Friday 24 April 2015

Match preview: Everton v United

United make the 30 mile trip to the blue half of Merseyside having won five of our last six matches and go into this Sunday tea time clash a point ahead of fourth placed Manchester City.

Roberto Martinez has suffered a nasty bout of "second season syndrome" in the Goodison Park hotseat and up until the beginning of last month, their place in the Premier League looked under threat.

Since then, though, they are unbeaten in their last five league games and although they are firmly entrenched in mid-table and arguably have nothing to play for, Goodison Park is never an easy place to go (we have only won there once in the last six meetings) so this will be no gimme for the Reds. 

On the battle for a Champions League spot, Louis van Gaal said

" I'm always at a club to be a champion, but when we reach our goal we are happy and when you believe in the players and they believe in you, they want to convince you of their ability."

 United won the reverse fixture at ours in October through goals from Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao with Steven Naismith replying for the visitors, who were denied a point by a virtuoso goalkeeping performance from David de Gea.

Robin van Persie could be in line for a return after being an unused substitute against Chelsea and playing for the Under 21s in midweek.
Daley Blind trained with the team on Friday so could feature and Jonny Evans is available again having served his six game suspension for spitting.
Michael Carrick remains a major doubt whilst Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones are both definitely out. 

 Van Gaal added: 

"It was frustrating not be able to include Evans in my selection as I like him very much, I have defended him and I still defend him, so I do not punish him."
He (Van Persie) has to show his qualities again, then I have to compare him with the positions he can play with the other players in that position- it is always the same."

Rafael is out for the rest of the season with broken ribs sustained in the reserve game, during which Adnan Jauuzaj also picked up a minor knock.

Form guide: Everton W L W W D W United L W W W W L
Match odds: Everton 12/5 Draw 12/5  United 6/5 (bwin)
Referee: Andre Marriner 

In-form Marouane Fellaini will make his first return to Goodison as a United player on Sunday

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