This will be a very important match for Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal and despite the Dutchman having had a couple of weeks to forget about his sides miserable display against Arsenal, in which they never managed to come back from a three-goal deficit the Gunners inflicted on his side in the first 20 minutes of the game he will be reminded that it was Everton who put an end to a good run the Red devils were having last season when Roberto Martinez’s men showed them how to play perfect counter attacking football in the Toffee’s 3-0 win.
Before the loss at the Emirates, United had been on a good run having won their last four games and if ever they needed to prove that they were Premiership title contenders this afternoons match at Goodison would go a long way in silencing their doubters.
Speaking to Manchester United’s official website about his team selection for the match LVG said: “Wayne Rooney, I think he can play and Michael Carrick can play as well. I was very pleased with Jones. Yes, of course [he is fit] because he has already played for me two times for 15 or 20 minutes. Then he plays for the England team.”
“When I want to select him I can select him for the line-up.”
In fact van Gaal might very well need him with reports suggesting Paddy McNair is injured and that Marcos Rojo is still not fully match fit.
The Red Devils twitter account also quoted van Gaal as saying that Ashley Young was also unavailable through injury which almost certainly guarantee’s a start for Memphis Depay.
No changes here with David De Gea remaining in nets for what could prove to be a tough afternoon for the Spanish international, but if De Gea is in form he could be the most important player United has on the field today for what will surely be a stern test from a confident Everton side.
No big changes for the back-four with Daley Blind expected to start wide left while Matteo Darmian will be hoping to make up for his errors against Arsenal out on the right. At the heart of the United defence it will be Phil Jones and Chris Smalling tasked with the inevitable task of trying to stop Belgium international Romelu Lukaku from getting on the score sheet.
This is where United fell apart against Arsenal, and rather than blame one player it was a collective effort from all the midfield players that let United down so badly. Van Gaal’s starting choice is always a mystery here, but we think this week given he has the loss mobile Gareth Barry playing for the opposition he will start Schweinsteiger and Carrick, while knowing that he has Morgan Schneiderlin available should he deem Everton are having too much time on the ball. In front of the two veterans Juan Mata will be called upon to produce an Inesta like performance this afternoon while Memphis in for the injured Ashley Young has something to prove after the way he was dragged through the coals for his late night partying by assistant manager Ryan Giggs during the week.
Wayne Rooney has been asked by LVG to start producing the goals for United but given his poor scoring record against his former club we feel his role as a No.10 will be in trying to get the ball to Anthony Martial.
Two words some up the United attack, and they are new signing Anthony Martial. The former Monaco striker has already proved how deadly his finishing can be and Louis van Gaal will be looking for the 19-year-old to once more show why the club spent £36 million on such a young player.
Given the international break, we do not think that LVG would have had enough time to lay into the players and correct the faults that were so apparent against Arsenal and after having watched Everton’s display against Liverpool we feel that this match has a draw written all over it so are betting a 1-1 final score with BET365 at odds of 11/2.
BREAKING NEWS: Former Everton manager Howard Kendall has died at the age of 69.
Kendall played for the Toffees and managed them on three occasions, with his first spell in charge being the most successful in the club’s history.
He led the side to two First Division titles, as well as an FA Cup triumph and European Cup Winners’ Cup win.