Two teams in desperate need of the three points will lock horns for a key Premier League contest on Saturday afternoon, as Everton welcomes Manchester United to Goodison Park.
Everton’s relegation fears deepened on Wednesday when they lost 3-2 at fellow strugglers Burnley, while United saw their top-four hopes take a hit last weekend, dropping points at home to Leicester City.
United will not be in the mood to hand out any favors this weekend, though, as the Red Devils require three points to keep their top-four hopes alive heading into the final straight.
Last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Leicester, coupled with the other results in England’s top flight, has left Ralf Rangnick’s side in seventh spot, three points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on the same number of matches; it is not an impossible task, but they will also likely have to finish above Arsenal and West Ham.
The 20-time English champions are believed to be on the verge of naming Ajax’s Erik ten Hag as their new manager, with the club already planning for next season, but they will surely have to finish in a Champions League spot this term to be able to attract their desired transfer targets this summer.
Man United have only won one of their last six matches in all competitions during a disappointing run, while they suffered a 4-1 loss at Manchester City in their last away league fixture towards the start of March.
The Red Devils also have some huge matches in April, facing Liverpool and Arsenal in back-to-back away fixtures on April 19 and April 23 respectively, but they should be in a confident mood heading into this game, having only lost once to Everton in all competitions since April 2015.
Manchester United Team News:
As for United, Cristiano Ronaldo was absent against Leicester last weekend due to illness, but the Portugal international has been back training this week and should be in the starting XI here.
Jesse Lingard has also trained this week after being unwell before the clash with the Foxes, but Luke Shaw had to be substituted last weekend due to a leg injury, so Alex Telles could return to the starting XI.
Man United will also definitely be without the services of Edinson Cavani due to a calf problem, while Mason Greenwood remains unavailable due to a club suspension.
Rangnick could hand Marcus Rashford a spot in the front three alongside Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho, with Paul Pogba, who continues to be linked with an Old Trafford exit, likely to be the player to drop out in an attacking area, while Anthony Elanga may also drop to the bench.
Manchester United’s possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Telles; Fernandes, McTominay, Fred; Rashford, Ronaldo, Sancho