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Preview: Warren Joyce’s U23 side looking to extend winning run against Everton

Haig Avenue, Southport

Premier League 2

Monday 26th September 2016, KO 19:00 [Live on MUTV]

Manchester United U23’s travel to Southport to face Everton in the Premier League 2 on Monday evening. A week ago, United beat Derby County at Old Trafford in their first match at the Theatre of Dreams this season 3-2, with United taking the lead three times in a high tension match. United, at this level, are a depleted side with no out-and-out striker, which earlier in the season seemed to cost the squad, but now, individual players are stepping forward and pulling out the performances, much to the praise of their teammates and more importantly their coach Warren Joyce. United have a lot of work to do in order to retain their title this season, but nothing can be ruled out this early in the season. United need to find some good form in order to push on after winning their first match against Leicester City, losing against Southampton, then drawing against both Chelsea and Manchester City, before beating Derby County. Against Everton, United need to stand up and be counted, taking all three points away from Southport.

United lie in eighth place in the Premier League 2 table this season, with eight points after five matches have been played. Warren Joyce’s side have a game in hand over Chelsea, Sunderland, Manchester City, Liverpool, and league leaders Southampton. Should United take all three points away from Everton, who are currently second in the table, United could rise from eighth to fifth unless they score more than three goals, which could see them leapfrog City into fourth, dependant on other results in Monday night’s matches, which could obviously change everything. Everton seems to be a tough side to beat this season, winning four of their last five matches in all competitions, losing to Sunderland a fortnight ago. United have won two, drawn two and lost one of their last five fixtures.

In order to find the best fit for his squad this season, which is already lacking a striker, Joyce will have to take some of the better players from Kieran McKenna;s U18 squad, with the likes of Ethan Hamilton, DJ Buffonge and Tahith Chong selected in recent weeks, with the latter yet to make his U23 debut in his first season at the club. McKenna’s U18 squad are doing well, winning three matches in a row by scoring five goals in each match, coming unstuck against Manchester City the weekend before last and beating Stoke City 2-0 on Saturday, which sees them third in the Premier League U18 league table, two points shy of leaders and current title holders Manchester City. There are plenty of players Joyce could still select for his U23 side with Nishan Burkart, Indy Boonen, and even Angel Gomes all playing well, which could see them needing to be challenged at a higher level at some point this season, which will benefit them in the long run. Joyce will continue to dabble with his side, finding the best fit for his players and getting the best out of them, which is something he does best. Everton will be a tough team to beat, but it is possible and I am sure United will venture all opportunities in doing so.

Manchester United U23 Squad:

Manager: Warren Joyce

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone, Kieran O’Hara

Defenders: Matthew Olosunde, Axel Tuanzebe, Ro-Shaun Williams, Regan Poole, Charlie Scott, Sadiq El Fitouri, Joe Riley

Midfielders: Scott McTominay, Tosin Kehinde, Josh Harrop, Sean Goss, Devonte Redmond, Matty Willock

Forwards: Demitri Mitchell, Josh Doughty

Everton U23 Squad:

Manager: David Unsworth

Goalkeepers: Russell Griffiths, Mateusz Hewelt, Louis Gray, Chris Renshaw, Connor Hunt

Defenders: Tyias Browning, Mason Holgate, Brendan Galloway, Matthew Pennington, Jonjoe Kenny, Antonee Robinson, Morgan Feeney, Matty Foulds, Callum Connolly, Josef Yarney, James Yates, Gethin Jones

Midfielders: Tom Davies, Kieran Dowell, Conor Grant, Antony Evans, Jack Bainbridge, Michael Donohue, Harry Charsley, Tyrone Duffus, Beni Baningime, Nathan Broadhead, Nathan Holland, Joe Williams, Liam Walsh

Forwards: Sam Byrne, Courtney Duffus, Shayne Lavery, Bassala Sambou, Calum Dyson, Conor McAleny, Delial Brewster, Leandro Rodriguez, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, David Henen, Oumar Naisse

Manchester United U23 Top Scorers:

2 – Scott McTominay, 1 – Own Goal, Josh Harrop, Demetri Mitchell, Matty Willock,

Everton U23 Top Scorers:

6 – Calum Dyson, 5 – Harry Charsley, 3 – Kieran Dowell, 2 – Courtney Duffus, Antony Evans, David Henen, Liam Walsh

Manchester United U23 Form:- WDDLW

Derby County 3-2 W, Manchester City 1-1 D, Chelsea 1-1 D, Southampton 1-0 L, Leicester City 1-0 W

Everton U23 Form:- WLWWW

Arsenal 5-0 W, Sunderland 1-0 L, Bolton Wanderers 2-0 W, Leicester City 4-1 W, Derby County 2-0 W

Predicted Starting XI:

Predicted Score:

Everton 1-2 Manchester United

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