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Other SportsEverton v Manchester United: How will Ten Hag's side cope in Goodison...

Everton v Manchester United: How will Ten Hag’s side cope in Goodison cauldron? Preview, expected line-ups and prediction

The State of Play

For all the noise surrounding Manchester United, the fact is they’ve won four of their last five Premier League games. Ten days ago they’d have fancied their chances of extending that record at Goodison Park but Sunday now has a totally different feel about it.

Everton’s 10-point deduction for breaching financial rules, imposed last Friday, has had a galvanising and unifying effect on the Toffees with sporting director Kevin Thelwell claiming it’s added “additional fuel” to their levels of motivation.

Goodison will show what it thinks of the sanction with protests expected but the usually vocal Everton support will crack up the noise even more behind the team to make it a difficult afternoon for Erik ten Hag’s men.

Everton now find themselves second from bottom of the Premier League and in the thick of the relegation dogfight. Their recent form is good, though, with six wins from their last nine games in all competitions.

Sixth-placed United have struggled in difficult circumstances recently – demonstrated by their limp display in the high-octane atmosphere of a Manchester derby and their capitulation at FC Copenhagen following Marcus Rashford’s dismissal. This is another test of character for Ten Hag and his players.

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Team News

As with all clubs this weekend, Everton will hope their international contingent return unscathed.

Club captain Seamus Coleman completed 90 minutes for the Under-21s in midweek and could be in contention for his first appearance since May. Ben Godfrey and Michael Keane also played and may be involved.

The situation is less positive for United with a raft of injury concerns for Ten Hag to content with.

Christian Eriksen (knee), Lisandro Martinez (foot) and Casemiro (thigh) are definitely out with goalkeeper Andre Onana being assessed after sustaining an injury while away with Cameroon. Jonny Evans (thigh), Tyrell Malacia (knee), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (illness), Facundo Pellistri (undisclosed) and Rasmus Hojlund (thigh) are also fighting to be fit.

The good news is England left-back Luke Shaw has returned to training, although this weekend could come too soon.

Expected line-ups

Everton: Pickford; Young, Tarkowski, Branthwaite, Mykolenko; Doucoure, Onana, Garner; Harrison, McNeil, Calvert-Lewin

Manchester United: Onana; Dalot, Maguire, Lindelof, Reguilon; McTominay, Amrabat, Fernandes; Rashford, Garnacho, Martial

What they said

Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the atmosphere expected at Goodison Park
“I’ve played in a lot of games against United at Goodison, and the atmosphere is always incredible. I expect the weekend to be no different, if not more electric.
“I’m sure the fans will be ready. Us as players, we’ll prepare the same as normal and make sure we’re ready to put in a performance and collect the three points.
“I think, given the circumstances, I’ve sensed a lot of unity and togetherness.

Erik ten Hag told beIN Sport about his side’s three upcoming away games, at Everton, Galatasaray and Newcastle
“All games are very important, but our away record this season so far is very good.
“We can take confidence and strong belief into those games.
“But [we need to] go from game to game, the first game is the most important – Everton – and we’re looking forward [to it].”

When and how to watch

The game kicks off at 16:30 UK time on Sunday, and will be shown on Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League and Sky Sports Ultra HDR in the UK with coverage beginning at 16:00 as part of Super Sunday.

Prediction

United have shown themselves to be fragile at points this season and a crippling injury list certainly won’t help. Everton are in decent form and the sheer will of the crowd in a hostile Goodison atmosphere will spur them on to a crucial three points.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.
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