The 4-4 draw at Old Trafford last season was a dampener and eventually cost Manchester United the Premier League title. A repeat of that might be disastrous for the players as the Fergie hair dryer treatment will come down on them like Hiroshima. Manchester City’s crumbling at St Mary’s yesterday means that the Red Fevils can go a massive 12 points clear if they get the better of the slippery Evertonians later today.
One eye will be on the trip to the Bernabeu on Wednesday. Real Madrid warmed up for the duel in spectacular style, destroying Sevilla 4-1 with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his 20th Real Madrid hat-trick and 17th in La Liga. Something mere mortals can only imagine achieving.
The former Manchester United employee is now the 6th highest goal scorer of all time in the Blancos history with 182 great goals in just 179 appearances over 3 and a half seasons. Bionic. Sir Alex Ferguson will be expected to tinker the squad selection ahead of the Spain trip. RVP and Rooney should start this one, but it is in defence that he will hope to rest one of Vidic or Ferdinand who are not as fit as they used to be with age and niggling injuries playing a huge part.
The Toffees are always a potential banana peel for the Old Trafford outfit and inflicted the first defeat on the EPL Leaders in August. A Marouane Fellaini headed goal split the sides at Goodison.
Manchester United are on a 13 game unbeaten streak in the Premier League. Since the Carrow Road loss, it has been 11 wins, 2 draws, 0 defeat(s). It has seen them stretch their lead at the top to 9 points and have a very good chance of making that 12 v a team that has given them problems in recent times.
Sir Alex will take heart from the fact that Wayne Rooney is in red hot form at the moment. He has scored 5 goals in 4 games since his return and bagged the 1st v Brazil and created the winner for Lampard in the same match. Robin Van Persie hasn’t scored in 3 games now (2 for club). However, there is no cause for alarm as his 18 goals have been massively helpful in swinging the advantage in Man Utd’s favour.
Everton are draw specialists this season. Despite losing only 3 games all season long, they have drawn (12) more than they have won (10) and this has seen them drop to sixth in the Premiership table. They can’t afford to drop points anymore as Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs all registered wins yesterday and the latter are 6 points clear albeit haven played a game more.
David Moyes is battling to get Fellaini fit for the encounter. He was the catalyst behind the Toffees revival last season and has scored big goals against today’s opponents.
Sir Alex and his coaching staff are aware of the threat Everton pose. From Baines to Fellani to Pienaar to Mirallas to Anichebe, the North West club are armed to the teeth and in reserve, too. Nikica Jelavic has been on a bad run of late. This is in contrary to his lightening start to life in Merseyside. He shouldn’t be underestimated as great players come to life anytime.
Everton haven’t won at the Theatre in 21 years. They’ll be looking to emulate Spurs who stunned the Red Army 3-2 four months ago to notch their 1st win at OT in 23 years.
Manchester United have scored the most goals (60) and the most headed goals (13) in the PL. Everton have conceded the most goals from headers (12). The blues of Merseyside have also hit the woodwork 16 times this season-more than any other team in the Division.
DDG, Rafa, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Carrick, Anderson, Nani, Young/Kagawa, Rooney, RVP/Welbeck.
Howard, Jagielka, Heitinga, Distin, Baines, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar, Mirallas, Fellaini, Anichebe.
Old boys, Tim Howard, Darron Gibson and Phil Neville are set to feature in the match. The latter most likely not from the start. Tony Hibbert and Seamus Coleman are still injured.
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Written by Ohireime Eboreime
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