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Manchester United look to keep pace at the top of the Premier League when they host Everton on Saturday.
After setting a Premier League record in a 9-0 win against Southampton, how will the Reds follow-up that performance?
That will be the question on the minds of many as United look to beat the Toffee’s for a third time this season.
Man United will keep a close eye on striker Edinson Cavani.
The Uruguayan hurt his ankle from a late challenge by Kayne Ramsay in that 9-0 thrashing.
Phil Jones continues to recover from his long-term knee injury and is unlikely to feature.
Luke Shaw got some much-needed rest in mid-week and is likely to draw back into the lineup.
Paul Pogba was rested in Tuesday’s victory but will likely be back Saturday.
For the Toffee’s Carlo Ancelotti is hopeful Jordan Pickford will be back in goal after recovering from injury.
If not, he can count on Robin Olsen who was brilliant in their victory at Elland Road this week.
Former United striker Joshua King made his Everton debut as a late substitute Wednesday.
You have to think the former Bournemouth forward will be pushing the manager to start him in this one.
Allan and Jean-Phillippe Gbamin are working to get back to full fitness and probably won’t feature.
Since the start of 2021 Carlo Ancelotti’s side has been up and down in the league table.
Two wins, two defeats and a draw have the Toffee’s sitting in sixth place just two points away from a spot in Europe next season.
A thorn in their side
Every rose has its thorn and for Everton, that thorn seems to be Edinson Cavani.
The 33-year-old striker scored his first goal with Man United against Everton, and he also got the game-winner in their Carabao Cup quarter-final.
Toffee fans will say he should’ve got a red card in their December 23 match, but no one can doubt the kind of impact Cavani’s had so far when facing Everton.
Everton will be relieved if he can’t play due to an ankle sprain.
Man United’s had some strong performances against the Toffees lately.
The Reds have only lost once to Everton in their last 13 matches in all competitions.
Everton hasn’t won at Old Trafford in their last six visits there; the last win came December 4 2013 (1-0).
In those six fixtures, United’s scored 11 times while conceding just three.
Everton however, is looking much better away from home recently.
Wednesday’s win against Leeds was their fourth straight Premier League road victory they’re best away run since the 1985/86 season.
Back to Form
Both United and Everton had star players recently end some prolonged scoring slumps.
Bruno Fernandes netted once from the spot and had two assists in United record-tying win on Tuesday.
Before that match, Fernandes had gone scoreless in his last five Premier League matches.
Everton’s big threat all-season Dominic Calvert-Lewin ended a long scoring drought this week.
The club’s top goalscorer got the winning goal against Leeds, his first Premier League marker since December 5.
He leads the team with 12 in the league this season.
In three games in all competitions against Everton Fernandes has three goals.
Calvert-Lewin has only one goal in all competitions against the Reds for Everton.
What’s at stake?
Unlike their Carabao Cup quarter-final, this match won’t end anyone’s title hopes, but there’s still a lot on the line.
United are just hoping to keep pace with their rivals Man City and a win will move them even on points with the Sky Blues.
For the Toffees a win could move them into the top five depending on how Chelsea and West Ham fare.
A top-five finish is a guaranteed spot in the Europa League next season, which would be a first for Everton since 2017-18.
Saturday’s match kicks off from Old Trafford at 8 pm. (JSL).