Everton v United Preview
It`s time to get our Premier League campaign back on track this weekend. After the huge disappointment of the thrashing by Manchester City last Sunday, we could have hoped for an easier fixture than the traditional feisty encounter that awaits us at Goodison Park. But, on the other hand, it could be an ideal opportunity to silence those doubters who reckon we`re on the slide!
Ahead of the clash, one of those players who hasn`t featured much but could feature tomorrow, Ji Sung Park, has issued a rally cry to pull the squad together after the torment of losing 6-1, to our noisy-neighbours, last Sunday.
This is what Park had to say,
"We have to concentrate and everyone has to turn up to show the City game has not affected us."
"We have to get over it."
"We have to put it right on the pitch. Everton is a very important game to us and we have to go there and fight to get the points."
"It`s not an easy game at Goodison Park."
"It`s always difficult there. Just look at last season, when we were winning 3-1 and in injury time they scored two goals."
Another loss, or even the dropping of two points, would play right into City`s hands!
And as for Sir Alex Ferguson, the boss had this to say about the fixture tomorrow lunchtime,
"Hopefully we`ll recover from that disappointment of last week. It`s something we`ve done well over the years and we`ll do it again."
Everton Team News:
David Moyes will be ruing the events of extra time in the recent Caring Cup clash with Chelsea. Those final thirty minutes saw Royston Drenthe sent off and the Dutchman will not be available to face United.
Mucha, who committed a howler for the first Chelsea goal, will be replaced by the ex-United keeper, Tim Howard. Also during midweek, another United old-boy, Phil Neville, was hooked off early and his participation in this match could be in doubt.
During the summer, Moyes lost the influential Mikel Arteta, to Arsenal, and the loss of the Spaniard has taken away something from a team that hasn`t got off to the best of starts.
Another struggling to be fit is the Australian international, Tim Cahill.
Player to watch: Louis Saha
The former United player has been singled out by Ji Sung Park as the danger-man in the Everton side, with Park commenting,
"We know his abilities are good when he`s fit."
"Now he`s on form and on fire. But we can deal with that because we know him."
I hope so because if our defence is as lapse as it was last week, it could be game over.
United Team News:
Having witnessed the demolition by City last weekend, and then the Carling Cup win over Aldershot, albeit fielding an entirely different side, Sir Alex Ferguson has to weigh up whether to shuffle his pack and field a combination of the two starting eleven`s at Goodison Park.
Already the press is intimating that Sir Alex will make changes and that the starting eleven could well be:-
De Gea, Fabio, Vidic, Jones, Smalling, Nani, Carrick, Cleverley, Young, Rooney and Welbeck.
They may not be far wrong although we understand that Ashley Young will need to recover from a toe injury to take his place in the starting eleven.
Player to watch: Wayne Rooney
Having been part of the side that were tore apart last Sunday, against Manchester City, Rooney will be itching to get back to winning ways and get back on the score sheet. Knowing just how many players score against their former clubs, it wouldn`t surprise us, in the slightest, if Wayne was to score on Saturday.
Match Facts & Stats
The statistics, as far as the last 12 matches between the sides are concerned, heavily favour United with Everton having won only one.
As far as the 19 matches are concerned, at Goodison Park, since the formation of the Premier League, Everton have only beaten us 3 times, United have won 13 with 3 being drawn.
We need a win! We can`t afford to drop any more points as the gap between ourselves and our noisy-neighbours is already five points. Goodison Park can be a hard place to go but I`m confident that Sir Alex Ferguson will gee the squad up and with Everton not exactly in the best of form, and having been put through the mill in a two hour Carling Cup tie against Chelsea, I`m optimistic that they might be a touch tired. I`m going for a 2-0 win to United.
It is a return to Champions League action when we welcome our Romanian friends, Otelul Galati, to Old Trafford in midweek. Having won 2-0 on their soil, three more points on our own pitch would be most welcome. Next Saturday, Sunderland visit Old Trafford in the Premier League.