Everton v Manchester United Premier League Preview 01/01/2018
The late kick-off in the EPL on Monday is a clash between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park.
The Toffees have staged an astonishing revival since Sam Allardyce was appointed. They have moved clear of the relegation zone and are now comfortably in the top half of the table.
Everton thrashed West Ham 4-0 on the evening of Allardyce’s appointment with Wayne Rooney scoring a hat-trick. David Unsworth was officially in temporary charge for that game. They have remained unbeaten in his first seven matches going into the weekend fixtures.
The most obvious impact of Allardyce’s arrival has been on Everton’s defence. They have conceded just two goals since he took control, compared to 28 in their previous 12. Rooney has been in good form for the Toffees, scoring six times in his last eight appearances.
Everton were beaten 4-0 at Old Trafford in September under Ronald Koeman. They can be expected to put up far more resistance at Goodison Park. The match could see Rooney face his former club while Romelu Lukaku returns to face the Toffees.
United go into the weekend as City’s closest pursuers, albeit at a distance of fifteen points. Mourinho has barely managed to hide his contempt for journalists at times this season, baulking at the suggestion that United were going through a difficult patch.
The Red Devils had to work hard to claw back a two-goal deficit at home to Burnley last weekend. That followed a 2-2 draw against ten-man Leicester City. No serious damage has been done in their pursuit of a top four finish and guaranteed Champions League football next season.
Romelu Lukaku was described as “tired” by his manager ahead of the Southampton game on Saturday. Mourinho does have plenty of attacking options but it would be a surprise if Lukaku did not lead the line against his former club.
United have only been defeated once in their last nine EPL fixtures but their defence is not as tight as it was earlier in the campaign. Having kept seven clean sheets in their first eight games, they have only managed three in their last twelve. This game is always fiercely contested and it would be no surprise to see a red card brandished at some point. Everton could frustrate United and hold out for another valuable point.
Premier League Betting Tips 01/01/2018
Everton v Manchester United DRAW @3.8 Betfair