Manchester United travel to Goodison park on Sunday, where they will face a stubborn Everton side. Both clubs are in excellent form domestically, yet Erik ten Hag was victorious in all three meetings last campaign.
To no surprise, Sean Dyche has his team incredibly well-drilled, with each miniscule detail addressed. The Toffees are actually one of the most in-from sides in the Premier League right now, winning three of their last five. Everton recently had 10 points deducted, putting them in 19th place, but prior to the punishment they were in 14th and comfortably above the drop zone. Their biggest issue has been their lack of goal-scoring presence up front, but the boss seems to have solved the issue that saw them score in one of their first five matches. In 12 matches, Everton have netted 14 goals and suffered 17.
The Toffees' most recent match was a 3-2 victory against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The score was 1-1 within five minutes and the visitors regained the lead just after the break. The Eagles fired back once again but unlikely hero, Idrissa Gueye, netted the winner.
The international break is often frustrating for plenty of fans and Premier League managers, but in Manchester United's case, this period allowed the management team to recoup, whilst presenting an opportunity for the players to attack the next set of fixtures with a fresh outlook. After 12 matches, United are still yet to draw a game in the Premier League, winning seven and losing five. This puts the Red Devils in sixth place, however we are yet to witness a convincing display that ends in a comfortable victory. In short, they have been poor in attack with confidence clearly lacking, and that is showed by their goals scored record of 13. On the other hand, United have kept the joint third most clean sheets in the top-flight, conceding just 1.33 per game on average.
Last time out, Victor Lindelof scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford over Luton Town. Poor finishing made the tie a lot closer than it arguably should have been, with United accumulating 2.18 XG. Despite having 10 shots, the Hatters never really troubled the Red Devils.
Over the last few years, this game has been decided by fine margins and that looks set to occur again this time around. Sean Dyche will look to deploy a compact low-block, but he will demand that his side are brave when they do have the ball, playing for set pieces. Ten Hag will be aware that his side have been poor at defending cut-backs and crosses towards the back post, so he will attempt to limit the Toffees attacking in wide positions. Manchester United pressed effectively in their last two matches and they should look to smother the Everton backline.
United have won three of their five away games, with their only defeats coming against Spurs and Arsenal. Everton are also strong on the road, but their home form needs to drastically improve. Manchester United should just edge the match and claim all three points if Bruno Fernandes has an influential afternoon.
The final prediction is Everton 1-2 Manchester United.