While the other elite clubs all seemingly play each other in December, Manchester United have what looks like, a relatively straightforward festive fixture list. They will travel to Villa, Stoke, Hull and Norwich this month while, at home they face Everton, Newcastle and West Ham. This are all games that a title contender would expect to win.
So, after a disappointing start to the season, it’s now or never for David Moyes and Manchester United to kick on. No disrespect to Arsenal and Liverpool but it’s Chelsea and City that Manchester United need to keep in their sights. Because, whatever happens to Liverpool and Arsenal, at least one of Chelsea and City will be contending the title, come May. United are currently three behind their Manchester rivals and five points behind Chelsea.
So the gap is by no means unbridgeable, but United have to push on. Manchester United’s biggest problem at the moment is with the midfield. Carrick is sidelined for much of December while the recently imperious Phil Jones is suspended for this one. So, it’s perfect time for Marouane Fellaini to step up to the plate. He’s been anonymous so far and the serious concern is that he has totally buckled under the pressure of playing for Manchester United. But a solid performance tonight against his old club will go a long way to appeasing the fans.
You would imagine Moyes has to start with Ryan Giggs, rested at the weekend, beside him. There is talk of RvP being fit again but, with a newly blossoming partnership between Kagawa and Rooney, we think the Dutchman will be left on the bench this evening and reintegrated slowly, to avoid a relapse of his groin and toe injuries.
Chris Smalling has been preferred to Rafael Da Silva at right-back of late. While the former is possibly a better defender, we think that Manchester United lack dynamism down the right, in Rafa’s absence. So we think he may get a run out tonight.
An Everton side, which is currently full of beans, will represent a stern challenge for Manchester United at Old Trafford tonight. But Everton do not have a good record against United on their own patch, having failed to win there since 1992. It should be an entertaining match and one that, we think, Manchester United will win. Prediction 3-1.
Predicted Manchester United team to face Everton (KO 1945):
De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Fellaini, Giggs, Januzaj, Kagawa, Rooney
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