Everton have a history of frustrating Man Utd in recent years. In fact, Everton have won four of the past six league encounters. At Goodison Park, Everton have won three of their past three on home turf. Back in April, Louis van Gaal suffered an embarrassing afternoon during which he was forced to endure a 3-0 defeat. Come Saturday afternoon, Roberto Martínez is targeting yet another Man Utd scalp.
Before Martínez’s arrival on Merseyside, Everton were practiced in beating Man Utd when David Moyes was in charge. There just seems to be something about Goodison Park that Man Utd seem to struggle with, even after considerable squad turnover. Martínez needs to inspire his team after not capitalising in their 1-1 draw with local rivals Liverpool.
The Everton of this season have performed better in defence compared to last year, buoyed by the partnership of Phil Jagielka and John Stones, both of whom have helped to cover over the absence of fullbacks Leighton Baines and Séamus Coleman. The latter of the two will likely return against Man Utd, but could be tired after representing Ireland in two games of their Euro 2016 qualifiers.
Man Utd need to capitalise on Everton’s weak fullback areas with the speed of Memphis Depay and Anthony Martial. Louis van Gaal needs to forget about 4-2-3-1 and get back to the 4-3-3 formation with which he forged his managerial reputation.
Against Arsenal, the Reds suffered a 3-0 defeat because they only used two central midfielders to counter an Arsenal midfield with superior speed. Three central midfielders would have enabled them to better control the game and limit space.
Everton like playing with a 4-2-3-1, and the standard of Gareth Barry and James McCarty is simply not on the same level as Santi Cazorla and Francis Coquelin. Man Utd can control this game and win if van Gaal does not make the mistake of using Wayne Rooney as a number 10.
Tip one: Everton draw no bet @ 2.25
Tip two: Over 2.5 goals @ 2.00
Losing 3-0 against Arsenal should serve to shake up van Gaal’s approach, but not necessarily in the right way. Ander Herrera, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Michael Carrick could all miss out with knocks.