Everton v Manchester United Preview

English Premier League | Saturday 17 October | Goodison Park | 16:00

The English Premier League returns after an unwanted international break. Everton will face Manchester United after playing to a 1-1 draw with city-rivals Liverpool last time around. Man United are one team that would have been thankful for the break after their 3-0 annihilation at the hands of Arsenal, but return this weekend looking to get back to winning ways on a ground they have suffered defeat at for the last three seasons.  

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To Win (90mins)
Everton 9/4
Draw 23/10
Man United 11/10


Everton earned a well deserved 1-1 draw against Liverpool in the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park in what proved to be Brendan Rodgers' final game in charge of Liverpool. Overall it was a fair reflection of the game; with Everton lacking the cutting edge and drive they showed in the second half of the 3-2 victory over West Brom the week prior. Nonetheless, it stretched the Toffees' unbeaten run to five matches, where they have earned two victories and three draws. 

Everton have fielded a weaker and unfamiliar back four in their last two matches with youngsters Tylas Browning and Ramiro Funes Mori filling in for the injured John Stones and Seamus Coleman. However, the pair look likely to make a return this weekend which will boost the Toffees' defence. But manager Roberto Martinez has been impressed with his backline nevertheless, especially with Phil Jagielka whom he has stated has been the best defender in the Premier League for the last 12 months. Ross Barkley and James McCarthy pull the strings from the middle of the park, whilst Gareth Barry provides a solid foundation for the backline. 

Depending on who makes the starting line-up; Gerard Deulofeu, Arouna Kone and Steven Naismith are the ones providing support for powerhouse Romelu Lukaku. The big Belgian’s career has, so far, been something of a tale of unfulfilled promise, but at 22 he has all the weapons to develop into a world-class striker. And he has proved that by claiming the Man of the Match accolade in his last two outings for Everton. A team with this much ammunition is bound to cause Man United all sorts of problems. 

Manchester United

Manchester United were thrashed 3-0 by a rampant Arsenal last time out and will be looking to put that horrid memory behind them with their trip to Everton. Defeat leaves Louis van Gaal's side in third place, behind Arsenal on goal difference. Prior to the defeat, the Red Devils were on a three-match winning streak. Most of their victories this season, however, have been less than convincing, including their 3-0 win at Old Trafford against arguably the weakest team in the league – Sunderland.

Their inability to start the game with pace and purpose; putting teams under pressure from the get go has cost them and if that fails to change – this season will be as slow as the partnering of Michael Carrick (31) and Bastian Schweinsteiger (34) for the Man United faithful. Memphis Depay has failed to impress since his £25 million move from PSV and after getting pulled off at half-time against Arsenal; the Dutch winger will be looking to finally repay the faith showed in him by Van Gaal. Wayne Rooney has looked far from the record breaking English footballer that he is. The 29-year old has scored just one goal in the league thus far, and Van Gaal will be depending on his captain to hit the ground running.

Anthony Martial has been directly involved in four goals in all competitions for Man United, netting three and assisting one. The young Frenchman has proved his doubters wrong since his big money move and will be looking to add even more to his so far glittering Red Devils career. Juan Mata has been United’s most consistent performer this season. He has single headedly lifted his team from the dead at times. The Spanish maestro has quick feet, an abundance of skill and flair, with vision and creativity that is immeasurable to his team. 

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Probable line-ups:
Everton: 4-2-3-1
Howard; Coleman, Funes Mori, Jagielka, Galloway; McCarthy, Barry; Deulofeu, Barkley, Naismith; Lukaku 

Man United: 4-2-3-1
De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Rojo, Blind; Carrick, Schweinsteiger; Mata, Rooney, Depay; Martial  

Betting Verdict: Everton 9/4
Both teams looked far from their best last time out, and this one looks like it could go either way. However, the last three meetings at Goodison Park have seen Everton prevail victorious, scoring six goals and conceding none. Back the Toffees to make it a fourth consecutive win against the Red Devils on home soil.

Written by Aaron Crowie for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!