Preview: United seeking to overturn 4-0 defeat to Everton last season to achieve a fourth victory in a row in the past four matches

Manchester United -v- Everton

Premier League

Old Trafford, Manchester

Sunday 15 December 2019, KO 14:00 GMT

Referee: Michael Oliver Assistants: Stuart Burt; Simon Bennett Fourth Official: Kevin Friend

VAR: Craig Pawson Assistant VAR: Eddie Smart

Manchester United will be back in Premier League action on Sunday as they welcome Everton to Old Trafford. United are unbeaten in their last four matches after drawing 2-2 with Aston Villa, beating Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City with 2-1 scoreline and destroying AZ Alkmaar scoring four goals in ten and a half second half minutes in the final UEFA Europa League group stage match on Thursday.

It has been quite a positive week for United, earning seven Premier League points reaching fifth in the league, just five points shy of Chelsea in fourth place and winning the group in the Europa League, which may give them a more favourable draw in the round of 32 stage of the competition, which will be drawn on Monday afternoon. This weekend though, United could set a 4,000 match record.

For more than 82 years now, United have had at least one academy graduate in the first team squad for every first team match. With the likes of Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams, Ethan Laird, Scott McTominay, James Garner, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, and Marcus Rashford all available, it could be a good day for United’s academy, the DNA of the club going back to October 1937 and cover the successful era’s of Sir Matt Busby right the way through the Sir Alex Ferguson’s and beyond.

Form: Three wins, two draws and one defeat in the last six matches for United whilst Everton have three defeats, one draw and two wins.

Manchester United: WWWDLD

AZ Alkmaar 4-0 W, Manchester City 2-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 W, Aston Villa 2-2 D, Astana 2-1 L, Sheffield United 3-3 D

Everton: WLLLWD

Chelsea 3-1 W, Liverpool 5-2 L, Leicester City 2-1 L, Norwich City 2-0 L, Southampton 2-1 W, Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 D

Top Scorers: United are currently in the zone when it comes to scoring goals, having scored ten goals in the last four matches; Everton have scored nine goals in six matches, conceding 12.

Manchester United Goals: 13 – Marcus Rashford, 6 – Anthony Martial, 6 – Mason Greenwood, 3 – Daniel James, Scott McTominay, 1 – Andreas Pereira, Ashley Young, Brandon Williams, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Own Goal, Victor Lindelof

In the past four matches, United have found some much-needed form, winning three matches in a row and drawing the other. Solskjaer’s side has scored ten goals in those four matches, scoring four on Thursday evening in their final Europa League group stage match against AZ Alkmaar. Heading into a busy stage of the season, United will be seeking to continue their winning and goalscoring run.

Everton Goals: 8 – Richarlison, 7 – Dominic Calvert-Lewin, 2 – Bernard, Alex Iwobi, Gylfi Sigurdsson, 1 – Tom Davies, Lucas Digne, Mason Holgate, Michael Keane, Cenk Tosun

Everton have been dire this season but the sacking of Marco Silva with Duncan Ferguson standing in as the caretaker manager, it seems to have turned the Merseyside club around after ending three-match losing streak by beating Chelsea 3-1 last weekend. Obviously, Chelsea are nothing impressive this season but this could be a test for United, who are looking to claw themselves into the top four this season.

Team News: Paul Pogba likely to be unavailable for United this weekend as United look to set a 4,000 match record of having at least one academy graduate in each first team match lasting more than 82 years.

United will be without many players for the visit of Everton on Sunday with Eric Bailly and Tim Fosu-Mensah out of action probably until the New Year. Paul Pogba looks set to be out of action until at least Boxing Day, although that might still change yet. Diogo Dalot could return to fitness ahead of next week’s Carabao Cup clash against Colchester United with Marcos Rojo likely to be out for another week.

Jesse Lingard, however, who missed the final Europa League group stage clash on Thursday could recover in time to face Everton, which would be good for him after a positive performance against Manchester City last weekend. Solskjaer may bring in some talented youth players to bolster his side, possibly the bench, which will allow some extra bodies if needed. Luke Shaw should also be back in contention for this match.

Ferguson will be without both Theo Walcott and Morgan Schneiderlin with calf injuries which could be a blow for the trip to the Theatre of Dreams. Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Andre Gomes, Cuco Martina, Fabian Delph, Seamus Coleman, Yerry Mina will be missing also and Lucas Digne could be subject to a late fitness test ahead of the match. Ferguson will obviously be hoping that he can get some players back into the squad.

Predicted Starting XI: Solskjaer made nine changes for the victory over AZ Alkmaar and as many might be made for the visit of Everton with Anthony Martial leading the line and Marcus Rashford and Daniel James back in the team?

Solskjaer has many fully rested players from Thursday night’s 4-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League. Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, and Fred were unused substitutes in the match with Luke Shaw, Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and David De Gea rested from the match day squad. Jesse Lingard was injured for the clash with Anthony Martial playing 60 minutes in the victory. All could feature against the Toffees.

Match Prediction: United have won 88 times against Everton, losing 70 times and drawing 43 times. With United’s form more impressive than Everton’s, this should be a win for United.

United and Everton have played a total of 201 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1892. United has won 88 times, drawn 43 times and lost 70 times. In the fixture at Old Trafford last season, United won 2-1 with goals from Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial with Everton’s Gylfi Sigurdsson scoring the only goal for the visitors. At Goodison Park, United lost 4-0, which was the last match played.

Prior to that 4-0 defeat, United were on an eight match unbeaten streak, winning six times and drawing twice. United once had a twenty match unbeaten streak against Everton which lasted almost a decade from September 1995 to February 2005. After the 4-0 defeat last season, United need to beat Everton, with a view of extending their four match unbeaten run to five matches, having beat Spurs, Manchester City and AZ Alkmaar and drawing to Aston Villa in the last four matches.

Manchester United 2-1 Everton

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.