Preview: Manchester United vs. Everton
Manchester United will be bidding to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup when they welcome fellow Premier League side Everton to Old Trafford on Friday night.
The Red Devils will enter the match off the back of a 3-0 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League on Tuesday, while Everton suffered a 4-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on the same night.
Man United made it six straight wins in all competitions on Tuesday night with a 3-0 victory over Bournemouth in the Premier League; Casemiro, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford scored the goals for the Red Devils, who strengthened their grip on a top-four spot in the Premier League table.
Erik ten Hag’s side are currently fourth in the table, five points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and level on 35 points with third-placed Newcastle United, who have played a game more; Man United are also now just one point shy of second-placed Manchester City in England’s top flight.
The Red Devils have lost just once in all competitions since the start of October, while they have won all four of their games since returning to action following the World Cup, scoring nine times in the process and keeping four clean sheets.
Ten Hag’s team will welcome Charlton Athletic to Old Trafford in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup on Tuesday evening before hosting Man City in the league on January 14, and they will then travel to Arsenal, with this month set to be key for the club in terms of their ambitions for the season.
Man United were knocked out of the FA Cup in the fourth round last season by Middlesbrough, but they are the second-most successful side in the history of the competition, lifting the trophy on 12 occasions.
The Red Devils last won the FA Cup in 2016, but it does appear that Ten Hag will take every competition seriously this season, as the Dutchman bids to secure silverware in his first season at the helm.
Everton, meanwhile, are five-time winners of the FA Cup, last winning the trophy in 1995, when they recorded a 1-0 victory over Man United in the final, with Paul Rideout netting the only goal of the contest.
The Toffees have already lost to the Red Devils this season, suffering a 2-1 home defeat in the Premier League on October 9, but they have drawn their last three fixtures at Old Trafford, which should hand the Merseyside outfit confidence ahead of Friday’s contest.
Everton will enter this match off the back of a 4-1 home loss to Brighton on Tuesday night, with the result leaving them in 16th position in the Premier League table on 15 points.
Frank Lampard’s position as head coach continues to be called into question, but the 44-year-old remains in the role for now, and he will be looking for a huge result at Old Trafford.
Everton did enjoy their trip to Manchester on December 31, as they held Man City to a 1-1 draw in the Premier League, and that result would have given Lampard some breathing room.
The Toffees will take on Southampton and West Ham United in their next two Premier League matches, which are huge fixtures considering the position of both teams, before opening February at home to Arsenal.
Manchester United form (all competitions):
Everton form (all competitions):
We say: Manchester United 2-0 Everton
Man United are seemingly a team moving firmly in the right direction, and they are difficult to back against at the moment, especially at Old Trafford. Everton managed to draw with Man City in Manchester last weekend, but we are firmly expecting the Red Devils to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup.