Preview: Everton v Manchester United

Manchester United head into their New Year’s Day clash at Goodison Park looking to reverse a run of poor form against an Everton side still reeling from defeat.

Premier League
Date: 1 January 2018
Match Day 22
Kick-off: 19H30 (GMT+2)
Venue: Goodison Park

Referee: A. Marriner
Assistants: S. Ledger, R. West
Fourth official: P. Tierney

Head-to-head summary:

TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS

Everton 177 54 43 80
Manchester United 177 80 43 54

Previous encounter:

Manchester United 4-0 Everton 17/09/17 (Premier League)

Manchester United goalscorers: A. Valencia (4′), H. Mkhitaryan (83′), R. Lukaku (89′), A. Martial (PG 90′)

Players to watch:

Wayne Rooney might just be the man to inspire Everton to a win, against his former club, having already bagged 10 goals this season.

United have had some unlikely heroes of late, with Jesse Lingard bagging a brace against Burnley, with Juan Mata doing the same thing against Leicester. They will also be looking more and more to Paul Pogba to inspire them from midfield after some flashes of his ability, having overcome a thigh injury.

Team form and manager quotes:

Sam Allardyce performed an immediate and miraculous turn-around upon his appointment with the Toffees, with a seven-match unbeaten run to drag them clear of the relegation places, before an unexpected 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday.

The result left Everton in ninth place on the Premier League standings, with 27 points from their 21 games, as United occupy third place with 44 points, one behind Chelsea, but 14 adrift of runaway league leaders Manchester City.

After being knocked out of the League Cup by Bristol City, United have drawn 2-2 with Leicester, 2-2 with Burnley and 0-0 with Southampton.

Heading into this match, Allardyce said: “The lads have done exceptionally well by turning around a leaky team.

“It’s four goals [conceded] in nine [league and cup] games, and it’s allowed us to escape what was a team threatened with relegation.

“I was brought in because this team was threatened with relegation. Now the players in their response have done absolutely magnificent in turning that around and into a positive situation to be able to move forward.

“But we’ve just got to keep working at all of that.”

Mourinho added: “The boys are trying, but we have lots of problems in the team and we lost Lukaku and Ibrahimovic for a month. We have difficulty to rotate players.

“Now we have to cope with Everton and Derby County and, after that, we have an open space of nine or 10 days before Stoke City. Hopefully, in this period we can rest, we can work and we can recover some players to attack the second part of the season.”

Team news:

Everton will hand late fitness tests to James McCarthy and Yannick Bolasie.

Romelu Lukaku (head) and Ashley Young (suspension) are both sidelined for United while Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian are doubts.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (knee) is out for a month, with Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Eric Bailly all long-term casualties.

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