Everton vs Manchester United Preview

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Image from Sky Sports
Here we go again. After a disappointing display in the Nou Camp on Tuesday, Manchester United travel to Merseyside to face Everton in a crucial game to reach the Top Four. Here is all you need to know:

Teams: Everton vs Manchester United
Location: Goodison Park
KO: Sunday 21st April 13:30 GMT (Live on Sky Sports)
Managers: Marco Silva and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Referee: Paul Tierney

What form do both teams have currently?
Manchester United have had a pitiful run of form since the stunning comeback in Paris in which they have lost five games out of seven with two wins coming against Watford and West Ham, both 2-1 home victories, both relatively undeserved. This run has included a 2-0 humbling at the Emirates, Wolves dumping United out of the FA Cup at the Molineux Stadium, a stale 1-0 loss at home to Barcelona and then a very poor defeat at the hands of Messi and Coutinho in Barcelona. You would hope for a reaction against Everton as now the Premier League run in is the only way for United to get Champions League football but the way this current team play, you never know. 
Last five games: LWLLW, GF: 5 GA: 8

Everton have been very inconsistent and that could be their downfall tomorrow, they beat Chelsea and West Ham comfortably, then host Arsenal and win 1-0 but easily could have scored four and then lose 2-0 to already relegated Fulham! Even before this they earned a creditable draw with Liverpool and then lost to Newcastle the game after, however it is quite clear why: in the games they won they, (except against West Ham) had the minority of possession and defended deep and countered with their pace of Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin etc. and were clinical when they got into the final third. Against Newcastle and Fulham, they had the majority of the possession and their opposition defended deep and countered Everton and despite heavily investing in the summer with Digne, Zouma and Mina, Everton's defence is still shoddy and lacking composure at times. Perhaps playing counter-attacking football is the way to go tomorrow. 
Last five games: LWWWL, GF: 7 GA: 5

How does this game affect the league standings?
With Manchester United sixth in the table as things stand, a win would see them leapfrog Arsenal and Chelsea who have games on Sunday against Crystal Palace at 16:00 GMT and Monday against Burnley at 20:00 GMT respectively and could put them on the same points as Tottenham if Spurs fail to win against City today. A draw simply is not good enough now and could easily end United's season with four games to go. 
For Everton, the final Europa League spot beckons as four teams (Watford, Wolves, Everton and Leicester City) will all fight for that place with top six almost certainly unattainable for these sides now. Watford, Leicester and Wolves all play today and so Everton do need a win to keep things tight between them. 

Team News:
Manchester United are still without Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia and will probably finish the season without them. Ashley Young and Luke Shaw are both back from suspension and are likely to be part of the squad travelling to Goodison. Ander Herrera has returned to training but might not be risked yet and Nemanja Matic and Alexis Sanchez were fit enough for the bench against Barcelona and both should be ready to play tomorrow as well. 
Everton are still without Yerry Mina (hamstring) and are without Andre Gomes after being banned for three games following a stamp on Aleksander Mitrovic last time out so former Red Devil, Morgan Schneiderlin could come in to replace the Portuguese international. 

Interesting Facts:
  • Everton have not won against United since 2015 in a 3-0 win at Goodison Park, since then United have won six times and drawn twice (both in the 2016/17 season) scoring sixteen goals and conceeding only four including a 2-1 FA Cup Semi-Final victory in the 2015/16 season.
  • Anthony Martial has scored five goals against Everton and assisted two more since joining in 2015, he has only scored/created more against West Ham (6 goals and 4 assists)
  • The last time Manchester United lost on Easter Sunday was this fixture in the 2013/14 season in which Everton won 2-0
  • Manchester United have now lost four away games in a row since winning in Paris and could lose three league away games in a row for the first time since 1996
  • Everton have lost more Premier League matches against Manchester United than any team against another in the current league EVER in losing 2/3 of their encounters with United
  • Gylfi Sigurdsson has scored four goals in nine games against United for Everton and Swansea but has only scored at Old Trafford and never at his home ground
Team Selection and Prediction:
De Gea may have made a mistake against Messi but he should remain between the sticks. Young CANNOT play tomorrow, he is full of mistakes and fails to deliver good enough crosses. Dalot should play right back and Shaw left back - end of. Lindelof and Smalling should play ahead of Jones. The midfield should stay the same but I could see Matic replace Fred just for physicality and extra protection against Sigurdsson. Martial ought to start as he has a good record against Everton and was lively for the first five minutes until Barcelona pushed further forward. Rashford seems to be lacking composure at the moment and could be allowed to rest or a wake-up call for the Manchester derby on Wednesday allowing both Lukaku and Alexis starts. Lukaku came on but hardly got into the game due to a lack of service but Alexis looked sharp and ready and came the closest to scoring with a superb header denied by Ter Stegen. 

If United have all the possession, Everton will sit and counter with their pacy wingers. If United sit deep and counter with their pace, the game could be theirs in the first 30 minutes. It depends on the tactics and team selection of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and so I'll be optimistic and say United continue their charge for Top Four with a good away win to finally break the bad form. 

Predicted Team: De Gea (c), Dalot, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Pogba, Alexis, Martial, Lukaku

PREDICTED SCORE: 0-2 to United

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