David Moyes will face Everton for the first time since taking over as manager of Manchester United when his former employers travel to Old Trafford on Wednesday (19:45 GMT).
United come into the match on the back of a 2-2 draw away to Tottenham on Sunday. Wayne Rooney (pictured) scored both those goals, taking his total for the season to eight.
With four assists to his credit, he has been directly involved in over half of United’s league goals. He and Robin Van Persie have formed a good partnership, but in the Dutchman’s absence, Rooney was even more central on Sunday, leading from the front.
The draw extended Man Utd’s unbeaten run to seven matches in the league and 12 in all competitions. After a slow start, it seems Moyes has found a formula for some degree of consistency. However there are clearly still areas of concern, most notably in defence and midfield, where Phil Jones and Tom Cleverley failed to impress on Saturday.
United have conceded 17 goals in their 13 league matches, giving them only the 12th best defensive record in the division. The midfield has often failed to provide adequate protection for a defence that, in central areas at least, lacks pace and United have looked particularly susceptible to swift counter attacks.
At the other end of the pitch, Moyes’ preference for funnelling attacks down the flanks is heavily reliant on the form of his wide players, who have been inconsistent at best. Moyes needs to implement a more varied approach in order to ease the burden on Rooney and Van Persie, who have scored 68% of United’s league goals.
Van Persie is expected to return to the side on Wednesday after missing United’s last three matches with a groin injury, but Michael Carrick will definitely miss out as he continues his recovery from an achilles injury. Darren Fletcher’s chronic bowel condition again rules him out.
Man Utd are eighth in the League with 22 points from six wins, four draws and three defeats, nine points behind leaders Arsenal. Everton would not have expected to be ahead of United at this stage of the season. It is a measure of the ease with which Roberto Martinez has settled into the position vacated by Moyes that the Toffees find themselves fifth in the table, with 24 points from six wins, six draws and just one defeat.
Martinez has introduced a more possession-based style of play, a change that is clearly reflected in the numbers. Everton have increased both their average share of possession (52.9% to 57.2%) and percentage of completed passes (79.4% to 83.5%) in comparison to last season.
It would have been possible to criticise Everton’s goalscoring record prior to the last couple of weeks, but that is no longer the case. They scored three in a 3-3 draw with Liverpool before knocking four past Stoke City on Saturday to extend their unbeaten home record under Martinez to seven matches.
The former Wigan manager made good use of his contact book over the summer to bring in two astute loan signings. Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has led the line with distinction, scoring eight goals in nine appearances, while highly talented Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofeu has begun to shine after a gradual introduction to the English game.
Everton look good value for their top six placing, with the sixth best scoring record (21 goals) and the fifth best defensive record (13 conceded) in the division. The latter will be particularly pleasing to Martinez, whose Wigan side were notoriously flaky in defence.
Leighton Baines will be sidelined for the trip to Old Trafford as he continues his recovery from a foot injury, with Bryan Oviedo, a goalscorer in the win over Stoke, again likely to deputise at left-back. Arouna Kone and former United midfielder Darron Gibson are long term injury absentees.
Man Utd vs Everton Betting Tips Conclusion
United were 2-0 winners in last season’s equivalent fixture and have won four of the last five fixtures between the sides at Old Trafford. Moyes has the upper hand in previous league meetings between the two coaches, winning four, drawing four and losing none, although Martinez’s Wigan side did defeat Everton on route to winning last year’s FA Cup.
Everton have started the season very well and are certainly capable of making things difficult for their hosts. They are well organised defensively and have the sort of pace and power in the final third that has caused United problems so far this season. This will be a tightly contested match, and even if United do take the three points, the margin of victory will not be significant.
- Back Everton +1 on an Asian Handicap @ best odds of 9/13 with BetVictor. The bet pays out if Everton win or draw. Your stake is returned if Everton lose by a single goal
- 54.5% of United’s and 71.4% of Everton’s goals this season have been scored in the second halves of matches. Everton will look to stay solid early on, hoping to capitalise on the counter attack as Man Utd push forward in the second half. With this in mind, back the second half to be the highest scoring half @ 11/10 with Ladbrokes.