Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
Kick-off: 12:30 GMT on April 22, 2012
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1
After the disappointing loss to Liverpool in last week’s FA Cup semifinal, Everton travel to United on Sunday well aware of the fact that they have not won at Old Trafford in nearly two decades. Their last win came way back in 1992 when they beat the Red Devils by a comprehensive 3-0 score-line. Since then, they have lost 15 games and drawn three at Old Trafford. On the other hand, United are on a roll, having won five of their last six league appearances.
The previous encounter between the two teams, in October 2011, resulted in a 1-0 United win, thanks to a solitary goal from Javier Hernandez. Fresh from a 4-0 home victory over Aston Villa, United would look to consolidate their position at the top. However, if United fail to win this Sunday, City would have the opportunity to cut their lead at the top of the table, when they play against bottom club Wolves, later in the day.
The absence of Leighton Baines is a huge blow for Everton; the left back suffered a hamstring injury in the FA cup tie against Liverpool last week. However, Everton manager David Moyes would be able to avail the services of Steven Pienaar, who was cup-tied last week. Croatian Nikica Jelavic, who was signed during the January transfer window, has notched up six goals already for the Merseysiders and is fast becoming an indispensible member of the first team.
United are likely to select Valencia and Young as their wing players although Nani will push for a first team spot after scoring a fine goal in his cameo performance against Villa in the previous game. Sir Alex’s smart move to recall Paul Scholes is reaping huge rewards as the English mid-fielder has once again displayed wonderful footballing talent this season.
Manchester United (Probable Lineup): De Gea; Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Scholes, Carrick, Young; Welbeck, Rooney
Everton (Probable Lineup): Howard; Neville, Heitinga, Distin, Anichebe; Osman, Gibson, Cahill, Fellaini, Coleman; Jelavic.
Author’s Prediction: Manchester United 2 Everton 1
About the Author (Author Profile)
Gokul is a software professional from Chennai, India. An avid sports fan, he is a keen follower of Cricket, Football, Hockey, Tennis and Formula One. He styles his articles as razor-edge analyses of all the hot and happening events in the field of sports.