After waking up from their slump with a record-equaling 9-0 win over Southampton, Manchester United are once again back in the Premier League title race. However, not every game is going to be that easy. Things won’t go their way every time. The players are (rightfully) in seventh heaven, but need to realize the challenge of the tasks ahead.
Next up is an Everton side themselves experiencing topsy-turvy form, having won only 2 of their last 5 league games. The Red Devils rightfully go into this high on confidence, but cannot be complacent. Complacency caused the defeat to Sheffield United! Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will rally his men to maintain their incredible momentum from the last game and produce equally thrilling attacking soccer to continue keeping their place in the top-2.
Manchester United Likely XI
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Pogba, Bruno, Greenwood, Rashford, Cavani
United have no injury concerns after that win.
Everton Likely XI
Olsen, Coleman, Mina, Keane, Digne, Doucoure, Delph, Iwobi, Rodriguez, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Everton could miss a few key players, including the injured Allan & Jordan Pickford.
Manchester United vs Everton Preview
Not only did United break their mini winless run with the Southampton demolition, but they also won a game with more than a 1-goal margin! While OGS will gladly take 1-0 wins all day long as the season goes on, getting more dominant wins are necessary for United to prove their title credentials.
But then again, Everton won’t make things as easy for them as Southampton did. Carlo Ancelotti’s side can be stubborn defensively & extremely aggressive/physical. If the error-prone Pickford isn’t playing, it’ll be even more difficult to get sloppy goals past them. United know that the 9-0 win is a freak result, but if they’re able to maintain the same hunger & ruthlessness shown on Tuesday – they should create a nightmare for Everton.
Bruno Fernandes was at the centre-piece of their brilliant win, with his demanding attitude chugging the Red Devils into getting more goals. He seems to have his confidence back & aims to be a nightmare in the final third. If Everton does defend deep, it’ll take a special strike or creative passes from Bruno to open them up.
Marcus Rashford also looks determined to shut down his haters & operating with swagger down the left-wing. He’ll look to take on Everton’s defenders, make good use of his stellar movement & be more clinical in the final third to create the sparks for United. Mason Greenwood is also playing with more confidence and he’ll be eager to get back to scoring after missing out on the goalscoring fiesta against Southampton.
Edinson Cavani’s sharpness will also be pivotal in breaking down Everton’s strong backline. With his clever link-up play & movement around the final third, El Matador can destabilize the visitors’ defenders & should hope for better delivery to continue his scoring run.
Paul Pogba should be back after sitting out the last game. He’ll definitely be recharged after a rest and look to dominate things in midfield, working hard defensively to nullify the visitors’ threat as well as create opportunities with his cutting-edge passes.
Scott McTominay probably needs to be content with a more defensive role, because he’ll be key in breaking apart Everton’s attacks & bully their players. But McTominay needs backing up from his teammates because the visitors are not one to back down without the fight.
Irrespective of how good/bad their form is, Everton have enough quality players to win them games. James Rodriguez can bamboozle an opposition if allowed to, with his passing range capable of creating things not many can. The in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin loves hassling defenders & being a goalscoring threat in the box, with his aerial strength & clinical goalscoring instincts being elements to fear.
Richarlison is another unpredictable attacker who can score or create goals out of nothing, while Alex Iwobi’s creative touch helps create a lot of chances for Ancelotti’s side. Everton’s midfield duo of Abdoulaye Doucoure & Gylfi Siggurddson can weigh up against the best, so the Red Devils have to beware of their threat.
United have kept 2 clean sheets in their last two league games, but their defenders have to maintain utmost concentration to ensure they don’t drop points on Saturday. Harry Maguire & Eric Bailly are certain have their hands full dealing with Calvert-Lewin & co in the middle, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka & Luke Shaw must stop crosses from coming in through the wings. After their spectacular performances vs Southampton, the full-backs are also going to be relied upon to produce the goods going forward with their accurate crosses.
OGS’ side will probably dominate possession, but have to continue being clinical in finishing off chances. Everton can be hard to break down at times, so United must continuing piling the pressure in attack & maintain a high intensity to get third 3rd win over the Merseyside club this season.
This definitely won’t be as much of a spectacle as the 9-0 win. It shouldn’t have that many goals, but there’ll be goals. Going by how high in confidence they are, I think United will seal a compelling 3-1 win.