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Preview: Solskjaer must find a victory against Everton or the pressure will continue to grow; the rumours are already rife

Everton -v- Manchester United

Premier League

Goodison Park, Liverpool

Saturday 7 November 2020, KO 12:30 GMT

Referee: Paul Tierney Assistants: Stuart Burt, Simon Bennett

Fourth Official: Andy Madley

VAR: Michael Oliver Assistant VAR: Constantine Hatzidakis

Manchester United return to Premier League action on Saturday as they travel to Goodison Park to face Everton. Carlo Ancelotti’s side have lost their last two matches, as have Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United with both managers seeking to return to winning ways ahead of the last international break of 2020. Everton last won four matches ago when they beat Brighton and Hove Albion 4-2 in the Premier League at the start of October whereas United last won just over a week ago when they punished RB Leipzig 5-0 in the UEFA Champions League. Solskjaer will be under pressure, especially with rumours that suggest the club has contacted Mauricio Pochettino.

The thing is, the problems at the club have been endured by David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and now Solskjaer but so-called supporters of the club will always blame the current manager, not the factor that only one of the main contributors of the problems; Ed Woodward and the Glazers are the only thing that has been present during each and every problem that the managers of the club has faced. There are few players who have been present since Moyes and Sir Alex Ferguson before him so to blame one man for everything shows that people do not think about things, that just open their mouthes, which without thought is pointless.

Manchester United: LLWDWW

Istanbul Basaksehir 2-1 L, Arsenal 1-0 L, RB Leipzig 5-0 W, Chelsea 0-0 D, Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 W, Newcastle United 4-1 W

Everton: LLDWWW

Newcastle United 2-1 L, Southampton 2-0 L, Liverpool 2-2 D, Brighton and Hove Albion 4-2 W, West Ham United 4-1 W, Crystal Palace 2-1 W

Top Scorers: United need to find the form they are capable of so they can get themselves out of the rut they are in – Everton seem to be in a similar rut after their positive start to the season.

Manchester United Goals: 7 – Marcus Rashford, 4 – Bruno Fernandes, 2 – Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood, 1 – Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Donny van de Beek, Harry Maguire, Own Goal, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay

United are in a bit of dismay at this moment in time. They have lost two matches on the bounce against both Arsenal in the Premier League and Istanbul Basaksehir in the UEFA Champions League, who they had never played before and who had never won or even scored a goal in the competition. United need to work hard, keep their heads and find a way out of this mess. Solskjaer is not the only person to blame. Some so-called supporters praise the players for winning then moan about the manager for losing. If the manager is not praised for a victory then slated for a loss, the mentality seems to be wrong with these people. Patience is a virtue.

Everton Goals: 11 – Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 4 – Richarlison, 3 – James Rodríguez, Michael Keane, 2 – Moise Kean, 1 – Alex Iwobi, Bernard, Gylfi Sigurðsson, Yerry Mina

Everton started the Premier League season in fine form, winning their first four matches and drawing against Liverpool in their fifth, but losing matches six and seven. Their great form at the start of the season seems to have disappeared into oblivion and it will be something that they will need to rediscover when they face United. Last season, both fixtures against United, home and away, were 1-1 draws so they will be seeking to win this time, getting back to winning ways. United will be in exactly the same boat after two defeats in their last two matches. One team will emerge from this match with their heads held high – who will it be?

Team News: Anthony Martial back in action after suspension, Victor Lindelof a doubt with lower back injury, Jesse Lingard close to returning for United.

Solskjaer will still be without Eric Bailly (muscular) and Phil Jones (knee) for the clash with Everton on Saturday. Alex Telles (coronavirus) could still be a doubt as he will need to test negative for the virus before he can return to action. Victor Lindelof was on the bench in the defeat to Istanbul Basaksehir on Wednesday and has a lower back injury, so he will be subject to late fitness testing ahead of Saturday’s match. Jesse Lingard is getting closer to fitness after being out for a number of weeks but he could still be a doubt for this match, having a 50% chance of featuring for United. Anthony Martial is also back after his three-match suspension in the league.

Ancelotti has a few problems ahead of the visit of United to Goodison Park. Richarlison is suspended and will not feature for his club but Lucas Digne has his three-match suspension reduced to one match, so should be available. Jean-Philippe Gbamin (calf/shin/heel) and Mason Holgate (ankle/foot) have been ruled out of facing United. Seamus Coleman (thigh) has a 75% chance of facing United whilst both Andre Gomes (knee) and James Rodriguez (groin/hip/pelvis) have 50% chances of featuring for their club. Ben Godfrey (thigh) has a 25% chance if being available for this important Premier League match at Goodison Park.

Predicted Starting XI: Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to spearhead United’s attack with Bruno Fernandes just behind in a 4-3-1-2 formation?

Solskjaer needs to find the best formation for his squad to find consistency. The diamond formation has worked against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig but it will not work against every club and playing the same formation will become predictable. The formation will need to change during matches, when attacking and defending, which is where the gameplay tactics come in. The starting formation is not really all that important and the players need to take accountability to represent the club on the pitch as the manager can only prepare them for the match, from there it will be up to them all as individuals and as a team.

Match Prediction: 56 Premier League matches played with United winning 36, Everton winning nine and 11 matches being drawn. United and Everton will be seeking to return to winning ways.

United and Everton have played a total of 56 times in the history of the Premier League with United winning 36 times, Everton winning nine times and the two teams drawing 11 times. United have scored a total of 102 goals; winning five penalties and scoring four of them. Everton have scored a total of 53 goals; winning four penalties, scoring three of them. United have kept a total of 24 clean sheets with Everton keeping nine. In terms of discipline, United have been shown a total of 72 yellow cards with two red cards whereas Everton have been shown a total of 103 yellow cards with three red cards being shown.

Last season at Goodison Park, which was played on the 1 March 2020, before the coronavirus lockdown, it was a 1-1 draw between the two sides with Dominic Calvert-Lewin opening the scoring in the third minute of the match and Bruno Fernandes equalising in the 31st minute, assisted by Nemanja Matic. At Old Trafford, which was played on the 15 December 2019, almost three months earlier, it was also a 1-1 draw between the two sides with Victor Lindelof scoring an own goal in the 36th minute of the match and Mason Greenwood, assisted by Daniel James, scoring the equaliser in the 77th minute of the match.

Everton 1-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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copyright: JW

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