Manchester United will be looking to take advantage of their hosts poor form when they travel to Goodison Park to take on Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.
Date: 4 December 2016
Kick-off: 00:00 HKT
Venue: Goodison Park
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Everton 174 54 41 79
Man Utd 174 79 41 54
Manchester United 0-0 Everton 03/08/16 (Friendly)
Players to watch:
All eyes will be on Everton’s forward players, especially top scorer Romelu Lukaku ahead of the match against the Red Devils. The Toffee’s front men have struggled of late and have only managed four goals in their last five league games.
Despite the poor run, Lukaku still has seven goals in 12 games for Everton this season and they will need him back to his best against United.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is likely to be given another run in the first team putting in man-of-the-match performances in both of his previous games for the visitors.
He has had a slow start to life at Old Trafford, with his manager Jose Mourinho claiming he was still adjusting to the pace of the English game and this could be his best chance yet that he is truly up to speed.
Team form and manager quotes:
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 2, 2016
Everton have just one win in their last eight league games and will need a brisk turnaround in fortunes if they are to achieve their early-season aims of finishing the campaign in one of the Champions League places.
“Of course, I realise we need a win, I realise some away performances have not been good. But we’re still unbeaten at home and that’s also positive,” manager Ronald Koeman said ahead of the fixture.
“You need to be realistic and, of course, it’s a difficult time because one [win] out of eight is a long time and we have not been winning enough.”
Manchester United’s form has also been all over the place in recent weeks, the last time they won consecutive games, in any competition, was back in September.
However, they put in a good shift last time out, beating West Ham 4-1 in the EFL Cup on Wednesday and Mourinho will want to see more of that from his charges this weekend, but he admits Everton are always a difficult team to play.
“I managed against Martinez’s Everton, Moyes’ Everton and it is always difficult,” he said.
“It is always beautiful with a great crowd and a great stadium. I had so many great matches there. Some I lost, some I won, but always a great match. The way United is playing, combined with the way Everton always try to play means it should be a very good match.”
Koeman has virtually a full squad to choose from with just long-term injury victim Muhamed Besic still out with a knee injury. He is yet to play a competitive fixture for the Toffees this season.
United will be without captain Wayne Rooney, who misses the match against his boyhood club due to suspension, but Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini are back in contention after completing suspensions of their own. The latter will make his 100th appearance in a Red Devils shirt if he is picked.