points clear of the drop zone. But the Toffees have won only one game in 2024 while failing to emerge victorious in their last seven across all competitions.

The reverse fixture saw Manchester United clinch a smash-and-grab 3-0 win over Everton after seeing less of the ball and managing only four shots on target. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

Manchester United

Erik ten Hag has new injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Everton on Saturday, the Manchester United manager might be bereft of the services of ten first-team players.

The Dutchman is sweating over the fitness of Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans, with the duo recovering from knocks. The duo face late fitness tests to determine their availability. In addition, Harry Maguire might be available if he recovers from a muscle injury.

But Luke Shaw (hamstring), Lisandro Martinez (knee), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (muscle injury), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Mason Mount (calf), Rasmus Hojlund (muscular), and Anthony Martial (groin) remain on the sidelines.

Andre Onana will take his usual spot between the sticks, with Manchester United lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Everton. The backline should have Maguire returning if he is fit and available. The former captain will accompany Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, and Victor Lindelof in the defensive quartet.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Casemiro and Kobbie Mainoo in the double pivot. Bruno Fernandes will reprise his usual no. 10 role, with Antony and Alejandro Garnacho being the two wide attackers. Finally, Marcus Rashford will lead the line for the home side this weekend.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Onana; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Lindelof; Casemiro, Mainoo; Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Garnacho; Rashford


Unlike his counterpart in the Manchester United dugout, Sean Dyche does not have any new issues to deal with ahead of the trip to Old Trafford. The Everton manager will be without three first-team players on Saturday.

Idrissa Gueye (groin) and Arnaut Danjuma (ankle) are closing in on returning to action. But this weekend’s game might have come too soon for him to start. Meanwhile, Dele Alli (groin) remains on the sidelines due to his long-term issue.

Everton will line up in a 4-4-1-1 formation against Manchester United, with Jordan Pickford taking his place in the goal. The backline should consist of Nathan Patterson, James Tarkowski, Jarrad Branthwaite, and Vitaliy Mykolenko.

As for the midfield unit, James Garner and Amadou Onana will look to hold the fort in the middle of the park. Abdoulaye Doucoure will support the duo defensively but also make late runs into the Manchester United box. Jack Harrison and Dwight McNeil will be the two wide attackers, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin leading the line for Everton.

Probable Lineup (4-4-1-1): Pickford; Patterson, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko; Harrison, Garner, Onana, McNeil; Doucoure; Calvert-Lewin

Key Stats

  • Manchester United have won all three Premier League games against Everton since the start of last season. They last won four successive league meetings against the Toffees between November 2006 and December 2007. Everton have won just one of their last 30 Premier League games at Old Trafford (D8 L21), a 1-0 victory under Roberto Martínez against a Manchester United side managed by former Toffees boss David Moyes.
  • Manchester United’s 40 Premier League wins over Everton is the joint-most one side has against another in the competition’s history, with the Red Devils also winning 40 times against Aston Villa.
  • Manchester United have lost 11 of their 27 Premier League games this season (W14 D2), only suffering more defeats in a campaign in the competition in 2013/14 and 2021/22 (both 12). The Red Devils have lost their last two league games but have not emerged on the wrong end of a result in three successive matches within a single season since December 2015 under Louis van Gaal.
  • Everton are without a win in ten Premier League games (D5 L5), the longest ongoing run of any side currently in the division. Only from August to October 1994 (12) did the Toffees ever have a longer winless run in the competition.
  • Only Sheffield United (469) and West Ham United (456) have faced more shots in the Premier League this season than Manchester United (444). The Red Devils have faced at least 20 shots in four of their last five league games, while their average of 16.4 shots faced per game is their highest on record in a single campaign (since 2003/04).

Player to Watch

Bruno Fernandes

Embed from Getty Images

Rasmus Hojlund’s absence has rendered a toothless look to the Manchester United attack. While the Red Devils have found the back of the net a few times, they have not appeared convincing in the final third. So, they need Bruno Fernandes to step up and galvanise his teammates with top-notch performances. What better occasion to do so than against Everton?

The Portuguese international has had a hand in seven goals in eight Premier League games against Everton for Manchester United (four goals and three assists), only being involved in more against Leeds United (8). However, after scoring four goals in his first three against the Toffees, he has failed to find the net in any of his last five. So, he can kill two birds with one stone with a goalscoring display on Saturday.


Manchester United 1-0 Everton

Saturday’s match presents Everton with a glorious opportunity to return to winning ways. While they have not been entirely convincing, their defensive output should frustrate Manchester United. But the hosts have been wasteful in the final third despite having a high xG total.

Interestingly, the Toffees have the 10th-highest xG in the Premier League this season (41.6) but the third-lowest goal total (29), giving them the biggest difference between expected goals and goals scored in the competition this term (12.6). That should again come to the forefront this weekend, with a Bruno Fernandes special making the difference in a drab match-up.

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