Everton v Manchester United – Match Preview

Manchester United make the short trip to Merseyside to face Everton just six days after their derby day humiliation.

The Toffees on the other hand found themselves travelling back to Goodison Park with three points after two late goals from Jack Rodwell and Louis Saha saw them past Fulham. That victory on the Thames was first away from home this season and first win in three Premier League games. It’s been an inconsistent start from David Moyes’ men who have failed to put together a decent run of unbeaten fixtures. One of their main problems at the minute is scoring goals with Tim Cahill yet to find the net in 2011. His 10-month goal drought is becoming a real concern for the Toffee’s faithful considering their lack of options up front at present. With Royston Drenthe suspended after his red card against Chelsea in the mid-week Carling Cup tie Moyes’ is shorn of another attacking option. The Dutchman was superb at Craven Cottage last week scoring a stunning goal and proving to be a constant threat throughout. They’ll also be without Johnny Heitinga for the visit of United with the Dutchman struggling with a knee injury. The onus is good for the blue half of Merseyside though with Sir Alex Ferguson last tasting victory at Goodison in 2007.

Victory is the only thing on the Red Devils’ mind after their derby day drubbing at the hands of neighbours City. Ferguson watched his side capitulate during a stormy afternoon in Manchester with six goals going past the helpless David de Gea. Some of the demons from that game were put to rest in the 3-0 Carling Cup win over Aldershot but the rebuilding starts on Saturday. Ferguson claimed in week that his side will be back to it’s best by the New Year but fans will be expecting an instant response at Goodison. Being five points behind City and seemingly second best to the Premier League’s big spenders is sure to motivate United but fears have started to creep in about the strength of the squad. Darren Fletcher and Anderson were dominated in midfield whilst Ashley Young and Nani were marked out of the game. Wayne Rooney and Danny Wellbeck failed to make an impact and it’s likely the latter will be rested with Dimitar Berbatov pushing for a start. The Bulgarian was as majestic as ever against The Shots on Tuesday night but still needs to convince the boss of his worth to the team. He could be just what they need with creativity lacking last week especially considering Everton’s status as United’s bogey team. Phil Jones can expect a recall after Jonny Evans’ red card last week whilst Ryan Giggs is out with injury.

Key Player

Marouane Fellaini – After a period of mediocrity the big Belgian has found his form once again. Ravaged by injuries last season he is back to his best patrolling the Everton midfield. His height will come in handy against United’s defence shaken from last week’s thrashing.

Wayne Rooney – As ever the England striker is Ferguson’s go to guy for inspiration. He’ll be straining at the leash to get out onto the Goodison Park pitch and right the wrongs of the City defeat. A former Toffee himself he can expect a hostile welcome from the Merseyside faithful.

Prediction: 1-1



  • The Toffees covered 115.4km in that game, compared to Fulham’s 115.1km, with Maraoune Fellaini covering the most ground with 11.762km. Fellaini has covered more ground than any other Everton player in six of his seven starts for Everton so far this year, averaging 11.911km per game
  • Jack Rodwell also scored his first goal of the season against Fulham. The young midfielder has been excelling in defensive duties so far this season, making 11 interceptions and winning 87% of tackles attempted
  • Manchester United covered just 106.09km in that game, their second lowest tally of the season, with Darren Fletcher covering the most ground with 11.29k.
  • Everton’s defenders will need to be on their guard, as United have the two most prolific crossers in the league in Ashley Young and Luis Nani, who have both put in 37 crosses so far this season.