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Preview: Luke Shaw to return in order to prove himself against Everton

Manchester United v Everton

Old Trafford, Manchester

Premier League 2016/17

Tuesday 4th April 2017; KO 20:00 BST

Live on BT Sport 1HD

Manchester United will battle Everton in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening. At the weekend, Everton were beaten 3-1 by Merseyside rivals Liverpool at Anfield and United drew 0-0 at Old Trafford against West Bromwich Albion, which will see both teams wanting to get something positive from the match. United have drawn eleven matches in the Premier League this season, eight of which were at Old Trafford, which is not great, but after the last three seasons, it does show an improvement. United have lost three times in the league this season, one defeat less than league leaders Chelsea, which is not bad, but the defeats in the first nine matches this season seem to have defined United, not to mention the matches which they were winning but ended up drawing, or the matches which were draws with United not even being able to score a goal. Worrying times, but not as worrying as it has been since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson. United will need to find something and fast, or another match which just breeds frustration instead of excitement will see more negativity return. Yes the #MourinhoOut brigade, that was for you.

United have another chance to take advantage of their poor season after Arsenal and Manchester City drew 2-2 at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon, which with their two games in hand, could help them lead their chase on Liverpool in the fight for a top-four finish this season, which is the minimum Jose Mourinho’s side need, or they will need to ensure they go all the way in the UEFA Europa League, in order to get that UEFA Champions League place next season, with the club banking on that to ensure their finances remain topped up. Saturday’s match was poor with United failing to score, but with Tony Pulis’ side putting in that tactical domination again, playing more men behind the ball than in front of it. That sort of playing pathetic in football. What is the point in playing for a draw, when you could go out and aim to win the match? I am sure Mourinho knows that he has problems to solve, but the fact that some are suggesting it was time he was sacked is getting pretty pathetic. I wonder if these were the same people who brought those ‘UNTED’ scarves with Mourinho’s face on during December 2015!

Match Officials: Mike Dean again! This should be fun…

Neil Swarbrick will referee the match, his seventh involving Manchester United during his career as a referee, two of those matches were this season; the 3-1 victory over Swansea City on the 6th November 2016 in the Premier League and the 4-0 victory over Wigan Athletic in the Emirates FA Cup. During those matches this season, Swarbrick booked two United players, both in the victory over Swansea; Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Juan Mata. The assistant referees for the match will be Constantine Hatzidakis and Scott Ledger and the fourth official will be Bobby Madley.

Form: United looking to remain unbeaten, the Baggies looking ahead to European possibility?

Manchester United: Manchester United still sit in fifth place in the Premier League, five points adrift of Manchester City in fourth and six points adrift of Liverpool in third but with one game in hand over City and two in hand over Liverpool. United sit just above Arsenal, whose supporters have been mocking United for occupying sixth place for more than 100 days, which is funny now they find themselves there after a poorer season than the last – decline seems to get like this. United have had a better season than the last three, losing only three matches in the league this season, one less than Chelsea, who are likely to win the Premier League this season. United have drawn 11 matches, though, which is a worry, but after last season will be seen by many as an improvement.

Everton: Ronald Koeman’s Everton side have had a good season. They currently sit in seventh place in the Premier League, just a point behind Arsenal, but the North London club have two games in hand over their challengers for a place in a European competition next season. Romelu Lukaku is the top scorer in the Premier League this season, but that has not propelled them into a place where they can challenge. Seventh might be where Everton finish this season, but it wil be a place where they can define their future, especially after reaching the early days of a new stadium in the city. Koeman will want to beat Mourinho at Old Trafford, but hopefully, Mourinho will want to beat Koeman, ensuring his side does just that.

Former Reds: Friends become foes…

Morgan Schneiderlin is the only former Manchester United player involved in the Everton squad this season and he looks set to miss the match through injury. The French midfielder signed for United from Southampton in the summer of 2015, boosting United’s midfield at the time, but after a season of woes, and a new manager coming the following summer, it did not work out at United for Schneiderlin, who was sold during the January transfer window along with Memphis Depay, who went to Lyon and shortly after, Bastian Schweinsteiger was released from his contract for him to make a move to the MLS,  now playing for Chicago Fire. Tom Cleverley was an Everton player after leaving United in the summer of 2015, with Schneiderlin seemingly taking his place in the squad, doing so again at the start of 2017. Cleverley was loaned to Watford, which that deal being made permanently last week, which will commence from the summer.

Who are the Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion Top Scorers this season?

Manchester United: 26 – Zlatan Ibrahimović, 10 – Juan Mata, 7 – Anthony Martial, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, 5 – Jesse Lingard, Wayne Rooney, 3 – Marouane Fellaini, 2 – Michael Carrick, Chris Smalling, 1 – Daley Blind, Own Goal, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Antonio Valencia

Everton: 22 – Romelu Lukaku, 5 – Ross Barkley, 4 – Seamus Coleman, Kevin Mirallas, 3 – Enner Valencia, 2 – Leighton Baines, Gareth Barry, Arouna Koné, 1 – Yannick Bolasie, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Tom Davies, Idrissa Gueye, Aaron Lennon, Ademola Lookman, James McCarthy, Matthew Pennington, Morgan Schneiderlin, Ashley Williams

Team News: Three players out through injury, two returning from suspension and Luke Shaw will be involved

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera will be a welcome boost in the squad as they both return from suspension. Luke Shaw will now be involved in the squad fresh from the criticism after a summit meeting between him and Jose Mourinho took place on Monday. Wayne Rooney returned to action against West Bromwich Albion at the weekend and Paul Pogba was involved in a five-a-side training session after the match, which just leaves Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Juan Mata on the sidelines, all of whom will be out for a “long-time” according to the manager. Everton manager Ronald Koeman has bigger problems with seven players set to miss the visit to Old Trafford. Yannick Bolasie, Muhamed Besic, Ramiro Funes Mori and Seamus Coleman are all out for the long-term and Aaron Lennon, Morgan Schneiderlin and James McCarthy will be major doubts for the match.

Previous Meetings:

Manchester United and Everton have a history stretching back to the 24th September 1892. During that time, a total of 196 matches have been played between the two sides with United winning 85, drawing 42 and losing 69. The last defeat to Everton came at Goodison Park on the 26th April 2015 in which the home side won 3-0 with goals from James McCarthy, John Stones, and Kevin Mirallas. There have been four matches played since that defeat with United winning three and drawing the last meeting, earlier this season at Goodison Park with Marouane Fellaini giving away a penalty late on which levelled the score for the home side. On Tuesday night, both teams will be looking to get something from the match, with Mourinho’s side the ones that really need to stand up and show just what it means to win at Old Trafford.

Starting XI Prediction: Who is going to start against Everton?

Predicted Score:

Manchester United 2-1 Everton

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