Everton are unbeaten in the last four games as they prepare for a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United. Sean Dyche’s side have navigated through a tricky run of fixtures facing Chelsea, Tottenham and now Manchester United, taking two points in two games so far.
Erik ten Hag’s men sit fourth in the table tied on points with Newcastle United as they push for a top four finish. On the opposite end of the table, Everton sit 16th with 27 points, safe from the drop zone because of superior goal difference compared to Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth.
Everton will be without Abdoulaye Doucoure, who is suspended for three games after picking up a red card against Spurs in the 58th minute. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is back on the grass but still not fit to play any part in the game and will miss out the trip to Manchester. Some players are carrying a few niggles but are fine to continue for the game.
Everton predicted lineup vs Manchester United
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford
Jordan Pickford didn’t have the best of games against Spurs and is expected to have a tough challenge against Manchester United. Marcus Rashford has been in prolific form this season and he could be a big threat in front of the goal.
Right back: Nathan Patterson
Nathan Patterson has been out of the team since January and has not featured under Dyche. He did play a few minutes on international break for Scotland but did not make it to the match day squad for the Spurs game.
Patterson has raw attacking potential that must be extracted and put to use. Seamus Coleman has been impressive in the second half of the campaign but the Scotsman deserves a chance to show his potential.
Centre back: Michael Keane
Despite being erratic in some moments, Michael Keane continues to pip Conor Coady and Yerry Mina to the starting spot. It was Keane who gave away the penalty to Spurs and then corrected his mistake by scoring a screamer in the 90th minute. Dyche continues to show trust in Keane alongside James Tarkowski.
Centre back: James Tarkowski
The former Burnley boys Tarkwoski and Keane are the preferred choice centre backs and tget are doing a respectable job. Tarkowski has been the leader of the backline, often showing leadership qualities alongside veteran Coleman. If Patterson starts in place of Coleman, Tarkowski will have the greater responsibility and role of marshaling the rearguard.
Left back: Ben Godfrey
Dyche has continued to choose Ben Godfrey over Vitaliy Mykolenko is the last few games. The former Norwich centre back has played as a makeshift left back and has been doing a good job. Mykolenko has not offered much while going forward which could be one of the reasons why Dyche has decided to drop the Ukrainian from the lineup.
Central midfield: Idrissa Gueye
Idrissa Gueye has often been the protector of the defence and in charge of stopping the opposition attack in the midfield. The Senegalese does make errors and is not the same version of himself that he was six years ago but has still formed a strong midfield partnership alongside Amadou Onana and Doucoure.
Central midfield: Amadou Onana
With Doucoure not playing this game, Onana will have a greater responsibility in the attack and will often be tasked with joining the attack when the Toffees push forward.
Central midfield: James Garner
He is the direct replacement to Doucoure in the midfield. Obviously, he is not a like for like replacement but with Garner, Everton will have better control over the ball in the middle of tha park. The 22 year old has fine passing skills and the ability to win the ball back from tight and crowded areas.
Right wing: Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi will continue to be deployed on the right side of the attack. With Doucoure out, there could have been a chance to play Iwobi centrally and deploy Demarai Gray on the right but Dyche will prefer to have a traditional midfielder alongside Onana and Gueye.
Left wing: Dwight McNeil
Dwight McNeil on the left flank has been venomous and resurgent. The former Burnely man has swung dangerous crosses but the absence of Calvert-Lewin in those areas has hurt Everton. Once DCL is back, McNeil would look far more threatening as he’ll have a focal point up top.
Striker: Demarai Gray
Although Ellis Simms scored a brilliant goal against Chelsea but he was not handed a start against Spurs. Gray will be expected to continue to operate in the central role and will look to use his pace to defy the United backline and cause trouble to Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.
Will EFC pick up points against MUFC?