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Predicted XI: [4-3-1-2] Martial and Rashford lead the line, Fernandes in support? Diallo off the bench to show his stuff against Everton?

MacFinder

Manchester United will entertain Everton in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. The match previously scheduled to be played on Monday 8th February 2021 but United’s participation in the Emirates FA Cup meant that the match was brought forward. United will be going into this game in full confidence after their 9-0 humiliation of Southampton on Tuesday evening which saw Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Marcus Rashford, Jan Bednarek (own goal), Edinson Cavani, an Anthony Martial brace, Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes (penalty) and Daniel James all get on the scoresheet.

Everton beat Leeds United in the Premier League on Wednesday evening with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the scoresheet. United have met Everton a total of 205 times in all competitions, winning 90 times, drawing 45 and losing 70 times. United were last beaten by Everton on the 21 April 2019, a 4-0 defeat at Goodison Park in the Premier League. In the four matches played since, there have been two 1-1 draws at both Goodison Park and Old Trafford but in the last two meetings, United have won; 3-1 in the Premier League at Goodison Park and 2-0 at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup.

How United have faired against Everton in the Premier League.

United and Everton have met 57 times in the history of the Premier League. United have won 37 times, drawing 11 times and losing nine times. United have scored a total of 105 goals, conceding 54 with United winning five penalties and scoring four with Everton winning four and scoring three. United have kept 24 clean sheets with Everton keeping nine. United have received 74 yellow cards and two red cards. Everton have received 107 yellow cards and three red cards. United had a cracking result against Southampton, with nine goals being scored, which will be a massive confidence boost for the Red Devils.

In the Premier League fixture at Old Trafford last season, it was a 1-1 draw with Victor Lindelof scoring an own goal in the first half and Mason Greenwood levelling the score in the 77th minute. At Goodison Park last season, it was a 1-1 draw with Dominic Calvert-Lewin scoring in the third minute and Bruno Fernandes equalising in the 31st minute. United have played Everton at Goodison Park twice this season, winning both. In the Premier League it was a 3-1 victory to United with Bernard opening the scoring in the 19 minute with Bruno Fernandes scoring a brace and Edinson Cavani getting the other. In the Carabao Cup, United won 2-0 with Cavani and Anthony Martial scoring the goals.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Everton in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Saturday evening…

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

David De Gea has kept nine clean sheets in all competitions this season, seven of which were in the Premier League. In the last two matches, De Gea kept clean sheets, the 0-0 draw with Arsenal and the 9-0 victory over Southampton. Dean Henderson is a good goalkeeper to have at the club and in the future he seems to be destined to become the number one at the club, but for the time being, playing in cup matches might be his experience, unless Solskjaer needs to rotate his goalkeepers. De Gea is getting back to his best. There have been a few stutters here and there but the improvement is there to be seen.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United’s defence have kept two clean sheets on the bounce, which is a good sign. In the Premier League, they have conceded 27 goals this season but United have outscored their conceded goals, scoring a total of 46 inn the league, which leave a positive of 19 in goal difference. This is a sign of improvement. Clean sheets are good but they don’t always happen, so to outscore the opposition is the way to win, Sir Alex Ferguson style. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw will keep their places at fullback with Harry Maguire keeping his place. With Eric Bailly again being a doubt, Victor Lindelof will keep his place in the team.

Midfield Three: Donny van de Beek, Fred, Paul Pogba

I predicted this midfield for the Southampton match but Paul Pogba was rested, which is a god break for him after a period of good form. I would like to see the trio of Pogba, Fred and Donny van de Beek across the midfield with Bruno Fernandes playing in the advanced role behind the forward(s). Van de Beek has played so few matches this season that it is due to flurry of matches to get himself into contention. He’s got one goal to his name this season, which is a good start. Fred has been immense at times and the Pogba we have right now is the one we have always wanted in the famous red shirt of Manchester United.

Attacking Midfield: Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes is an important player for United this season. Some suggest that United are a one-man team with him goals and assists this season but Marcus Rashford is one goal behind him, so that is hardly being reliant on one player. If you look at Liverpool, Mohamed Salah has 21 goals with Sadio Mane on 10, so reliance is down to the eye of the beholder, obviously. Fernandes has been good all season, apart from a few matches here and there. He will have been ecstatic with the 9-0 victory over Southampton, scoring a penalty and assisting twice. It puts him in good form again just as a tough match comes around.

Forwards: Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial scored a brace against Southampton and looked to have regained some confidence, which is a good sign. Marcus Rashford was on the scoresheet too after a few matches without a goal. Rashford has 16 goals this season with Martial on seven, which is not the greatest of numbers but many goals have been coning from other areas, which is even better. Between Rashford and Martial, 23 goals have been scored with a further 16 assists. Edinson Cavani came off at half time against the Saints with an ankle injury, his six goals and two assists are important. If he’s fit, I think he will start once again, leaving Martial on the bench.

Substitutes: Dean Henderson; Alex Telles, Axel Tuanzebe; Juan Mata, Amad Diallo, Daniel James, Scott McTominay; Edinson Cavani, Mason Greenwood

United cane name nine substitutes on the bench, using three of them. It seems likely that Dean Henderson will remain on the bench with David De Gea in good form. In defence, Victor Lindelof and Alex Telles could be utilised, should they be required. In midfield, Juan Mata, Amad Diallo, Daniel James and Scott McTominay could provide some cover and/or inspiration if it is required. The young Ivorian made a great start playing for the U23’s last weekend with a goal and a penalty and it will be great to see him in action. In attack, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood will be available to bolster the attacking options, should they be needed.

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW

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