WILL DYER (@w2Dyer) called City's slip up yesterday. Now he turns his hand to a tussle between the Toffees and the Red Devils, just a point separates them, so how do we approach it?
Everton v Manchester United | Sunday 16:00| Sky Sports 1
Manchester United come into this game on an unbeaten run of five fixtures. It must be noted that four of those five games were played at Old Trafford but the victories over Feyenoord and West Ham in the EFL Cup were arguably the Red Devils best performances under Jose Mourinho.
Against West Ham on Wednesday night, Mourinho started the man that United fans had been screaming for; Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian playmaker assisted their first two goals of the game and linked up well with Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney, Antony Martial and Ander Herrera in a midfield that worked.
The problem United have is that midfield did not include either Paul Pogba or Juan Mata who’re both very hard to leave out. Finding a way to fit all of these players in one formation is an impossible task.
The league is quickly becoming out of reach for Man United. A four-point gap to Spurs in sixth and 10 points behind third place Liverpool, at time of writing, is a long way back at this early stage. When we look at Everton’s recent form and the criticism Koeman’s men have had of late and realise that just a solitary point separates these two teams it really puts things into perspective.
It seems whatever United do with managers and money they just can’t get it right, post-Ferguson. Their time will come again but unless they beat Everton this weekend they can almost forget about it again this season and that’s just not good enough.
Toffees not so bad
On to the Toffees and their ‘plight’ still seems a little pessimistic to me. They sit seventh and though it’s true that one win from nine games in all competitions is poor, I don’t think it’s anything to get overly concerned about.
Performances have been below par but Koeman is a wily and experienced manager, unlike his predecessor, so I expect things to come good sooner rather than later.
At Goodison Park, Everton tend to put in a good shift against the country’s leading lights. However, as the home fans know all too well, Manchester United have a brilliant record here in the Premier League years; W17-D3-L6.
Yannick Bolasie and Romelu Lukaku have been linking up superbly this season and I think it’s only a matter of time before they are the catalyst for a big win. However, based on recent form, goals don’t look to be on the menu in this match.
Six of Everton’s last eight Premier League games have seen less than three goals whilst United’s league matches have followed a similar pattern of late; five of seven also going under 2.5 goals.
Tough to call
Wayne Rooney is suspended and aside from longer term injuries to Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling there aren’t any other absences worth mentioning. United’s defence is pretty average without those two at centre-back and as a result I’d expect Everton to find the back of the net at home.
The draw interests me at 5/2 but I can’t pull the trigger with the head to head history of this fixture undermining that considerably. Zlatan Ibrahimović has five goals in as many games, in a tough fixture to call the Swede finding the back of the net anytime at 17/11 with 888Sport is my best bet.
Everton v Manchester United – Zlatan Ibrahimovic to score anytime (17/11 888Sport)