Manchester United vs Everton: Premier League match preview

A look ahead to Sunday’s Premier League fixture at Old Trafford

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The Independent Online

After an unconvincing start to his tenure as Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will need to beat a struggling Everton side to secure a third consecutive home victory. Even with Wayne Rooney missing, serving the first of a three-match suspension for kicking out at Stewart Downing, United are not lacking in attacking options – Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie would be the envy of most sides in world football. But attack isn’t the problem. United have looked vulnerable defensively all season, never more so than in their astonishing 5-3 defeat at Leicester, and it is here that Van Gaal will demand a significant improvement.

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Everton won both of last season’s clashes against a United side struggling under former manager David Moyes, and should thus have no fear visiting Old Trafford.

However, Roberto Martinez’s side, like their Merseyside rivals Liverpool, have started this season in stark contrast to last campaign, when they earned a Europa League spot with their fifth place finish. The Toffees currently lie in 15th place, with just one league victory to their name, and have conceded 14 goals in their six fixtures so far, including a 6-3 demolition at the hands of Chelsea.

KICK-OFF: Sunday, 12.00pm

Roberto_Martinez.jpg
Roberto Martinez remonstrates on the sideline during Everton's 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace

 

PAST THREE MEETINGS…

Everton 2 (Baines, Mirallas) Man United 0, Premier League, April 2014

Man United 0 Everton 1 (Oviedo), Premier League, December 2013

Man United 2 (Giggs, Van Persie) Everton 0, Premier League, February 2013

STATS…

Everton’s 6-3 defeat to Chelsea was the first time they have conceded six in a league fixture since losing 6-1 to Arsenal on the opening day of the 2009/10 season.

Romelu Lukaku’s goal in Everton’s 2-0 victory at West Brom was his 33 goal in the Premier League, but his first for a team that owned him.

This season, Manchester United have only kept clean sheets against QPR and Burnley, the two lowest scorers in the Premier League.

Wayne Rooney’s red card against West Ham was the sixth of the England striker’s career, but his in the Premier League since March 2009, against Fulham.

 

ODDS…

Man United to win: 1.65

Everton to win: 4.75

Draw: 4.2

TV: Live on BT Sport at 12.00pm, highlights on BBC1 at 10.30pm.

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