Everton have had a pretty solid start to the 2021-22 Premier League campaign so far, winning 4 games, drawing 1 and losing just 1 in the process. The team looks more united and knows what they are doing under the stewardship of Rafael Benítez who has stamped his authority over this Everton side.
So far, Everton have averaged 43% possession and have looked extremely dangerous on the counter-attack, utilizing the pace of players like Demarai Gray and Andros Townsend who have proved to be an absolute bargain for the Toffees this season.
Townsend was snapped up from Crystal Palace for free and Gray was bought in for around £1.7 million. The team is now working very hard as a collective and look committed to the cause under Benítez.
Everton will be travelling to Old Trafford this Saturday to face a star-studded Manchester United side that are currently 4th in the Premier League, level on points with Everton with a superior goal difference. This fixture may not decide who will be finishing in what position this season but it is these kinds of fixtures that show the capability of a top level team and their aspirations for the season.
Everton face a big test at Manchester United
Everton want to finish the season in a European spot in the Premier League. This fixture against Manchester United should be considered as a game against a top 6 side with a place in the European competition at stake. It is a long season and away wins such as these will matter a lot in the long run for the Merseyside club.
Manchester United haven’t had the best of starts to the season, recently losing to the same side that had handed Everton their 1st defeat of the season in Aston Villa. Aston Villa were able to knick a 1-0 win at the Old Trafford, proving that the Manchester club isn’t unbeatable at home.
If Everton can sit back, absorb the pressure and quickly launch deadly counter-attacks at the Old Trafford side, then it isn’t impossible to come away with all 3 points for the Toffees. It is evident that since Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival it has become increasingly easy to sit back, force United into holding clumsy possession, and then hit them on the break.
The trip to Old Trafford is arguably Benítez’ first real test of the season following easy wins against out-of-form teams such as Norwich, Burnley, and Southampton. However, there is ample evidence that Benitez’ more structured and diligent approach than his predecessor, Carlo Ancelotti, can hurt the Manchester club on Saturday.