Preview: Everton v Manchester United; share your prediction.
It’s a rare traditional Saturday afternoon kick-off for the Reds with the match on Merseyside beginning at 15:00 BST.
The Reds will be looking to get back to winning ways and regain top spot in the Barclays Premier League after losing both the last match and first place in the table before the internationals following the 3-0 defeat at Arsenal and Manchester City’s hammering of Newcastle. We’re also due a win at Goodison Park after just one victory in the last seven outings.
Before our day to forget at the Emirates Stadium earlier this month, the Reds had been in solid form and, bar the Champions League loss to PSV Eindhoven – a game United dominated – had put together a good run of wins to go top in September. Everton currently lie in seventh spot in the table and haven’t lost since 23 August, against City. Their recent home victory over champions Chelsea further proves what a tough place Goodison is to visit.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez said on Wednesday that he expects John Stones to be ready for Saturday’s game after missing Everton’s last two matches and the recent England games. Seamus Coleman should also be back after playing for Republic of Ireland on Sunday, but Tom Cleverley (leg), Muhamed Besic (hamstring), Leighton Baines (ankle), Tony Hibbert (knee) and Steven Pienaar (hamstring) remain unavailable. Of course, United are without long-term absentee Luke Shaw and Louis van Gaal confirmed in his pre-match interview on Friday that Paddy McNair and Ashley Young are also missing. There was good news on the injury front though with Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger all available after picking up knocks while on international duty. Phil Jones got some important minutes under his belt for England, while van Gaal also confirmed that Marcos Rojo and Ander Herrera had done some rehabilitation work during the break and were both fit for the Goodison Park trip, although it’s unlikely either will play 90 minutes.
This game marks the start of a big week for United. Goodison Park has proved a particularly difficult place to go in recent seasons, while van Gaal will also have to prepare his players for a long trip for the Champions League meeting with CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, before City come to Old Trafford on Sunday week for the first Manchester derby of the season. Victory on Merseyside on Saturday would be the perfect way to kick off a testing eight days.
Romelu Lukaku. The Everton striker has started every game for the Toffees this term, netting seven goals in 10 games, including three in his last two matches and will be confident after helping Belgium clinch top spot in FIFA’s world rankings this week.
“We have to get ready for a few games that are going to be tough and thrilling. First against Everton, always an intense and complicated match and, next week, against CSKA Moscow and Manchester City. October is meant to be a very difficult month and we must be ready for it.” – Juan Mata.
Aeroberry Fans; what’s your say on this intriguing encounter.