Everton vs Manchester United

Goodison Park is the venue as Everton and Manchester United go head-to-head in contrasting Premier League circumstances.

Everton fans were in their dreamland ahead of the international break after a late 3-2 win against Crystal Palace extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to four games (W3, D1). Indeed, since a 2-0 loss to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby, Sean Dyche’s men have gone into overdrive, winning twice in three Premier League outings (D1) to go eight points clear of the bottom three. However, a disaster struck during the break as PFA handed out a Draconian punishment, plunging the ‘Toffees’ back into the relegation zone with a ten-point deduction for breaching Financial Fair Play rules. The atmosphere at Goodison must be more intimidating than ever to help Everton recover from his mental shock and defy their underwhelming run of one win from their last eight matches against Man Utd (D4, L3).

On the other hand, Man Utd’s eye-catching return of four wins from their last five Premier League games (L1) might be an optical illusion. A scandalous 3-0 derby loss to Manchester City was the only blemish on that run, but it’s worth noting that each of United’s four triumphs came against the sides from the bottom half of the table and yielded a single-goal margin. Under-pressure manager Erik ten Hag’s men won’t mind another dramatic contest as long as his lads extend their three-match winning league run on the road following back-to-back away losses at the start of the new campaign. Each of those three triumphs featured a single-goal margin, which was the case in last season’s come-from-behind 2-1 win in this corresponding fixture.

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