Saturday’s Premier League action kicks off at Goodison Park as relegation-battling Everton take on Champions League hopefuls Manchester United in a high-stakes fixture.
Ralf Rangnick’s men were lucky to pick up a point against mid-table Leicester City last time out, as the VAR helped them cling on to an underwhelming 1-1 draw.
The Red Devils have now won just one of their last four league matches (D2, L1), falling three points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur in the process.
However, Everton’s rotten form, coupled with Man United’s recent H2H record, gives the travelling fans plenty of reason for optimism about closing the gap on Spurs for at least a few hours.
The three-time European champions have defeated the Toffees 37 times in the Premier League, only have they outscored Tottenham on more occasions in the competition.
Although Man United were given a 22.47% chance of claiming all three points at Goodison via Betway, Rangnick’s side will be out to prove their top-four credentials.
Everton turned a 2-1 half-time deficit into a disastrous 3-2 defeat away to fellow relegation rivals Burnley in midweek, making it six losses from seven Premier League outings (W1).
The Toffees’ solitary success in that seven-game sequence came in their most recent match at Goodison, as they downed Newcastle United 1-0 to put themselves in a spot to win back-to-back home league games for the first time since September.
But Frank Lampard should be worried about the fact that only promoted sides have lost more Premier League home games than Everton (seven) this season.
A victory would draw Man United level with Tottenham in the table while extending their run to only one defeat from their last 12 Premier League matches (W5, D5, L1).
Rangnick’s men have found the back of the net in each of their last 16 away league fixtures, totalling 29 goals during that period, which could encourage the Red Devils faithful.
Yet, Goodison has not always been a fertile hunting ground for the visitors, who have an opportunity to post back-to-back top-flight wins here for the first time since 2007.
Manchester United Team News
Standout performer Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the fold after being forced to sit out Leicester’s visit to Old Trafford with illness last weekend.
But Luke Shaw will likely join long-term absentee Edinson Cavani on the sidelines after hobbling off against the Foxes.
Teenage forward Mason Greenwood is still frozen out of the squad for his off-field controversies.
Manchester United Potential Starting XI (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, Alex Telles; Fred, Scott McTominay; Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho, Paul Pogba; Cristiano Ronaldo.
Everton vs Manchester United Prediction
Everton do have games in hand over several relegation rivals, but Lampard’s men cannot afford another slip-up after allowing 18th-placed Burnley to pull to a single-point behind.
That could make the Toffees a dangerous opposition, but given Man United’s desperate need of points, this is an opportunity the Red Devils cannot pass on.
Everton 1-2 Manchester United
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