Manchester United take on Everton at home. They will be looking to keep the pressure on their noisy neighbors who are currently clear at the top by six points and face the defending champions, Liverpool. After losing to Sheffield United and dropping points against Arsenal. Manchester United returned to winning ways in scintillating fashion by defeating Southampton 9-0. By doing so Ole Gunnar Solskjær became only the second United manager (after Sir Alex Ferguson) to win 9-0 at home.
On the other hand, Everton also returned to winning ways with a 2-1 win over Leeds at Elland Road. They are only four points below fourth-place Liverpool although they have two games in hand over their Merseyside rivals.
Build Up and Recent Form
Both teams are heading into this clash with a win and would want to continue with the momentum. United’s home form has been a concern this season. Although, they silenced their critics well with the 9-0 hammering of the Saints and would want to improve their home record further.
On the contrary, Everton has won seven of their opening ten PL games including the last four home games. They have just conceded the third-fewest away goals behind Manchester City and Tottenham. Everton would want to continue to unsettle United’s front line who haven’t been very consistent at home.
Last Five PL Games
Manchester United- WDLWD
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer
This will be Ole’s 100th Premier League match as a manager. He is undefeated in his last four encounters with the Toffees. United hasn’t lost vs Everton at Old Trafford since 2013 and Ole would be keen to extend his unbeaten record on his landmark match. United have already defeated their rivals twice this season- once in the Carabao Cup and once in the reverse PL fixture at Goodison Park.
Everton is looking to win five consecutive away games for the first time in 50 years. They should be bolstered by the fact that Carlo has led two of his teams to victories at Old Trafford. (Milan and Chelsea) Thus he could become the second manager after Jose Mourinho to win with three different teams to win at Old Trafford.
Phil Jones has been added to United’s PL squad for the remainder of the season. However, he remains unavailable as he still recovers from his knee injury. Cavani, who was taken off at halftime against Saints. After he had received an ankle knock will be continued to be monitored. In his absence, Anthony Martial did bag a brace in the 9-0 win over Southampton. With Paul Pogba also returning after being rested in the midweek clash, it will be interesting to see if Ole decides to tinker with the winning combination.
Carlo Ancelotti does not have any new injury concerns and has ruled Jordan Pickford out for the match at Old Trafford. In his absence, Rob Olsen has deputized well and should continue to play in his absence. Allan and Jean-Philippe Gbamin continue to remain sidelined and will be unavailable for the clash and in Allan’s absence Sigurdsson should continue to play in midfield. Old United boy Joshua King who signed on loan from Bournemouth and made his debut as a substitute in the midweek win against Leeds should start again on the bench.
Players to Watch Out For
With 12 goals and 9 assists in 22 Premier League games, it is safe to say that Bruno Fernandes will be crucial to Manchester United’s gameplay against Everton. He has become Mr. Manchester United these days.
Much of Manchester United’s recent resurgence has been down to the rediscovered form of Paul Pogba. He is running high on confidence and was deservedly voted the United player of the month in January. Pogba should be fresh after being rested for the Southampton clash and will be aiming to be among the goals once again. As he looks set to be the main man alongside Mr. Manchester United in the United lineup.
With Cavani being doubtful for the Everton clash, Anthony Martial should again lead the line as he did in the second half in the Southampton clash. He did bag a brace in the Southampton thrashing and will be expected to be among the goals once again given his record vs Everton (six goals and three assists in 1 outing vs the Toffees).
Dominic Calvert Lewin
In the midweek win over Leeds, the forward was finally back amongst the goals. Prior to the goal at Elland Road, the forward had not netted in his past 7 PL outings. Much of his goal drought was down to the injury to Rodriguez and Lucas Digne. With both now returning to the Everton lineup, the striker should be getting the quality supply that was lacking in the prior matches.
This will definitely be a tougher game than United experienced against the Saints in their prior match. With United riding high on confidence after their midweek magic and Everton not boasting of a great record at Old Trafford. United should be able to carve out a narrow win against their rivals and be able to continue to improve their home form in this match. Our Predicted Score: Manchester United 2-1 Everton.
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