Everton take on Manchester United for the third time this season, with the Toffees hoping to make it third time lucky after two defeats. The Premier League meeting ended 3-1 whilst the Red Devils knocked Everton out the Carabao Cup in the quarter-final stage.
Old Trafford has been bleak for Everton over the years, with the Merseyside outfit winless in their last six and only victorious three times in 30 years at the ground.
However, with Everton in fine form on the road- the third best in the league- they will be hoping to overcome their troubled times in Manchester and win their fifth straight league away game.
The hosts enter this contest full of confidence knowing a win could see them move level on points at the top with rivals Manchester City. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side obliterated Southampton 9-0 at Old Trafford on Tuesday night and is expected to name a line-up that may see a few changes against Everton.
Edinson Cavani was forced off at half time with an ankle injury but should be available for Everton’s visit. Despite having trained and saying he feels good fitness-wise, Cavani may find himself on the bench against a side he has already scored against twice this season.
Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial will likely return after starting on the bench against the Saints. Martial replaced Cavani and contributed with a brace as well as being fouled for the penalty Bruno Fernandes converted. Pogba was an unused sub having been rested which increases the expectation he will start on the left, over Mason Greenwood.
The standout performers in United’s dismantling of the Saints were fullbacks, Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The pair combined for United’s first goal which saw Shaw pick out Wan-Bissaka at the back post, who side-footed his effort in off the post.
United will be expected to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation which will see Pogba on the left and playmaker Fernandes pulling the strings in the middle.
Besides Cavani, the only other injury concern is Eric Bailly who manager Solskjaer said was a doubt.
Carlo Ancelotti confirmed Jordan Pickford (rib) and Allan (hamstring) would be absent. Allan, who has missed Everton’s last 10 games through injury, returned to training on Friday so could be part of the matchday squad against Tottenham next time out.
With Pickford out, Robin Olsen will start back to back games for the first time since arriving from Roma in the summer. The Sweden international put in a fantastic performance against Leeds United, making three vital second-half saves to ensure Everton left with all three points.
One area Ancelotti will have a difficult decision in is who starts at centre back. Yerry Mina and Ben Godfrey’s partnership at Elland Road was dominant, especially aerially- which saw Mina record the most headed clearances by an Everton player in the Premier League for three years. Michael Keane was rested and may find himself missing out against his former club if the same partnership is favoured.
A change in the attacking department could see James Rodriguez return in place of Alex Iwobi who was brought off after an hour on Wednesday night. Ancelotti confirmed Rodriguez was rested having played the last three games and not based on a poor performance against Newcastle United. New signing Josh King adds another choice for the Toffees, although it may be too soon to see him start.
With the response shown from the starting line-up in victory against Leeds, it is likely to see near enough the same 11 once again. Everton will be expected to set up in a 4-3-3 formation although if three starting centre backs are played- which was the case against Leicester City- the Toffees would be seen in as 5-2-3.
Everton’s only other absentee is Jean-Philippe Gbamin- his return date still too early to announce.
Manchester United: De Gea, Wan Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, McTominay, Fred, Fernandes, Pogba, Rashford, Martial.
Everton: Olsen, Holgate, Mina, Godfrey, Digne, Doucoure, Gomes, Sigurdsson, Rodriguez, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.
The match is available on Sky Sports Main Event with kick-off at 8 pm GMT.