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Preview: Everton -v- Manchester United – Carabao Cup – United aiming to beat the Toffees to get closer to cup glory?

Everton -v- Manchester United

Carabao Cup

Goodison Park, Liverpool

Wednesday 23 December 2020, KO 20:00 GMT

Referee: Andrew Madley  Assistants: Edward Smart, Adrain Holmes 

Fourth Official: Andre Marriner

Manchester United will take a break from the Premier League on Wednesday as they travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton for the second time this season, this time in the Carabao Cup quarter-final. United topped the Merseyside club on Sunday with a 6-2 victory over Leeds United in the Premier League – their biggest scoring victory in the league this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to get his team to the semi-final of the Carabao Cup this season in bid to win his first trophy as manager of the club, which has so far avoided him, losing three semi-finals so far. United may need to rotate some players for this match.

United will take on Leicester City in the Premier League at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day (Saturday), kicking off at 12:30 GMT. It is important that United continue to keep winning in the league and resting some important players, keeping them fresh for the remaining three matches, after Everton, which are to be played between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Everton could be a tough team to beat, although at Goodison Park on the 7 November, United won 3-1 with a brace from Bruno Fernandes and a late goal scored by Edinson Cavani, who is fit once again for United and could perhaps start this match?

Manchester United: WWDLWL

Leeds United 6-2 W, Sheffield United 3-2 W, Manchester City 0-0 D, RB Leipzig 3-2 L, West Ham United 3-1 W, Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 L

Everton: WWWDLW

Arsenal 2-1 W, Leicester City 2-0 W, Chelsea 1-0 W, Burnley 1-1 D, Leeds United 1-0 L, Fulham 3-2 W

Top Scorers: Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford have scored 25 goals between them this season with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring 14 goals himself this season. United have 12 different goalscorer with Everton having 11 – one of which is no longer at the club.

Manchester United Goals: 13 – Bruno Fernandes, 12 – Marcus Rashford, 3 – Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay, 2 – Daniel James, Harry Maguire, Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, 1 – Own Goal, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

United seem to have turned a corner after their poor start to the Premier League season. Still with a game in hand over many of the clubs in the league, United sit in third place, which is where they finished last season. They are five points adrift of league leaders, Liverpool. Solskjaer’s side have done well this season, finding their form and grinding out results, often coming from behind to win all three points. This may not be idea but the squad is work in progress and still has some problems which need to be fixed. In the coming few months, United could start to silence some of their critics but they will just find something else to moan about.

Everton Goals: 14 – Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 5 – Richarlison, 3 – Michael Keane, James Rodríguez, 2 – Bernard, Moise Kean, Yerry Mina, Gylfi Sigurdsson, 1 – Abdoulaye Doucouré, Mason Holgate, Alex Iwobi

Everton started the season in fine form and topped the league table on a few occasions. However, recently, their form has been inconsistent but they are seeking to overcome that. In their last six matches, the Toffees have won four, drawn once and lost once, with United having won three, drawn once and lost twice. United sit just above Everton in the Premier League table, on goal difference, which shows that there is something positive happening at both clubs this season. This match will be entirely different though. Everton hold the cards against United in cup competitions, winning eight and losing seven of the 15 ties played so far.

Team News: Two players definitely out of action for United with McTominay a doubt. Everton have four players on the sidelines with Rodriguez a doubt at this moment in time – but that could change before Wednesday’s clash at Goodison Park.

Phil Jones (knee) will be out of action until next year, not that he was named in a playing squad this season anyway. Marcos Rojo (calf) could be back in action in early to mid-January but he has not played any football so far this season. Luke Shaw (illness) came off on the hour mark, so could be a doubt for the Everton match and Scott McTominay (groin) came off in the final minutes in the 6-2 victory over Leeds United at Old Trafford on Sunday and will need to be assessed in the coming days. He has a 25% chance of featuring against Everton on Wednesday at this moment in time.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin (calf/shin), Fabian Delph (thigh), Lucas Digne (ankle/foot) and Allan Marques Loureiro (thigh) all look set to be ruled out of the Carabao Cup clash with United at Goodison Park on Wednesday evening. James Rodriguez (calf/shin) has been out of action for the past three Premier League matches and has a 50% chance of featuring for his club against United this week. Other than that, Everton look to have a full squad, which could be a benefit for them with United playing more matches than them recently, which again could be an advantage or a disadvantage.

Predicted Starting XI: Edinson Cavani, Daniel James, Donny van de Beek and Mason Greenwood to lead the attack against Everton?

Solskjaer will need to keep some freshness in his team ahead of the remainder of the fixtures during the Festive period. United will play every three days until New Year’s Day, before they have a longer break of seven days before they face Watford in the Emirates FA Cup. Edinson Cavani, Daniel James, Donny van de Beek and Mason Greenwood could lead the line with Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic in midfield. In defence, Brandon Williams, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire and Alex Telles could all play in front of Dean Henderson, who should continue in United’s Carabao Cup pursuit this season.

Match Prediction: 15 Matches played in domestic cup competitions between United and Everton with United winning seven and Everton winning eight.

United and Everton have met 15 times in domestic cup competitions, 12 times in the FA Cup and three times in the League Cup. United have won seven times, lost eight times and drawn once (which led to a defeat on penalties which is included in the losses). United have scored a total of 13 goals, conceding 14 and keeping six clean sheets. The last time United met Everton in a cup competition was in the FA Cup semi-final on the 23 April 2016, winning 2-1 with Marouane Fellaini opening the scoring in the 34th minute, Chris Smalling scoring an own goal in the 75th minute and Anthony Martial scoring the winner in the 90th minute.

In the Premier League it is a different story with 57 matches being played with United winning 37, drawing 11 and losing nine. United have scored 15 goals, winning five penalties and scoring four. Everton have scored 54 times, winning four penalties, scoring three. United have kept 24 clean sheets with Everton keeping just nine. Earlier this season, United beat Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park. Bernard opened the scoring in the 19th minute then Bruno Fernandes scored a brace in the 25th and 32nd minutes with Edinson Cavani scoring the winner two minutes into added time. United will be looking for a similar result on Wednesday evening.

Everton 2-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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