Manchester United host Everton in the Premier League on Sunday hoping to maintain our lead at the top of the Premier League.
Our 2-2 draw at Stoke City last weekend allowed Manchester City to join us on 10 points at the top of the league, whilst Chelsea have closed the gap to one point.
This weekend’s opponents Everton were hammered 3-0 at home by Tottenham Hotspur last weekend and suffered a defeat of the same scoreline in Atalanta in the Europe League on Thursday, two days after our 3-0 win over FC Basel in the Champions League.
Sunday’s game at Old Trafford could see as many as five players facing their former club and here they are:
1. Romelu Lukaku
Everton made a tidy profit on Romelu Lukaku over the summer when we splashed out £75 million the striker. It’s turning out to be a bargain with six goals in six games in all competitions and signed before the transfer fees went chaotic with Neymar moving to Paris Saint-Germain for a near £200 million fee. The Toffees have failed to replace their hitman too.
Lukaku is more than capable of breaching Everton’s shaky defence that must be low on confidence right now. Supply from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata and potentially Ander Herrera should see the Belgian have plenty of sights on goal versus a slow defence that includes Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka.
2. Wayne Rooney
Whilst Lukaku came to Old Trafford Wayne Rooney went in the other direction. The record United goalscorer rejoined his former club and has made a decent start with two goals in his opening four Premier League games of the season.
Everton don’t have much in the way of goalscorers right now with Sandro Ramirez yet to find the back of the net and Oumar Niasse not being given a chance. Expect Rooney to get a rousing ovation from the home fans but let’s not allow him to get on the scoresheet.
3. Michael Keane
Michael Keane came through the youth ranks at Manchester United, making only one Premier League appearance after several loan moves away from the club. The recently debuting England international moved to Burnley at the start of the 2014-15 season, initially on loan.
The 24-year-old greatly impressed for the Clarets last season, so much so that he was even linked with a move back to Old Trafford this past summer. However, we went for Victor Lindelof instead and Keane moved to Everton. He’s a big part of Koeman’s back three and can expect a busy game versus Romelu Lukaku in this game.
4. Morgan Schneiderlin
One of Louis van Gaal’s failed signings, Morgan Schneiderlin was barely given a chance under Jose Mourinho last season before he was offloaded to Everton in January. The French defensive midfielder has started three of Everton’s opening four games this season and with Everton expected to set up defensively for their away game this weekend you can expect Schneiderlin to be in the starting lineup.
Idrissa Gueye should partner the 27-year-old in front of the back four, whilst Davy Klassen, Wayne Rooney or Muhamed Besic could make a central midfield three.
5. Marouane Fellaini
The former-Everton midfielder has won over many United fans at the start of the new season as being a great impact substitute. Marouane Fellaini came on as a late substitute in each of our first three Premier League games of the season, helping us see out the wins and clean sheets, whilst also seeing us add to our scoreline in each of those games. He did not feature in our 2-2 draw at Stoke last weekend but then replaced Paul Pogba after 19 minutes midweek in opening the scoring in a man of the match performance versus FC Basel.
Mourinho now has a decision to make over who replaces the injured Pogba this weekend. Ander Herrera may be the preferred option to partner Nemanja Matic in centre midfield but Marouane Fellaini’s performance on Tuesday has given the manager much to think about. If he doesn’t start you can expect him to come on in the final 20 minutes at least!
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