With 10 games to go in the Premier League and the top four race hotting up, Manchester United face off against Everton at Old Trafford.
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Old Trafford
Kick Off: 12:30 UK Time
TV Channel: BT Sport
How do Manchester United Look?
After the Carabao Cup final win against Newcastle United in February Manchester United’s performances had a slight decline. The Red Devils had a torrid time at Anfield and struggled in games against Southampton and Fulham, despite avoiding defeat. The loss to Newcastle in the Premier League really highlighted how far Manchester United’s levels had dropped since the Cup final just a month earlier. In United’s most recent match against Brentford however, Erik ten Hag’s men displayed some promising signs heading into the business end of the season.Embed from Getty Images
United’s first half against The Bees was excellent. They maintained pressure over Brentford with Bruno Fernandes controlling the game from a deeper midfield role. Ahead of him, Scott McTominay had a good performance bringing intensity off the ball and Marcel Sabitzer, the furthest forward of the three, drove play forward with his ball-carrying. The front three of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Antony linked well to help United retain possession in Brentford’s half and create opportunities throughout the game. It was the first time since the arrival of Wout Weghorst that the Dutchman didn’t start and the attack did look more fluid as a result. United’s goal came in the 27th minute when Antony chipped the ball into Sabitzer who headed a cushioned pass across to Marcus Rashford to finish into the roof of the net. The Reds had chances to add to their lead throughout the rest of the match but failed to put the ball into the back of the net. The win put Manchester United back into the top four, three points ahead of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand on the North London side.
Luke Shaw was substituted in the 37th minute against Brentford as a precaution and Erik ten Hag has confirmed that the England International will not be available for United’s game against Everton. Ten Hag did reveal some good news in his pre-match press conference confirming that Christian Eriksen will return to the squad to face Everton on Saturday.
Opposition: EvertonEmbed from Getty Images
Everton have had a tough time of things this season, finding themselves sitting in 16th place and only above the relegation zone on goal difference. Since replacing Frank Lampard with Sean Dyche Everton have had a slight resurgence in the Premier League, with the ex-Burnley boss guiding The Toffee’s to three wins and three draws in his first nine games. Some of these results include beating league leaders Arsenal and taking points against Chelsea and Spurs. Everton will look at this trip to Old Trafford as another opportunity for his side to take points against one of the big six. Dyche has won at Old Trafford previously, doing so when his Burnley side beat Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United 2-0 in the 19/20 season.
One of Everton’s players who could cause problems for United is Alex Iwobi. The Nigerian has two goals and six assists so far in the Premier League and has been one of his sides most important players this season. Iwobi’s ball-carrying has been vital for Everton when progressing the ball into the final third and United will have to be wary of his threat on Saturday. Iwobi has already scored against United this season, netting in the reverse fixture at Goodison Park in October.
Manchester United will be heavy favourites heading into this game and should come away with all three points. Old Trafford has become a fortress this season and Erik ten Hag will want to keep it that way. Everton do have the ability to cause upsets as seen by some of their results under Sean Dyche but if United can play the way they did against Brentford they should have no problem dealing with The Toffees.
Manchester United 2-0 Everton