Man Utd v Everton Betting Predictions | Back Man Utd at 5/2 with BetfairPublished April 4, 2017
Manchester United have only won once against a side in the top nine of the Premier League at Old Trafford this season, scoring just 20 goals at home throughout the campaign. Everton, meanwhile, have lost just twice in 13 games, but they also came against sides at the top end of the table and they have only won at United once since 1992.
The Red Devils’ main issue, particularly at home, is they are not dynamic enough in attack to break down teams who sit in and make life tough. Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are afforded freedom to roam, but the supply line to them is often lacking. Without Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front, Jose Mourinho’s side have lacked both an imposing presence and superior finishing. The Swede returns from a ban for this game, but against West Brom at the weekend he was badly missed.
It is no surprise that, at the other end, United have been sound defensively, with the second best defensive record at home in the league. Mourinho has them organised, whether it be by using a back three or back four, but often the link up play higher up the pitch is what really lets them down. They do not penetrate opposition too well, showed by the fact most of their shots against West Brom came from outside the box.
But that is Everton’s weakness. Ronald Koeman plays an open, expansive style of football that allows for movement and attacking intent, but often leaves them exposed. Against Liverpool on Saturday, the first goal in the 3-1 defeat came because Sadio Mane was given a run at the midfield, which he bypassed easily. The Toffees clearly missed Morgan Schneiderlin, the Frenchman who offers that extra layer of protection alongside Idrissa Gueye, and it is unclear whether he will face his former club in this game.
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Going forward, Ross Barkley will look to pick up space between Ashley Young, who will be at the left side of the defence, and the centre back. If Mourinho plays three in defence, Barkley will have more of an impact on the game, but Everton have only the tenth best scoring record on the road in the league, despite having 21-goal Romelu Lukaku up front, so United should have enough to contain them.
It is tough to call this one because neither side’s strength is matched by their opponents weakness. You’d expect United to control the tempo of this game, and Ibrahimovic’s return should give them the edge in a low scoring encounter.