Manchester United face Everton on Sunday, after their defeat to Juventus in the Champions League, where they will be looking for a win to rise up the table. Everton, on the other hand, who currently sit above the Red Devils in the table, will look to continue their winning ways in the Premier League.
While Jose Mourinho will try and bring new energy to inspire Manchester United into getting the three points which they so desperately need, Marco Silva’s boys will do their best to stay above the home team.
Approach to the game: While Manchester United play a much more passing and possession-based game, with an average possession of around 55%, Everton play a relatively more physical game, with a good mixture of zonal as well as man marking. They make 19.6 tackles on average per game, compared to United’s 13.7. The ex-Manchester United defender Michael Keane has been pretty impressive for the Toffees while Sigurdsson looks dangerous in offensive situations.
Pickford vs De Gea: While Pickford was phenomenal compared to a disappointing De Gea in the World Cup, we still know what a wizard the Spaniard has been for Manchester United. A significant feature defining both ‘keepers, is their use of their hands and legs. De Gea proved that his hands can stop almost anything in the match against Arsenal last season, while Pickford has shown the power of his “happy feet” time and again, most recently against Crystal Palace.
Lukaku vs Sigurdsson: With four goals each for both players, this battle will be a very interesting one to see. While Keane will have the task of marking the much more physically strong Lukaku, Smalling and Lindelof will find it very challenging to martial the quick and agile Icelandic forward. While Matic and Pogba will be the main feeders to the Manchester United No.9, Walcott and Gueye will be efficient suppliers of the ball to Sigurdsson.
While the Toffees would like to go with an almost unchanged squad from the Crystal Palace win, Calvert-Lewin might be given an opportunity after his “super-sub” performance. As far as Manchester United are concerned, Fred might be given the chance he so desperately now needs, in the middle of dressing room unrest rumours and uncertainty amongst the players.
Manchester United: De Gea, Ashley Young, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Fred, Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford
Everton: Jordan Pickford, Jonjoe Kenny, Michael Keane, Kurt Zouma, Lucas Digne, Tom Davies (c), Idrissa Gueye, Theo Walcott, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Expected Result: Manchester United will be desperate to gain three points against the Toffees, as the Portuguese boss looks to ensure his position is safe and lift Manchester United further up in the top half of the Premier League table. If they play as they did in the second half against Juventus, a 2-0 win is a reasonable expectation. However, Marco Silva’s men do have the ability to limit them to a 1-1 draw.