Manchester United will be looking to build on their nervy win over West Ham with another three points against an Everton side struggling to replicate last year’s success.
Manchester United v Everton
Having (just about) bounced back from the Leicester defeat with victory over West Ham last week, United now face three games without their captain. Usually a team’s fans would be disappointed with this situation, but a number of United fans will feel that Juan Mata has been unfairly benched in order to accommodate Wayne Rooney.
Whether Louis Van Gaal feels that Mata is the man to step into the team in Rooney’s absence is far from clear. In the recent game at Leicester, it was Adnan Januzaj who was first to be called from the bench when LVG wanted to change things around. It’s something worth keeping in mind, as by no means is it a foregone conclusion that Mata will come in.
Radamel Falcao is yet to score in his first couple of appearances, so he’ll be eager to break his duck sooner rather than later. United were beaten in the corresponding fixture last year, and they’ll be expecting another tough afternoon in this one.
Everton have been scoring, and (more worryingly) leaking goals for fun this season. They’re joint-second top scorers, whilst also conceding the most goals, at this early stage of the season.
This has led to a disappointing start to the season, with a solitary win against WBA being the only time they’ve tasted victory in the league. Last week’s late heorics from Phil Jagielka meant they came away from the derby buoyed by the result, if not entirely by the performance.
They’ll be without Ross Barkley, Seamus Coleman, Kevin Mirallas and possibly James McCarthy, going by reports. So asking for a repeat of last season’s victory at Old Trafford may be asking too much of them. Bearing in mind that they’ll have returned from Russia just 48 hours before this match.
Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Jones, Rojo, Shaw, Blind, Mata, Januzaj, Di Maria, Van Persie, Falcao
Everton: Howard, Jagielka, Baines, Hibbert, Besic, Stones, Barry, McCarthy, Naismith, McGeady, Lukaku
Everton’s misery looks set to continue as Manchester United replicate last weekend’s success and grind out an ugly, and nervy, 2-1 victory.
Manchester United 2-1 Everton
Gavin bergin, Pundit ArenB.
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