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Preview: Manchester United vs. Everton - prediction, team news, lineups
01/10/2021 08:27:08

Fresh from Wednesday's last-gasp win over Villarreal in the Champions League, Manchester United will resume their Premier League campaign at home to Everton on Saturday afternoon.


Man United are currently fourth in the table, one point behind leaders Liverpool, while Rafael Benitez's Everton occupy fifth, level on points (13) with their opponents at Old Trafford this weekend.


We say: Manchester United 2-0 Everton


A full-strength Everton would have fancied their chances of picking up at least a point at Old Trafford, but the Toffees will be missing a number of important players. Man United will surely be better than they were against Villarreal on Wednesday, and we are expecting the Red Devils to collect all three points this weekend, potentially keeping a rare clean sheet in the process.


Match preview


There was certainly pressure on Man United to pick up a positive result against Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday, but it appeared that the Red Devils would be in for another frustrating night, with their classy Spanish opponents enjoying themselves for long periods in Manchester.


Paco Alcacer's 53rd-minute finish sent the Yellow Submarine ahead, but a wonderful volley from Alex Telles levelled the scores on the hour before Cristiano Ronaldo came up with a 95th-minute winner to spark incredible celebrations inside the stadium; the victory was crucial for Man United in terms of their Group F campaign, but it was also a key result for head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.


All things considered, it has been a positive start to the 2021-22 Premier League season for the Red Devils, with a return of 13 points from six matches leaving them fourth, only one point behind leaders Liverpool, but the 20-time English champions suffered a 1-0 home loss to Aston Villa last weekend.


Indeed, Kortney Hause's late header proved to be the winner at Old Trafford, with Bruno Fernandes missing a late penalty for the home side, and Solskjaer's team will be desperate to put three more points on the board ahead of the international break.


Man United have an incredibly tough October and November in terms of the strength of their opposition, and a win over Everton on Saturday would boost confidence ahead of the difficult period, but a defeat would again lead to questions surrounding Solskjaer's future at the club.


Everton were well beaten by Man United in a pre-season clash at Old Trafford on August 7, and the four-goal loss in Manchester certainly left a number of the club's supporters fearing what could happen this term.


Benitez's appointment as head coach remains incredibly controversial, but the Spaniard has delivered some excellent results this season, with the Toffees boasting an identical record to Man City, Chelsea, Man United and Brighton - winning four, drawing one and losing one of their opening six Premier League outings.


Everton suffered a 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa on September 18 before losing on penalties to Queens Park Rangers in the EFL Cup three days later, but the Merseyside giants returned to winning ways last time out, recording a 2-0 victory over struggling Norwich City at Goodison Park.


Andros Townsend and Abdoulaye Doucoure scored the goals for Benitez's side against the Canaries, and another win this weekend would lead the team nicely into back-to-back home fixtures against West Ham United and Watford after the international break.


The Blues have not won at Old Trafford in any competition since December 2013, but three of the last five Premier League meetings between the two sides have finished level, while Man United have not beaten the Toffees at home in England's top flight since October 2018.


Team News


Man United will again be without the services of Marcus Rashford and Amad Diallo through injury, while club captain Harry Maguire is out until after the international break with a calf problem.


Luke Shaw missed out against Villarreal on Wednesday due to a slight muscular issue but is expected to return to the XI for this match, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka is available, with his ban only relating to European games.


Victor Lindelof should keep his spot at the back, but there will be changes from the clash against the Yellow Submarine, with Nemanja Matic and Fred potentially coming into the midfield, while Jadon Sancho might drop down to the bench, allowing Paul Pogba to move to the left.


Edinson Cavani is pushing for a start, and Solskjaer will certainly consider pulling Ronaldo out of the XI to hand the Portuguese a rest, but the Norwegian might just end up resisting the temptation.


As for Everton, Jordan Pickford is expected to overcome a shoulder problem to start, but a lengthy injury list still includes Andre Gomes, Jean-Philippe Gbamin, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Fabian Delph, Seamus Coleman and Richarlison.


The Toffees did not pick up any fresh issues in their win over Norwich last time out, though, so it would not be a surprise to see the same starting team sent onto the field.


Townsend and Demarai Gray have both impressed for their new club this season, and the absence of Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin for the clash at Old Trafford means that Salomon Rondon should feature at the tip of the attack on Saturday afternoon.


Manchester United possible starting lineup:

De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Varane, Shaw; Matic, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Pogba; Ronaldo


Everton possible starting lineup:

Pickford; Godfrey, Mina, Keane, Digne; Townsend, Doucoure, Allan, Iwobi; Gray; Rondon

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