Being a fan of Manchester United is an extremely confusing experience these days.
You watch your team get, for lack of a better word, pumped by the likes of Brighton and West Ham, but then they produce a vintage comeback against Newcastle before almost doing the same against Chelsea. And then they get humbled three days later by a Juventus side who made it look like we were playing a different sport.
And Anthony Martial has rejected United’s latest contract offer, which really compounds where we are right now.
After a strange week, United return to Premier League action at Old Trafford for the first time since that Newcastle miracle to take on an Everton side currently in a purple patch.
Marco Silva has his side playing some sumptuous attacking football, thanks in part to his new Brazilian flair players Richarlison and Bernard. The prior, who was lambasted before the season even started for his price tag, has silenced his critics and is already the main threat in this Everton side.
The latter, Bernard, looks an excellent piece of business from Silva, who picked him up on a free transfer after he left Shakhtar Donetsk.
Silva must also be praised for some of his other summer pickups, namely Lucas Digne, who has been the breath of fresh air Everton have needed on the left side for some time.
The Toffees come into the game on a three match winning streak in the Premier League, after wins against Fulham, Leicester, and most recently Crystal Palace. They’ve scored 7 goals in those three games and conceded just once, showing that their defence is finally starting to gel together and become tough to break down.
United’s Last Game
United come into this game after the aforementioned draw at Stamford Bridge and the 1-0 home defeat to Juventus.
As for the Chelsea game, it was once again a tale of two halves, as United looked unenthused and static in the first half, but came out in the second looking dangerous, and their change in tactics was rewarded when Anthony Martial struck the ball past Kepa Arrizabalaga twice in 18 minutes. Sadly for the Reds, a last gasp equaliser from former Everton man Ross Barkley denied them what would have been a massive three points.
As for the Juventus game, the less said about it the better really. We were simply outclassed by a far superior team, and even when we had more of the ball in the second half, nothing really looked like happening. I do want to give mentions to David De Gea, who kept us within touching distance thanks to another string of excellent saves, and most notably Victor Lindelof, who put in his best United performance to date as he nullified the Juventus counter attack in the second half, and most shockingly of all, kept Cristiano Ronaldo quiet.
Manchester United will likely be without Alexis Sanchez and Marouane Fellaini once again, and Jesse Lingard will definitely miss out as he continues his recovery from a torn muscle.
As for Everton, Beni Baningime remains on the sidelines, but Silva has confirmed that long term absentee James McCarthy is back in full training.
It’s a tough old game to predict. You’ve got one team bang in form and another fluctuating in and out of it, but Everton have an abysmal record against all of the top six away from home. With that in mind, I’m going for a 2-1 United win, with the goals coming from Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Theo Walcott, since our defence handles pace about as well as Romelu Lukaku handles the ball at the moment.
Predicted United Line-Up: De Gea; Young, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; Pogba, Matic (sadly), Mata; Rashford, Lukaku, Martial.
Predicted Everton Line-Up: Pickford; Coleman, Zouma, Keane, Digne; Gomes, Gueye; Walcott, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Richarlison.