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PREVIEW: Everton v Manchester United

Goodison Park, Liverpool

Sunday 20th April 2014 – KO 16:10 GMT

Referee: Mark Clattenburg, Assistants: G Beswick and S Beck, Fourth Official: C Pawson

Manchester United travel to Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon, the first time David Moyes has visited his former club since he became the United manager last summer. Everton are in a far better position than United this season, chasing a UEFA Champions League place, which United are unlikely to achieve this season. Roberto Martínez has done a good job with the Toffee’s, but is it just because Moyes built the side at the club, or is it that the former Wigan Athletic manager has utilised the players in a much more attacking formation?

United have fallen off their pedestal this season after winning the Barclays Premier League last season, which was at the advantage of United due to the challenging sides not taking their chances and falling at various hurdles. United have also struggled with injuries to key players this season with Robin van Persie out of action throughout the Christmas period and returning at the end of January, but he sustained another injury which could effectively keep him out for the remainder of the season. Wayne Rooney has also spent time on the sidelines with a laceration to the head at the start of the season to him also spending time out of action throughout the Christmas period. Add this injuries to the ones we have had in the heart of defence to Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans, and we need not talk about the ones hampering the midfield and the wing positions.

More recently, David Moyes has added some life to the way United play, we saw that against Aston Villa and Newcastle, but United came unstuck against Bayern Munich in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final, exiting the competition they will probably not play in next season. It has been a tough time to be a Manchester United supporter, but we are not guaranteed to win trophies every season, something that some supporters cannot accept. We are now in a transition period, as there are some clear weak links in the club, both involving playing personnel and other staff behind the scenes. United are currently 10 shy of fourth place, which when you think about the recent matches against Liverpool and Manchester City, United would be up there challenging for a UEFA Champions League place.

United were handed an injury boost with both Wayne Rooney and Marouane Fellaini returning to training at the start of the week, so both should be fit to play on Sunday afternoon. Jonny Evans is also close to a comeback, and could have an outside chance of playing against Everton. Rafael da Silva and Robin van Persie are still sidelined through injury. Everton have a mini injury crisis at the moment with Darron Gibson, Bryan Oviedo, Arouna Koné, Steven Pienaar and Lacina Traoré all on the sidelines, but Phil Jagielka could return from injury in time to boost Roberto Martíez, whose side could do the double over United this season.

Campo

Manchester United Statistics:

Based on Barclays Premier League 2013/14 [statistics taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 33 matches, won 17, drawn 6, lost 10 and currently have 57 points

Scored 56 goals (1.70 goals per match) & conceded 38 goals (1.15 goals per match) – 4 penalties

Longest unbeaten streak is 7 matches

Clean sheet record 36%

Everton Statistics:

Based on Barclays Premier League 2013/14 [statistics taken from the Official Barclays Premier League website]

Played 34 matches, won 19, drawn 9, lost 6 and currently have 66 points

Scored 55 goals (1.62 goal per match) & conceded 34 goals (1.00 goals per match) – 2 penalties

Longest unbeaten streak is 10 matches

Clean sheet record 38%

Top Scorers (all competitions):

Manchester United: 17 – Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, 10 – Danny Welbeck, 9 – Javier Hernandez, 4 – Adnan Januzaj, Antonio Valencia, 3 – Patrice Evra, Own Goal, Phil Jones, Juan Mata, Ashley Young, 2 – Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidic, 1 – Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Nani, Fabio da Silva

Everton: 14 – Romelu Lukaku, 9 – Steven Naismith, 7 – Séamus Coleman, Kevin Mirallas, 6 – Ross Barkley, 5 – Leighton Baines, 4 – Gerard Deulofeu, 3 – Gareth Barry, Own Goal, Leon Osman, 2 – Nikica Jelavić, Bryan Oviedo, 1 – Marouane Fellaini, Magaye Gueye, John Heitinga, Steven Pienaar, Lacina Traoré

Manchester United Form: – LWDWLW

Last six matches: Bayern Munich 3-1 L, Newcastle United 4-0 W, Bayern Munich 1-1 D, Aston Villa 4-1 W, Manchester City 3-0 L, West Ham United 2-0 W

Everton: – LWWWWW

Last six matches: Crystal Palace 3-2 L, Sunderland 1-0 W, Arsenal 3-0 W, Fulham 3-1 W, Newcastle United 3-0 W, Swansea City 3-2 W

Head to Head:

Played 21 matches at Goodison Park in the Barclays Premier League:

Manchester United: Won 14, Drawn 3, Lost 4 – Scored 39 goals, conceded 21 goals and kept 8 clean sheets

Everton: Won 4, Drawn 3, Lost 14 – Scored 21 goals, conceded 39 goals and kept 3 clean sheets

Manchester United Squad:

Manager: David Moyes

Goalkeepers: 1. David De Gea, 13, Anders Lindegaard, 40. Ben Amos;

Defenders: 2. Rafael da Silva, 3. Patrice Evra, 4. Phil Jones, 5. Rio Ferdinand, 6. Jonny Evans, 12. Chris Smalling, 15. Nemanja Vidic, 28. Alexander Büttner, 30. Guillermo Varela;

Midfielders: 8. Juan Mata, 11. Ryan Giggs, 16. Michael Carrick, 17. Nani, 18. Ashley Young, 23. Tom Cleverley, 24. Darren Fletcher, 25. Antonio Valencia, 26. Shinji Kagawa, 31. Marouane Fellaini, 44. Adnan Januzaj;

Strikers: 10. Wayne Rooney, 14. Javier Hernandez, 19. Danny Welbeck, 20. Robin van Persie, 47. James Wilson

Doubts/Injuries: 2. Rafael da Silva (hamstring), 6. Jonny Evans (calf/shin), 20. Robin van Persie (knee) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: None [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Everton Squad:

Manager: Roberto Martínez

Goalkeepers: 1. Joel Robles, 24. Tim Howard, 42. Mason Springthorpe, 0. Jindřich Staněk;

Defenders: 2. Tony Hibbert, 3. Leighton Baines, 6. Phil Jagielka, 15. Sylvain Distin, 23. Séamus Coleman, 26. John Stones, 29. Luke Garbutt, 32. Antolín Alcaraz, 36. Tyias Browning, 40. Ibou Touray;

Midfielders: 4. Darron Gibson, 7. Aiden McGeady, 8. Bryan Oviedo, 16. James McCarthy, 18. Gareth Barry, 19. Magaye Gueye, 20. Ross Barkley, 21. Leon Osman, 22. Steven Pienaar, 39. Conor Grant;

Strikers: 9. Arouna Koné, 10. Gerard Deulofeu, 11. Kevin Mirallas, 14. Steven Naismith, 17. Romelu Lukaku, 28. Lacina Traoré, 35. Conor McAleny, 41. Chris Long

Doubts/Injuries: 4. Darron Gibson (ACL), 6. Phil Jagielka (hamstring), 8. Bryan Oviedo (broken leg), 9. Arouna Koné (knee), 22. Steven Pienaar (cartilage knee injury), 28. Lacina Traoré (hamstring) [injury details taken from PhysioRoom.com]

Suspensions: None [suspensions confirmed by the FA.com]

Predicted Formation/Starting XI:

Everton Preview XI

Score Prediction:

Everton 1-2 Manchester United

By Paul Bienkowski

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