Everton vs Manchester United preview, betting tips and prediction: Allardyce could prove scourge of United at Goodison

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Draw HT/Manchester United FT @ 16/5 with Paddy Power

Manchester United to win to nil @ 6/4 with Paddy Power

Everton to win and BTTS @ 10/1 with Paddy Power

Manchester United met Everton at Old Trafford back in September, at a very different point in both sides’ seasons. The Red Devils were looking imperious, level pegging with Manchester City atop the Premier League; the Toffees, meanwhile, were looking slow, disorganized and demotivated. Ronald Koeman was already under pressure by the time they lost 4-0 in that game; after it was clear his time at Goodison Park was coming to an end. Fear of relegation soon grew, and the hierarchy eventually turned to Sam Allardyce, who was charged with steadying the ship. Unsurprisingly, he is yet to lose in eight games since taking charge in all competitions.

Jose Mourinho appeared to have finally cracked the code at Old Trafford and it looked as they the club had returned to the very top after a few frustrating years, but recent results, notably at Leicester and at home to Burnley, which both ended 2-2, have shown there are still shortcomings. There was a gulf in class that day at Old Trafford, and with Romelu Lukaku returning to Everton for the first time since leaving, United are rightly favourites. But it won’t be nearly as easy and the home side cannot be ruled out by any stretch; if Huddersfield can brat this United side, so can Everton.

Form

Although Everton have been in good form under Allardyce, they are currently on a run of two straight 0-0 draws. The second of those came at a struggling West Brom side on Boxing Day, and it showed they have not yet replaced Lukaku to the full extent and are not the same team without the in form Wayne Rooney, who just happens to be United’s top scorer of all time. Whether he plays could be vital to them getting anything, but overall Allardyce has transformed their season; they currently sit in the top half, ten points above the drop zone.

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As mentioned above, United were among the title favourites this season and had kept pace with Manchester City for long periods. But Pep Guardiola’s record-breaking 18 match winning run has them 15 points clear at the top of the league. United wasted chance after chance against Leicester recently, and were lucky to salvage a point with some late drama against Burnley on Boxing Day. Mourinho is becoming less popular with fans who believe he is making excuses after he attempted to blame Manchester City’s heavy spending for his sides’ failures.

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Team News

Leighton Baines will miss out on this one, while Rooney may not make it. Other than that, Allardyce shouldn’t have too many problems ahead of this game. Mourinho, too, should be okay, with Lukaku keen to silence the boo boys at Goodison having received a frosty reception, putting it nicely, three months ago. There certainly are opportunities for the hosts in this one, though.

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