Preview: Jose Mourinho determined to give Ronald Koeman another afternoon to forget?


Manchester United -v- Everton

Premier League 2017/18

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 17th September 2017; KO 16:00 BST

Live on Nissan Super Sunday Sky Sports Premier League HD

Manchester United will face Everton at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, their fifth league match of the new season. United are yet to face one of the big teams in the Premier League this season – the first being against Liverpool next month. Jose Mourinho’s side won their first three matches of the season against West Ham United (4-0), Swansea City (4-0) and Leicester City (2-0). United dropped their first points of the season against Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium last weekend in a 2-2 draw, getting back to winning ways on Tuesday beating FC Basel 3-0 in the first group stage match of the UEFA Champions League. United will be seeking another victory in the Premier League this weekend, putting Ronald Koeman into the firing line after his sides poor start to the season.

Everton have been involved in three defeats in their last three matches; a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea, a 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur and a 3-0 defeat to Atalanta in their UEFA Europa League group stage clash on Thursday evening. Wayne Rooney’s return to Old Trafford will need to be a big one on Sunday for Everton, the player inspiring his boyhood club to take all three points back to Merseyside, which at this moment in time seems unlikely. United may have to dig deep in order to get the result they want, especially after recent matches between the two sides. The last match should have been United victory but a late penalty levelled the score with United earning just a point from the match. Speaking about Rooney’s return to the Theatre of Dreams on Sunday, Mourinho speaking in his pre-match press conference on Friday, said:

“I think sometimes the word ‘legend’ is used too easily but that’s not this case. He’s a real legend in the club. The numbers, they speak by themselves. He’s obviously a legend for this club and for sure he’s going to get the welcome that he deserves.

“But [we’ll] talk after the match when the players’ dressing room and my office are open for him. He doesn’t even need to knock on the door.

“I think the stadium will show him the respect that he deserves, I hope, before the match and after the match. Not during the match. During the match, he is an Everton player who wants to win the game.”

Previous Matches: Manchester United have won more matches, had a twenty match unbeaten run, but recently, it has been all to play for against Everton

Manchester United and Everton have faced each other 197 times in all competitions since their first match which was played on the 24th September 1892, a 6-0 victory for Everton over Newton Heath. United have won a total of 85 matches, drawn 43 times and lost 69 times. United have a twenty match unbeaten record against Everton which lasted from the 9th September 1995 after a 3-2 victory at Goodison Park, ending with a 2-0 victory on the 19th February 2005; 19 of the matches were in the Premier League, one in the FA Cup. United last lost to Everton on the 26th April 2015, a 3-0 defeat which, the loss before that almost a year before was the final straw for United who then sacked former Everton manager David Moyes. The last four matches see United undefeated against Everton, winning twice; 1-0 and 2-1, drawing twice; both 1-1 scorelines.

Form: Jose Mourinho’s side have had the better start to the season with Ronald Koeman’s Everton looking to get points on the board after a series of defeats

Manchester United started the Premier League season strongly with three victories in the first three matches; West Ham United 4-0, Swansea City 4-0 and Leicester City 2-0, scoring ten goals in the opening matches without reply. After the international break, United travelled to the bet365 Stadium to face Stoke City, dropping their first points of the season in the 2-2 draw but still sitting at the top of the Premier League tables based on goal difference. This weekend, after a positive result in the opening UEFA Champions League clash with FC Basel, a 3-0 victory, United will be looking to get back to winning ways in the league, intent on keeping their place at the top of the league table, of which they will be dislodged of over the weekend with United’s match against Everton being the final match of the weekend.

Everton have not had the best of starts in the Premier League this season, playing four matches so far; beating Stoke City 1-0 in their opening match of the season, drawing 1-1 all with Manchester City, which will be viewed as a good result, but them falling to straight defeats; 2-0 to Premier League champions Chelsea and a 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. In the UEFA Europa League, Everton had to go through the qualification stages, beating Ružomberok 1-0 in each leg (2-0 on aggregate), then going on to play Hajduk Split, winning 2-0 in the first leg, drawing 1-1 in the second, making the group stages with a 3-1 aggregate victory. However, in the first group stage match on Thursday evening, Everton continued their poor form, losing 3-0 again and heading to Old Trafford in poor form, which could be the making of a long afternoon for them.

Team News: Paul Pogba will be out of action, Luke Shaw is no longer injured and Marcos Rojo will be out for a little longer

Jose Mourinho will be without Paul Pogba for Everton’s visit to Old Trafford on Sunday. The French midfielder suffered a hamstring injury in the opening 19 minutes of the match against Basel on Tuesday evening. It has been rumoured that Pogba will be out for between four and six weeks. Many were hoping the manager would clarify the amount of time the player would be out of action for, only saying; “He is injured and he cannot play on Sunday.” Mourinho also suggested that he did not know how long Pogba would be out of action for, saying; “We know that, for a few matches, I don’t know how many, but I expect we are to play without Pogba for a few matches.” 

Mourinho did confirm that it would be a chance for other players to get a foot in the door to more playing time, saying; “That is an opportunity for others and the others are ready to get that opportunity and to perform. Of course, we feel sorry that we lose a player but we are calm and confident because it is an opportunity for people who are ready to take it.” The Portuguese manager did give an update on Luke Shaw, a player who started the new season on the sidelines, playing for the U23’s with Mourinho now saying; “He is not injured anymore so it is a question of form and it is a question of options. But he is not injured, he is recovered.”

Marcos Rojo is a different story though with Mourinho saying; “He is still in the timings of such an important injury. Everything went really well, but he’s not even training with the group in normal sessions, he’s just doing parts of it. So Marcos still has in front of him, probably, a couple of months.”

Predicted Starting XI: Marouane Fellaini to take the place of Paul Pogba against his former club as Manchester United to grind out the results at home

Match Prediction: It could be another one of those days for Everton, here’s hoping…

Manchester United 4-0 Everton

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copyright: JW

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