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Preview: Manchester United need to find the fight, desire and determination to keep recent unbeaten run against Everton

Everton -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Goodison Park, Liverpool

Sunday 21 April 2019; KO 13:30 BST

Referee: Paul Tierney

Manchester United will be back in Premier League action against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday afternoon in what will be the start of a busy eight-day period for United. The Easter break will be good for the supporters but the players will not be able to take their minds off the task in hand; to finish the season inside the top four.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave his squad a 15 point challenge ahead of the league clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers, which they lost 2-1. Since then, United has beaten West Ham United and will face Everton (A), Manchester City (H), Chelsea (H), Huddersfield Town (A) and Cardiff City (H) before the end of the season.

Solskjaer will still have fullback problems with Luke Shaw suspended for this fixture, although he will be available from the City match on Wednesday. Ashley Young is a player out of form and has endured a tough week after that shocking performance against Barcelona and the racial abuse he has also endured on social media.

Form: United need to find their form again as recently, they have seemed more of a team in decline than a team on the rise

Manchester United: LWLLWL

Barcelona 3-0 L, West Ham United 2-1 W, Barcelona 1-0 L, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 L, Watford 2-1 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 L

United are in poor form at this important stage of the season. Solskjaer’s side has not kept a clean sheet in their last ten matches and has lost five of those. Recently, United has won just twice, losing four times in the last six matches, scoring six goals, conceding ten goals and needing to find a way back to winning ways with top four still to achieve this season.

Everton: LWWWLD

Fulham 2-0 L, Arsenal 1-0 W, West Ham United 2-0 W, Chelsea 2-0 W, Newcastle United 3-2 L, Liverpool 0-0 D

Everton is a team in much better form that United, results-wise anyway. A defeat in their last match and a week of rest before facing United will do them good. Marco Silva’s side has won three times, drawn once and lost twice, scoring seven goals, conceded five, keeping four clean sheets in their last six matches, meaning United might have a game on their hands.

Top Scorers: United has scored more goals this season but the distinct lack of them recently could see Everton as a team rising in confidence

Manchester United: 16 – Paul Pogba, 15 – Romelu Lukaku, 13 – Marcus Rashford, 12 – Anthony Martial, 5 – Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 3 – Ander Herrera, 2 – Marouane Fellaini, Alexis Sanchez, Ashley Young, 1 – Fred, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling

Everton: 13 – Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, 8 – Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 4 – Theo Walcott, 3 – Lucas Digne, Cenk Tosun, 2 – Bernard, Kurt Zouma, 1 – Seamus Coleman, Phil Jagielka, Michael Keane, Ademola Lookman, Yerry Mina, André Gomes

Team News: Sanchez and Matic back which will boost Solskjaer as his United side did need freshening up a little; Everton without three players

Solskjaer currently has three players on the sidelines through injury; Antonio Valencia (muscle), Eric Bailly (concussion), and Ander Herrera (hamstring). Nemanja Matic returned to the bench against Barcelona and Alexis Sanchez came off the bench in the defeat against his former club. It will be a boost for Solskjaer’s side, which did need freshening up.

Luke Shaw will serve his final match of suspension after he earned his tenth yellow card of the season against Watford. The left-back was also suspended from the UEFA Champions League defeat to Barcelona after receiving two yellow cards, meaning he will be fresh to return against Manchester City on Wednesday.

Everton manager Marco Silva has two injury concerns; Morgan Schneiderlin (ankle) and Yerry Mina (hamstring). Midfielder Andre Gomes has recently accepted a three-match suspension after a stamp on Aleksandar Mitrovic after Everton lost to Fulham last weekend. Other than that, this Everton squad has many other options against United.

Predicted Starting XI:

United need to find a way to create, supply and score the goals starting with the match against Everton. In an eight-day period, United will face Everton (away) and entertain Manchester City and Chelsea at Old Trafford, ideally needing to win all three matches to help boost their top four finish this season. Chances are running out pretty quickly now.

Match Prediction: United on an eight-match unbeaten run against Everton both home and away – this needs to be stretched to nine matches

United and Everton have played 200 competitive matches in the history of both clubs, dating back to the first match which was played on the 24 September 1892, a 6-0 defeat for Newton Heath. United has won 88 matches, drawn 43 times and lost 69 times. United is currently on an eight-match unbeaten run against Everton, winning six, drawing twice.

Everton 1-2 Manchester United

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