Manchester United vs Everton preview, betting tips and prediction: United to edge out Toffees on home turf
Manchester United to win by exactly two goals @ 3/1 with SkyBet
Draw HT/Manchester United FT @ 11/4 with SkyBet
Romelu Lukaku FGS and 2-0 home win @ 9/1 with SkyBet
It is a meeting of old friends on Sunday at Old Trafford, with Wayne Rooney returning to Manchester United with Everton. The former England captain is the Red Devils’ all time top goalscorer and a club legend, but he returned to his boyhood side in the summer. Romelu Lukaku, who has already scored four goals in the Premier League for United this season, faces the Toffees for the first time since leaving too.
Everton do not have a great record at Old Trafford, winning just once in the Premier League era. Jose Mourinho has made a great start to the campaign, topping the table with ten points from a possible twelve, scoring 12 goals in that time. They are possibly the worst opponents Everton could face right now, especially because they are coming off the back of a 3-0 loss at home to Tottenham Hotspur. United have been extremely dynamic in attack, mainly thanks to the growing relationship between Lukaku and Paul Pogba. Most impressively, though, they have maintained the solidity in defence they had last season, albeit conceding twice at Stoke last week. They will make it tough for a side who are lacking a cutting edge. Since Lukaku left, after netting 24 times last season, Ronald Koeman’s side have struggled for goals. So far, only Rooney has scored in the Premier League, and with Nemanja Matic on the pitch, he may struggle for support despite the visitors’ impressive array of creative midfield players.
Another returnee, Michael Keane, will have the job of keeping Lukaku quiet on Sunday, but United’s potency in attack will depend entirely on who Mourinho picks in behind. Ex-Everton star Marouane Fellaini is a possible option, but will more than likely be called upon later on. Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are the most technical, while Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial offer genuine pace and a willingness to run at defenders.
But with Romelu Lukaku in the form he is and Everton struggling up front and now nervy at the back, it should be a straightforward home win. United are unlikely to blow them away, but having scored at least twice in every game so far this season, backing them to win by exactly two is good value at 3/1, but adding in Lukaku as first goal scorer will add to that at 9/1 with SkyBet.
Key battle: Nemanja Matic vs Gylfi Sigurdsson
These two summer signings have had contrasting impacts on their sides so far. Matic, as already mentioned, has added to United’s steel, allowing Pogba more freedom. He gives the team balance and allows more expansive play, which they didn’t have last season. The whole team was much more cautious and so suffered too many draws.
Sigurdsson has not yet scored in the Premier League for Everton, but it is likely he will be under pressure to do so if they are to come away from Old Trafford on Sunday. Everton too have a solid midfield, meaning Sigurdsson will be allowed to support Rooney more. Everton will look to counter attack and it will be Matic’s job to keep him quiet.