Everton vs. Manchester United: Previews and Predictions
Back to Premier League duties for both Everton and Manchester United in this weekend's early kick off at Goodison Park.
The champions will be entering the clash with extreme confidence after their superb victory in Milan. A double from Wayne Rooney gave last year's beaten finalists a 3-2 lead within the tie, ahead of next weeks second leg meeting at Old Trafford.
This supreme confidence may not be shared within the Everton squad.
The Blues will travel to Lisbon's Estádio José Alvalade with a narrow advantage after a 2-1 victory at Goodison park on Tuesday.
After an excellent first half performance saw the home side enter the half time break leading.
A flowing move which was magnificently finished by Pienaar, this was followed by a fortunite second by Sylvan Distin which secured the victory for the blues, however, after Distin's late red card which led to Lisbon securing a priceless away goal after Miguel Veloso successfully dispatched a penalty meant the victory was bittersweet.
After the European events of the week, all eyes are on the Goodison clash.
Everton will enter the game with the injury problems which have plagued this season's progress, Tim Cahill is a doubt ahead of the clash after he limped off with a suspected calf strain on Tuesday night.
Cahill the latest to be added to the ever growing injury list at Goodison Park with Marouane Fellaini out for the rest of the campaign with an ankle ligament injury which was sustained in the Merseyside derby.
“Fellaini is not good,” Everton boss David Moyes told the club’s official website. "He has an injury similar to (Arsenal striker) Robin van Persie and that could keep him out for six months. We will not be sure until the operation takes place"
With these two influential figures sidelined, and Wayne Rooney in the form of his life as he returns to where it all started, you can see why the champions are favourites for the clash.
Goodison Park has become some what of a fortress over the last couple of years, as Chelsea found out in Everton's last Premier League outing, with the blues romping to a 2-1 victory over Carlo Ancelotti's title contenders.
After a slow start to an injury plagued season the blues have finally found their form in the last couple of weeks however, recent hiccups in the FA Cup and the Merseyside Derby have stifled recent form.
The Champion's however, have their eyes firmly on a third succesive title and are chasing Chelsea all the way, recent form which has seen United take 14 points out of a possible 18 has closed the gap on the Londoners.
As ever, i believe this is an intriguing clash with an unpredictable result, however I'll do my best.
Birmingham City FC (H) L 1-2
Sunderland AFC (H) W 2-0
Wigan Athletic FC (A) W 1-0
Liverpool FC (A) L 0-1
Chelsea FC (H) W 2-1
Manchester United WWWWD
Burnley FC (H) W 3-0
Hull City (H) W 4-0
Arsenal (A) W 3-1
Portsmouth (H) W 5-0
Aston Villa (A) D 1-1
Everton: Tim Howard, Leighton Baines, Sylvain Distin,Joseph Yobo, Phil Neville, Steven Peinaar, Mikel Arteta, Jack Rodwell, Landon Donovan, Leon Osman, Louis Saha
(Subs) Yakubu, ,Philippe Senderos , Dan Gosling, Seamus Coleman, Victor Anichebe, Carlo Nash, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, James Vaughan
Manchester United : Van der Sar, Rafael, Wes Brown, Johnny Evans, Patrice Evra, Park, Paul Scholes, Micheal Carrick, Darren Fletcher, Valencia, Wayne Rooney
(Subs) Kuszczak, O'Shea, Neville, Vidic, Obertan, Berbertov, Owen
Everton 0-2 Manchester United
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