Louis Van looks to make his side bounce back from the embarrassment against Arsenal as they take on Everton at Goodison Park.
Two weeks has been a long time since the defeat occurred as the international break allowed the players to take part in their national side fixtures. When you look at it from a club level view, United players would have wanted the next league fixture to come as soon as possible to regroup from such a disappointing result which would have had Van Gaal and his coaching staff asking plenty of questions to his players. Since the start of the season, United have been consistent and a much improved side but it all fell apart within minutes.
Now, it is Roberto Martinez side who will be next to see how the United manager reacts to such a defeat. Everton are in seventh position and three points behind the Red Devil’s so there is little room for mistakes as only five points separates the top seven. This fixture has been a good omen to Everton as they have won the last three fixtures at Goodison Park without conceding and it is a stadium where the fans are hostile. This is something United will need to avoid as they were bought down to earth against Arsenal within 20 minutes.
United will have Rooney available for them as he did not feature in the England games through an ankle problem. Carrick has been passed fit. Whereas McNair and Young are ruled out. However, Marcos Rojo and Herrera will be looking to push for a start. United old boy Cleverley could be in contention to face his old side. Pienaar and Mirallas who has completed his suspension could feature. The back line will be boosted by Stones and Coleman making their returns as they are great talents.
It was evident of Schweinsteiger being pushed forward that caused the damage in the defeat. The tactic to use him to mark Cazorla was not the best idea as was the early pressure from the Arsenal forwards. This performance was one of Van Gaal’s worst displays at Man United. There was no space to make the passes especially playing from the back. It did not help with the fact Memphis not tracking back and helping out defensively which led to him being substituted at half time. It will be interesting to see if Memphis starts as he needs to offer more on the field. Maybe pushing Rooney to the left and having Fellaini supporting Martial upfront will bring some height into the team.
With some of the players returning back from international duty, it could be possible the team will be changed. Herrera could fit in, in the number 10 role or pushed out on the right with Mata on the left. The midfield will need to keep track of Barkley who has improved his game going forward and adding long range shots to his game. Everton has already picked up wins against Chelsea and West Brom and drawing against Liverpool, Swansea and Spurs in their last five games. I can see Everton getting a win at home as United seem vulnerable to concede when teams are playing with high pressure up the field. Having Lukaku will be a tough opponent for either centre back to keep him quiet.
There will be an eye on United players to stay fit for the UEFA Champions League game so players should avoid any injuries to come. Although, next weekend is the Manchester Derby and United could rebuild their momentum again.
Possible starting XI:
Everton; Howard, Coleman, Stones, Jageilka, Browning, McCarthy, Barry, Naismith, Barkley, Lennon, Lukaku.
Man Utd; De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Blind, Darmian, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Mata, Rooney, Fellaini, Memphis.