A meeting between two sides that at present, are looking on with envy at the top four. Manchester United will have expected to be contending for a Champions League spot at the start of the season and whilst they still have a good chance of claiming one, their league form at Old Trafford simply has to improve. Next up is Everton, who themselves still harbour outside hopes of gatecrashing the top four so can United claim all three points in this one? Or will Jose Mourinho be frustrated once again?
A Manchester United season ticket holder this season can have hardly had an awful lot enjoyment. Whilst by in large the standard of football has improved under Jose Mourinho, you cannot escape the fact that their form at Old Trafford has been poor. Manchester City are the only side to have come away with all three points but six draws have hampered United's top four ambitions and they have scored just 20 times in the league at home. Their lack of potency is a real issue as they struggle to break down teams that pitch up and look to defend deep. They will be boosted by the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic for this game after his three match ban whilst Ander Herrera also comes back from suspension. Ibrahimovic has 15 league goals this season but the lack of other regular goalscorers in the league is very telling. Juan Mata, who is likely to miss the rest of the season with a groin injury, is next on the list with six league strikes and after him it's Paul Pogba on four. United can't afford any more slip ups if they want to hunt down Liverpool and Manchester City above them, starting with Tuesday's clash with Everton.
Imagine being an Everton fan heading in to a derby at Anfield? You'd absolutely dread it wouldn't you? No wins at Anfield since 1999 and just three wins over their Merseyside rivals in their last 35 meetings. Well at least the 3-1 defeat is out of the way and the Toffees can now move on to a place where they have a similarly dismal record. They have won just twice at Old Trafford since the inception of the Premier League though prior to the Liverpool game they had been in good form. Eight wins from 12 games will have given cause for optimism and Ronald Koeman will still have hopes that his side can claim a top six finish. They are going to have to respond however after the derby, in which they were far from their best. Ross Barkley struggled with the occasion whilst Romelu Lukaku was almost entirely starved of service. Will they look to attack United or will they look for inspiration from the likes of West Brom, Burnley etc and go to Old Trafford and look to come away with a point?
Manchester United need to respond after another home draw whilst Everton need to bounce back after another poor showing in the Merseyside derby. Given Everton's don't really have the players or the tendency to dig in and try and grind out a result, we think this game could be slightly more open than United's recent games at Old Trafford. We're going to back United here in a low scoring affar.