MX23RW : Saturday, June 19 06:55:42| >> :120:30155:30155:
Mar 1, 2020 at 2pm UK at Goodison Park
Attendance: 39,374
Man UtdManchester United
FT(HT: 1-1)
Fernandes (31')

Preview: Everton vs. Manchester United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Sunday's Premier League fixture between Everton and Manchester United.

Manchester United head into their Premier League encounter with Everton on Sunday afternoon looking to boost their chances of finishing in fourth position in the standings.

While Everton have the same ambitions, Carlo Ancelotti's side sit in 11th place and five points adrift of their next opponents.

Match preview

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates their second goal scored by Odion Ighalo on February 27, 2020© Reuters

Although there have been times this season when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has looked close to the sack, club officials will currently be relieved that they showed faith in the United legend after a disappointing run of results.

While United sit just outside of the top four, three successive wins and clean sheets in the Premier League have left supporters feeling optimistic about the future.

Silverware also remains a possibility after Thursday's 5-0 demolition of Club Brugge in the Europa League - a result which has taken United into the last 16 of the competition.

The English giants have now put together a seven-match undefeated streak since since January 26 - something which Solskjaer will want to extend as the games continue to come every few days.

Despite plenty of players chipping in with important performances, the influence of Bruno Fernandes since his January arrival cannot be exaggerated.

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes celebrates scoring their first goal on February 27, 2020© Reuters

Two goals - both from the penalty spot - and two assists have come from his five appearances, but it is the 25-year-old's general presence and desire to create which have led to him already becoming a crowd favourite.

At the other end of the pitch, Eric Bailly is effectively regarded as a new signing, and his first two performances since recovering from a serious knee injury will surely convince United to hand the Ivorian a new contract in the coming months.

With Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Sheffield United to come after the trip to Merseyside, Solskjaer will not be getting carried away with his team's recent revival, but the signs are there that everything is in place for United to end the season on a high.

As far as Everton are concerned, Carlo Ancelotti is likely to still be frustrated after witnessing his team concede three sloppy goals in defeat at Arsenal last weekend.

The result has led to the Toffees dropping down to 11th position in the table, despite having collected 11 points from their previous five outings in the top flight.

Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti on February 1, 2020© Reuters

Nevertheless, the missed opportunity at the Emirates Stadium may ultimately work in their favour, adding motivation to the squad for the upcoming meetings with United and Chelsea.

Ancelotti will feel that their fate is still in their own hands, with victories against both of their rivals potentially being enough to earn a place in the top six.

With just eight points separating fourth and 11th, the margins for error are small, but a certain degree of pressure has been lifted from Everton ahead of one of their most anticipated fixtures of the season.

After five games without a clean sheet, their defensive performance will be under the spotlight, although United will fear what Everton are able to offer at the other end of the pitch.

Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin have contributed seven goals between them in the last half-a-dozen outings, while numerous players have been chipping in with regular assists.

Despite the perception that Everton are overly-reliant on their front two, it has taken a team effort to improve the club's standing in the table, and Ancelotti will be confident that their recent setback will only galvanise his squad going forward.

Everton Premier League form: WDDWWL

Manchester United Premier League form: WLLDWW
Manchester United form (all competitions): WDWDWW

Team News

Manchester United's Odion Ighalo pictured on February 27, 2020© Reuters

Although Solskjaer has plenty of options with regards to his formation, the Norwegian has made a habit of using a back three against the better teams on away soil.

With that in mind, Mason Greenwood and Odion Ighalo may be used as a front two at Goodison Park as Anthony Martial struggles to shake off a thigh problem.

Fernandes should play as the most advanced of a midfield three, with Luke Shaw getting the nod on the left-hand side of defence.

Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay could be the chosen two in midfield, relegating Fred to the substitutes' bench.

Despite the disappointment at the Emirates Stadium, Ancelotti is unlikely to make sweeping changes to his team for this match.

Andre Gomes may make his first start since recovering from a horrific ankle injury, while Lucas Digne could return from injury to play at left-back.

Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Mina, Holgate, Digne; Iwobi, Gomes, Delph, Sigurdsson; Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Matic, Williams; Fernandes; Greenwood, Ighalo

Head To Head

Sunday's encounter will represent the 203rd competitive fixture between the two clubs, with United recording 88 wins in comparison to 70 victories for Everton.

Despite United's historical advantage, Everton have fared better in recent games, avoiding defeat in both of the matches which were played in 2019.

After thrashing United by a 4-0 scoreline at Goodison Park in April, the Toffees gained a share of the spoils at Old Trafford earlier this season.

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We say: Everton 1-2 Manchester United

While Everton will be motivated to get the better of their North-West rivals, we are backing United to continue their recent form with a hard-fought win. The visitors are capable of keeping yet another shutout, although Everton are scoring plenty of goals under Ancelotti.

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer celebrates their second goal scored by Odion Ighalo on February 27, 2020
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