Manchester United - Everton Preview: Reds must continue momentum in search of unlikely top four spot

Full match preview of the Premier League fixture between Manchester United and Everton as Louis van Gaal's side look to give their top four hopes a boost on Sunday, 4PM kick-off.

Manchester United - Everton Preview: Reds must continue momentum in search of unlikely top four spot
Photo: Harry Robinson/VAVEL UK

Sir Alex Ferguson has backed Louis van Gaal in the past week, but the Manchester United fans will continue their hostility towards their manager without a fourth consecutive home win against Everton on Sunday.

They'll face another disappointed fanbase. Roberto Martinez's side has been consistently pulled along by Romelu Lukaku, linked with United earlier this week, and Ross Barkley. Their defensive qualities are lacking, and United will hope to exploit that with an in-form trio of Marcus RashfordJesse Lingard and Anthony Martial.

Team News

Van Gaal confirmed that Luke Shaw will return to training alongside a physio in the next week, having been out since September 2015 with a double leg break, suffered against PSV Eindhoven. Captain Wayne Rooney will play in the under-21s soon before returning to first team action. Their England teammate Phil Jones is a doubt having had on-off injuries throughout the last two seasons. 

Ander Herrera and Ashley Young are set to come back for United in two weeks, but won't make Sunday's game with knee and groin injuries respectively. Young striker Will Keane remains out with a pelvis injury, suffered just moments after coming on as a substitute against Shrewsbury Town for his first appearance in four years. Bastian Schweinsteiger suffered a knee injury, similar to Rooney's, that could rule him out of this summer's European Championships in France.

Form

United have won their last three games at Old Trafford in the Premier League but their form in all competitions is woeful. In the UEFA Europa League against rivals Liverpool, they were outclassed and the effort on the pitch was embarrassing. Meanwhile, only a late Martial equaliser thanks to an unseen foul on the West Ham United goalkeeper could see United get a replay against the Hammers in the FA Cup.

Martial celebrates his equaliser - West Ham United | Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Sport
Martial celebrates his equaliser - West Ham United | Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Sport

Yet after a derby win against Manchester City, confidence can be high and a win against Everton, often a bogey team for United, will further boost that as the Reds look to nab an unlikely Champions League spot.

The Opposition - Everton

Team News

England defender John Stones picked up a knock for his country alongside United defender Chris Smalling. He's expected to be back quickly though, although he has often been put on the bench by Martinez in the past few months. Bryan Oviedo has been out for two games with illness but will be back on Sunday while Kevin Mirallas is back from suspension. Gareth Barry remains suspended in a two-game ban with Steven PienaarTylas Browning, and Tony Hibbert injured.