Down The Wings

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Match Preview: Manchester United vs Everton

Manchester United vs Everton | Premier League | Old Trafford | KO 12:30 GMT | BT Sport

Manchester United, who came through their must-win match against Villarreal on Wednesday with a dramatic last-minute winner, return to Premier League action on Saturday lunchtime, playing host to inform Everton, who will prove to be yet another tough test for The Reds.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s goal in midweek, which raised the metaphorical roof of Old Trafford, could prove to be a turning point in United’s season, and something fans can look back on as a pivotal moment in the campaign.

How do Manchester United look?

Other than the dramatic finale, the biggest talking point from the game against Unai Emery’s side is the attitude of Donny Van de Beek.

The Dutchman was visibly upset after Fred was chosen to come on the pitch ahead of him.

This led to him throwing his bib down in anger, and then doing the same with his chewing gum, before complaining to himself and his teammates around him.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had his say on the issue and was fairly dismissive of the whole situation.

“Donny was ready to come on, as all the players should be” he said.

“I must have the record appearances as a sub. I’ve not been happy a few times. Alex was coming off as a left-back and Fred did that job well”, Solskjaer continued.

“I understand his frustration. That’s got to be built into determination. That’s not just Donny but all the players. We need to have positive energy. Donny has never affected his team-mates negatively; I want that out there” he concluded.

Solskjaer has been known to defend his players publicly, but the reaction behind the scenes, in the dressing room, may have been a completely different story, and his attitude towards Van de Beek may not be as good as it seems to be.

Both Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw missed the Champions League game due to injury, with the former expected to be out for this one too, whilst Shaw reportedly has an outside chance of playing, but it remains unlikely.

This has led the expectation that Alex Telles will once again be played at full back, and that Victor Lindelöf will be partnering Raphael Varane.

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Edinson Cavani’s high energy, pressing style turned the game in United’s favour in the week, and he must now be considered a guaranteed starter, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

His quality both in an out of possession makes him a real asset to the club, and his work would complement Ronaldo perfectly.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is back from his European suspension.

Opposition: Everton

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Former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has Everton playing surprisingly good football this season, with his side sitting on the same number of points as United, Chelsea and Manchester City.

They have lost just one league game so far this season, something that can be attributed to their impressive midfield.

The duo of Allan and Abdoulaye Doucouré work well together, with the Frenchman becoming a more advanced box-to-box midfielder, compared to the defensive style he previously played with.

He has chipped in with five goal involvements in six games, and United must be wary of his physical presence in both boxes, especially his late arrivals in the attacking third.

The away side may, however, be without their two main attacking threats, as both Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are expected to be out, with the latter facing a late fitness test to see if he is okay to make the squad.

Key Stats

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United have won just half of their last six matches and must start putting together a run of victories if they are to challenge at the top of the table this season.

United are yet to keep a clean sheet at Old Trafford this season.

Prediction

Manchester United 2-1 Everton.

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