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Old 03-04-2017, 11:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: [EPL] Manchester United vs Everton

PREVIEW : MANCHESTER UNITED V EVERTON



Both teams need a tonic... Everton make the short trip to Manchester from Merseyside, where they lost 3-1 at Liverpool in Saturday's local derby. Ronald Koemanís side have otherwise been in fine form, losing just one of their last 12 matches prior to the weekend's defeat. United are also looking to bounce back from a disappointing result, albeit one that stretched the team's unbeaten run in the Premier League to 19 matches.

The race for a Champions League place: After the goalless draw at home to West Bromwich Albion, the Reds need a win to exert some pressure on the clubís rivals for a top-four finish, who all play 24 hours later. Victory against Everton would take Jose Mourinho's side to within two points of Manchester City, on the same number of games, before the Blues visit league leaders Chelsea on Wednesday evening.

Is there any early team news? Top goalscorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic and midfielder Ander Herrera are poised to return to United's matchday squad after serving their domestic suspensions but Juan Mata is ruled out after the club confirmed on Friday night that the Spaniard has had surgery for a groin injury. In the blue corner, Everton's six injured players include right-back Seamus Coleman who infamously suffered a double leg fracture while playing for the Republic of Ireland against Wales last week. Argentina centre-back Ramiro Funes Mori could be sidelined for the remainder of the season with a knee problem that was also sustained on international duty, and ex-United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin will miss out on a return to Old Trafford.

What happened in the reverse fixture? The sides drew 1-1 in early December at Goodison Park when a late Leighton Baines penalty, given away by ex-Everton star Marouane Fellaini, cancelled out a first-half opener from Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ander Herrera was unfortunate to fire a shot against the woodwork when the score was still 1-0 to the Reds.

Scouting report: Undeniably, the man to watch is the deadly Romelu Lukaku who has scored 21 Premier League goals so far this term. Behind the marksman lies an effective midfield, with the young duo of Tom Davies and Ross Barkley providing a supply line - the latter has produced seven assists this season.

Whoís the man in the middle? Neil Swarbrick will referee his third United match of 2016/17, having previously been in charge for the 3-1 win at Swansea City in the Premier League and the 4-0 home triumph over Wigan Athletic in the Emirates FA Cup.

How's the head-to-head record? United are unbeaten in four meetings with Everton and have only lost 8 times in 49 Premier League games against the Blues, winning 33 and drawing the other 8. The most memorable moment in recent times was Anthony Martialís last-minute winner to make it 2-1 to United in last season's FA Cup semi-final, a pivotal goal which booked another Wembley outing for the Reds.

When do the Toffees tend to score? United will have to be defensively focused in the latter stages of the game as 42 per cent of Evertonís Premier League goals this season have come between the 75th and 90th minutes. The Reds' most prolific period is between the 30th and 45th minutes with 31 per cent of the side's strikes being registered then.

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