Manchester United come into this game in quite patchy form, having only won five of their last 10 games in all competitions. Granted, two of them games were against the Lionel Messi inspired Barcelona, but it should still be a worry for United fans.
Aside from the Barcelona games, United are having no issues scoring goals, but the concern for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be how leaky their defence has been.
In the last number of weeks Everton looked like they had finally turned a corner under Marco Silva. They had surprise home victories over top four contenders Chelsea and Arsenal, along with an impressive away performance at the Olympic Stadium, where they brushed West Ham aside.
However their disappointing defeat to already-relegated Fulham will have left the Toffee fans scratching their heads.
Even though Everton seem to always raise their game when they play United, you may be surprised that it’s almost four years to the day that the Toffees beat them. United have won the last three Premier League clashes between these sides. Interestingly though, despite being victim to a one-sided head-to-head overall Premier League record, Everton boast an excellent PL return from home matches played against Man United in the month of April: Won three, lost one.
It is imperative for Man United’s top four chances that they recover quickly from their midweek Champions League hangover. Without doubt, it is a huge plus for Everton that while they have been preparing for this contest all week, their counterparts have been to Barcelona battling it out with Messi and co.
Both of these defences can be got at and both teams have excellent attacking options, so the outcome of this game could depend which team can exploit the opposition back-line the most.
For Everton, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been putting in some decent performances and his pace can stretch the United back four. However, he needs to start adding more goals if he wants to continue to lead the line.
— Everton (@Everton) March 18, 2019
When United are at their best, they have serious speed and dynamism in their attack along with the creativity of Paul Pogba which can really trouble Everton’s back four.
If both teams bring their A-game on Sunday afternoon we could see a very entertaining contest.
Andre Gomes begins a three-match ban which is a blow for Everton as he has been very impressive for the Toffees this season. However, other than the Portuguese midfielder and the injured Yerry Mina (hamstring), Marco Silva has all of his squad available for the visit of Manchester United.
Morgan Schneiderlin has recovered from an ankle knock and the French midfielder could take the place of Gomes alongside Idrissa Gueye in the holding midfiel roles.
Further forward Richarlison, Sigurdsson and Bernard are expected to play in behind lone striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
For United, Luke Shaw is still suspended, but Ashley Young is back from his own one-match ban so you can expect to see a straight swap here at left back. Sunday’s match may come too soon for Eric Bailly and Ander Herrera but Alexis Sanchez and Nemanja Matic are fit again and could feature. Antonio Valencia remains sidelined.
In centre-midfield Solkjaer is likely to go with Fred and Paul Pogba again, but further forward it is little more difficult to predict who will be named to start. For his front three, Solskjaer must choose from Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Alexis Sanchez which isn’t a bad selection headache to have.
I give Everton a real chance in this one, especially because they are at home. As unpredictable as they can be, I do feel they have enough dangerous players to trouble the suspect United back four.
I think that a share of the spoils at Goodison Park is a good price at 5/2.
When you consider the attacking prowess mixed in with the defensive frailties of both these sides, if this is to be a draw there is a fair chance it will be a score draw. So a correct score of 1-1 is my value bet at 5/1.