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Everton vs Manchester United - Match Preview

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2.92K   //    18 Apr 2014, 11:21 IST

Everton vs Manchester United

As the title race heats up, my focus is going to be on Everton’s crunch game against Manchester United at Goodison park. A win for Everton will ensure that they do the double over Manchester United for the first time since 1969, which would be another unwanted record added to Moyes’ growing list for this season.

When Everton beat Arsenal two weeks ago it looked like as if they were on the front foot in the race for the fourth and last champions league spot. But their loss against Crystal palace coupled with Arsenal’s derby win against West Ham, has been a huge setback for them and finishing fourth is no longer in their own hands.Everton were on a very good run in the premier league before their shock home loss to Crystal Palace. Roberto Martinez’s side were on a momentous run of seven consecutive wins including a 3-0 rout of Arsenal which got the blue side of Merseyside excited by the prospect about playing in the champions league. Players like Ross Barkley, Romelu Lukaku and Steven Naismith have stood out for them during this rich vein of form.

Man united have had somewhat of a resurgence off late after their champions league second leg match against Olympiacos, having put together a string of four wins in a row, the most impressive of which came in last weekends hammering of Newcastle. Juan Mata’s performances have really stood out in the past few games for Man United.

Juan Mata dribbling past a Cardiff City player with ease

He has really come into his own as a Man United player after a quiet first few months. The Spaniard has galvanized Manchester United’s midfield and has added bundles of creativity to their team. He has become a vital cog in their midfield whose presence was sorely missed in their recent loss to Bayern Munich. Juan Mata has also got the best out of Shinji Kagawa who looked a lost soul at Manchester United prior to March. Due to the absence of Rooney and Van Persie either Welbeck or Hernandez will be given the role as the striker. Hernandez was very good against Newcastle and offered United a different option to their other strikers, with his pace and lethal finishing.

Team News: Jaun Mata will make a welcome return to the Manchester United team after being cup tied for their game against Bayern Munich with Marroune Fellaini also tipped to shake off a calf injury to return to the team.Striker Wayne Rooney is doubtful for the game and Robin Van Persie will also miss the game.For Everton there are no expected returns except a possible return for 31 year old defender Phil Jagielka.

Key Players: For Man United their key player will undoutedly be Juan Mata who will be raring to go after a two week break. His creativity and skill will make a huge difference for the Red Devils. The most important player for Everton will be Ross Barkley as his pace,drive and determination will be crucial if Everton intend to win this game.

Oviedo slotting the ball into De Gea’s net to seal a 1-0 win at Old Trafford earlier this season

In their last meeting Everton edged Manchester United due to a late goal from Bryan Oviedo. Everton will be considered slight favorites because they are playing at home. The merseysiders will be looking to atone for their midweek loss and stay in the Champions League race while their opponents will be playing with nothing to lose and will be very dangerous. This will be a very interesting match with both teams going for the win. I think it will be a very close encounter and will end in a 1-1 draw with goals from Lukaku and Mata.

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