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Preview: Everton are a terrible team in terrible form of late but Ten Hag’s United will face a challenge from them in the Emirates FA Cup

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Manchester United -v- Everton

Emirates FA Cup

Old Trafford, Manchester

Friday 6 January 2023, KO 20:00 GMT

Manchester United welcome Frank Lampard’s Everton to the Theatre of Dreams on Friday evening in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup this season. United have done well recently, winning all four matches played since the FIFA World Cup concluded – winning six matches in a row since the defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League prior to the World Cup. Erik ten Hag will be pleased to have seen how well his team has done since then.

Everton have not been in good form this season and in the Premier League, sit in 18th place with 15 points after playing 18 matches this season and are one of the likely candidates for relegation this season – but there are eight candidates at this time which will change in the next few months. Lampard could be on a knife edge at this stage of the season with nothing looking set to improve. Everton has been terrible of late and that looks to continue.

United took charge of their top four hopes on New Year’s Eve with a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers, which was strengthened by Tottenham Hotspur’s defeat to Aston Villa on New Year’s Day. Liverpool then fell to a 3-1 defeat to Brentford on Monday with United beating Bournemouth 3-0 on Tuesday which has seen them put some air between them and Liverpool. Spurs have a challenge ahead of them to break back into the top four.

Manchester United – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Bournemouth 3-0 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 W, Nottingham Forest 3-0 W, Burnley 2-0 W, Fulham 2-1 W, Aston Villa 4-2 W

Goals: 12 – Marcus Rashford, 5 – Anthony Martial, 3 – Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, 2 – Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Fred, Alejandro Garnacho, Own Goal, Scott McTominay, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw

Assists: 8 – Christian Eriksen, 4 – Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, 3 – Alejandro Garnacho, 2 – Casemiro, Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luke Shaw, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Anthony Elanga, Scott McTominay, Jadon Sancho, Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Everton – Form, Goals Scored & Assists

Brighton and Hove Albion 4-1 L, Manchester City 1-1 D, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 L, Bournemouth 3-0 L, Bournemouth 4-1 L, Leicester City 2-0 L

Goals: 5 – Demarai Gray, 3 – Anthony Gordon, 2 – Dwight McNeil, 1 – Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Conor Coady, Alex Iwobi, Neal Maupay, Yerry Mina

Assists: 6 – Alex Iwobi, 1 – Conor Coady, Idrissa Gueye, Neal Maupay, Dwight McNeil, Amadou Onana, Jordan Pickford

Previous Meetings & Connections

United and Everton have met 209 times in all competitive competitions in the history of both clubs. United have won 91 times, drawing 47 times with Everton winning 71 times. United were last defeated by Everton at Goodison Park last season in a 1-0 victory for the Toffees in the Premier League with Anthony Gordon scoring the only goal in the match. Earlier this season, United beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison with Antony and Cristiano Ronaldo earning the victory for United.

United and Everton have met 12 times in the FA Cup with the first match being played in 1903. United and Everton have both won six matches each. The last was played in 2016 with United winning 2-1 at the semi-final stage with Marouane Fellaini and Anthony Martial scoring the goals which saw United Rach the final where they beat Crystal Palace – last lifting the trophy which they have held 12 times with only Arsenal (14) ahead of them on that list.

Mark Hughes, Andrei Kanchelskis, John O’Kane, Phil Neville, Jesper Blomqvist, Wayne Rooney, Tim Howard, Louis Saha, Darron Gibson, Marouane Fellaini, Michael Keane, Tom Cleverley, Romelu Lukaku, Morgan Schneiderlin and Donny van de Beek have played for both United and Everton. Rooney will be the stand-out player here because of what he achieved at United – all time top scorer also achieving that for England – which has been matched by Harry Kane now.

Team News

Donny van de Beek suffered a knee injury against Bournemouth and looks set to be a doubt for the foreseeable future whilst he is being assessed. Axel Tuanzebe is also a doubt for the time being as he is returning from a long-term injury. Jadon Sancho is continuing to work on his return to football but no date has been provided as to when that will happen. Antony missed the Bournemouth match with a muscular injury but trained on Wednesday, so could be back.

Anthony Martial has become a slight doubt after coming off against Bournemouth but Ten Hag does not expect it to be anything serious and feels that he will still be in the picture for Friday’s match against Everton in the FA Cup. With van de Beek out of action, it looks like one of Kobbie Mainoo or Zidane Iqbal could be in the squad for the match – which is a good thing for the talented youth players as there will be plenty of chances in the future.

Andros Townsend, Nathan Patterson, Michael Keane and James Garner have all been out of action through injury recently and it looks like they will all remain on the sidelines for the foreseeable future. Amadou Onana was suspended in the Premier League for receiving five yellow cards and will be back in contention against United in the FA Cup. Anthony Gordon has been unavailable through illness and could be back in contention at Old Trafford, having a 50% chance.

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

De Gea;

Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw;

Casemiro, Eriksen;

Rashford, Fernandes, Garnacho;

Martial

Predicted Everton Starting XI – 4-3-3

Pickford;

Coleman, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko;

Iwobi, Gueye, Davies;

McNeil, Calvert-Lewin, Gray

Match Prediction

Everton have not beaten United in the FA Cup since the 19 April 2009 when they beat United 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw after extra time, which saw Everton reach the final of the competition that season. Everton have beaten United seven times since then in all competitions with United winning 14 times and both teams drawing eight times. This match looks set to be a big one for United as Everton will need to rise from the ashes after their poor form.

Lampard’s side have not won in their last six matches in all competitions this season but did manage a 1-1 draw with Manchester City on New Year’s Eve, which would have shocked City more than it did the Everton supporters. But fresh from a 4-1 thrashing by Brighton and Hove Albion, the Toffees look set to be beaten by United once again as their form is much better and form matters. United have not conceded a goal in four matches – conceding three in their last six.

Ten Hag seems determined to get his United side ticking this season and the last six matches, both pre and post-World Cup seem to show United in a much better light than how they started the season. After all, it is how you finish, not how you start and United are looking set to challenge their rivals and finish the 2022/23 season in style. United will be seeking to be in the fourth round of the FA Cup before they face Charlton Athletic in the quarter finals of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday.

Manchester United 2-0 Everton

Written by John Walker

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