On December fourth, Everton will travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United in what will be the first time that Everton play against their former boss, David Moyes. Both teams will try to continue their extended league unbeaten streaks with United 7 games unbeaten and Everton 6 games unbeaten.
Both teams are dealing with some injuries to key players. Everton are missing Leighton Baines, Arouda Kone and Darron Gibson to long term injuries. Baines will still be out for at least another few weeks with his broken toe, although Brian Oviedo did well to deputies against Stoke. United will be without Michael Carrick with a long term injury and may be without Robin Van Persie. With Van Persie possibly being out Rooney would likely be playing up front.
Both teams have new managers for the first time in over a decade. David Moyes never managed a victory at Old Trafford in his time at Everton. Everton have not won a league game at Old Trafford since the first Premier League season. Everton are the only Premier League team without multiple league defeats. Everton are the only team to have multiple full backs score multiple league goals with both Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman scoring two goals.
Wayne Rooney will have to be a huge player for United if they have any chance of winning this game. Rooney has easily been United’s best player this season. Rooney leads the team in both Premier league goals with eight and assists with five. Rooney has created more chances than any other Manchester United player (26) and has created more clear cut chances than any other Manchester United player (4). Rooney has taken it upon himself to make things happen this season and has more successful dribbles than any other player (20). Rooney has also taken the most shots on the team, with 39, and has put away 25% of his chances this season. Rooney has been “the main man” “the straw that stirs the drink” whatever expression you want to use for the most important player on the team. Without Rooney, United would be even worse off in a season that has so far been considered a disappointment.
Everton’s main man this season has been loanee Romelu Lukaku. Lukaku is a monster physically and has dominated teams this season. Lukaku’s eight league goals make him the only Everton player to score more than two league goals this season. Lukaku has been the focal point of the Everton attack and has put more shots on target than any other player at Everton. Lukaku is averaging a goal every 90 minutes which is astonishing at this point of the season. Lukaku has been extremly clinical with a 38% chance conversion rate and a 80% clear cut chance conversion rate. It is amazing that Lukaku is playing like this but is only 20 years old and can improve on this insane production. For every managers system no matter how much passing, a good manager usually has a good goal scorer and a good focal point and Lukaku has been that for Roberto Martinez.
As stated above, Everton never seem to win at Old Trafford with their last league win at Old Trafford being in the first ever Premier League season. That said, this isn’t your father’s Manchester United with Sir Alex Ferguson gone and David Moyes in as manager. With Moyes going through some struggles coming into United trying to follow up Ferguson and also not having the most talented of Manchester United squads it maybe gives Everton a chance to nick a win. Everton have been the draw specialists this year tied with West Brom for most draws with six. On paper, the teams look pretty even. All that said, I’d go for a draw allowing both teams to continue their unbeaten runs but leaving Everton the happier side.
Prediction 2-2 Draw