Everton Head to Old Trafford to Face Manchester United

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer INovember 21, 2009

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 31:  Darren Fletcher of Manchester United tussles for posession with Phil Neville of Everton during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford on January 31, 2009 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Now that the international break is over and 32 nations have qualified for next years World Cup, players will now head back to their clubs in the English Premier League as the season gets back underway.

This weekend, one of the biggest games in the Premier League is happening at Old Trafford in Manchester, as Manchester United will host Everton in a battle of two sides that finished in the top five of the Premier League table over the last two seasons.

Last year, these teams met three times: twice in the Premier League (1-1 draw at Goodison Park, 1-0 win for Man United at Old Trafford) and in the FA Cup semifinal, which went to penalties in which Everton won 4-2 as they went onto their first FA Cup final in 14 years.

This will be Manchester United's final game for manager Sir Alex Ferguson before he starts his two match ban over his comments of Alan Wiley after a 2-2 draw with Sunderland back in October, and will instead have to watch the game from the crowd.

But Fergie will be trying to get back on track after a 1-0 loss at Stamford Bridge during the last night before the international break, in which Fergie has claimed that Man United were the better team, and the goal by John Terry shouldn't have counted due to a foul inside of the penalty area by Didier Drogba on the free kick.

However, Man United will have no Jonny Evans, Fabio, Michael Carrick and John O'Shea all out due to injury, and news has come out in the last week that Rio Ferdinand will be out until 2010 due to his mysterious back injury.

But United will have the services of Nemanja Vidic, as his calf injury has healed and he played in Serbia's friendly against South Korea earlier in the week.

Victory will be huge for the Red Devils here, as they will most likely find themselves behind by eight points in the table by the time this match kicks off; but with just one loss in their last 28 league matches against Everton, United could definitely make it one loss in 29 if they come out and play strong despite their injuries.

After a 2-1 win at Upton Park during the last week before the international break, Everton will look to build on that win with another great result at Old Trafford.

However, Everton also have many injury concerns, as Tim Cahill, Louis Saha, Phil Neville, Leon Osman, and Steven Pienaar all have injury concerns and Diniyar Bilyaledinov will be out due to suspension.

Everton also have had a slow start to the season, as they are currently just five points away from the relegation zone, so getting a win here is key for the Toffee's.

And finally, Everton know that this game is completely winnable with United struggling against teams such as Birmingham City, Manchester City, Sunderland, and Bolton at the Theatre of Dreams this year; and Everton know that they could stick with Manchester United for a full 90 minutes.


Finally, this matchup between Manchester United and Everton is an intriguing matchup for both sides, as both these clubs need points for totally different reasons, but only one side will leave Old Trafford with a sense of accomplishment from a positive result.