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?
How United have faired against Everton in domestic cup competitions and the Premier League.
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.
Here is my predicted starting XI to face Everton in the Carabao Cup at Goodison Park on Wednesday evening…
Goalkeeper: Dean Henderson
Dean Henderson did not exactly have the best match against his former loan club Sheffield United, a match which saw him concede two goals, although United won 3-2, taking all three points in the Premier League. The 23-year-old was on the bench against Leeds United on Sunday, a match in which United scored six goals, conceding two – rising to third in the Premier League. With David de Gea playing a lot of football recently, and the fact United will travel to Leicester City in the early kick off on Boxing Day, resting the Spanish number one for this match could be a good choice with Henderson needing minutes to bed himself in at the club.
Defenders: Brandon Williams, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles
United’s defence will need somme rotation this week with another three matches to play after the Everton match up until New Year’s Day. Solskjaer has a few options. He could start Brandon Williams in the right-back position (Tim Fosu-Mensah could also be called upon). At left-back, Alex Telles could start ahead of Luke Shaw, who was ill in the running up to the clash with Leeds and came off after an hour. In the centre of defence, Eric Bailly could start once again with Harry Maguire, but the manager also has the likes of Axel Tuanzebe and Teden Mengi, who could both be available to start this week.
Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba
The midfield is an area that needs a lot of focus, especially when there are trophies on the line, as is the case with the Carabao Cup. United would like to be in the semi-final draw and will try their best in order to get there. On Sunday against Leeds, Scott McTominay scored a brace inside three minutes but was injured at the end of the match, therefore is likely to miss this one. Fred also played and may require a rest to continue playing so often. Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic were both rested, so could start this match in the pivot roles, which could set United up well against Everton for the second time this season.
Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Donny van de Beek, Daniel James
United will need to be at the top of their game in the attacking areas. Marcus Rashford (12) and Bruno Fernandes (13) lead the goalscoring charts at the club at this stage of the season but could both be on the bench, giving them a slight break ahead of the trip to Leicester on Boxing Day. Mason Greenwood could start on the right-wing, which has been a problem position for United over the years with Daniel James on the left-wing, after his goal against Leeds at the weekend. In between the duo, Donny van de Beek could play in place of Fernandes as he seeks to show his manager what he has to offer for his new club.
Forwards: Edinson Cavani
Edinson Cavani has to start this match against Everton. In his last visit to Goodison Park, he scored United’s third goal in the match sealing the victory for United. He has been injured of late and might miss some matches in January depending on the result of his charge by the FA after that social media post which seems to have been taken out of context. Cavani is capable of doing well for United, despite his age. His three goals already this season matches those of Anthony Martial, who could be rested for this match to keep him fresh for the weekend with United seeking to continue their rise in the Premier League table.
Substitutes: David De Gea; Tim Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe; Juan Mata, Bruno Fernandes, Facundo Pellistri; Marcus Rashford
In the Premier League, nine players are now allowed to be named on the bench but in the Carabao Cup only seven players can be named on the bench with a maximum of three being used in the competition. David De Gea could be on the bench, just in case he is needed in goal. In defence, Tim Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe could be called upon should there be a requirement for them. In midfield, the experience of Juan Mata and Bruno Fernandes could be good with the raw talent of Facundo Pellistri. In attack, Marcus Rashford could be there in case the forwards that start the match are not able to do the job needed.
Written by John Walker