" Preview: Everton vs. Manchester United - prediction, lineups and team news

Merseyside takes on Manchester at lunchtime on Saturday as Everton host Manchester United at Goodison Park and both teams look to get back on the winning track after back-to-back losses.

The Toffees have seen a brilliant start to the season in recent weeks, while Man United languishes in 15th place after their worst joint start to the season since 1986-87.

Match preview

There have been two elements of Manchester United's 2020-21 season so far that offered hope to counter the sad reality of their position and form in the league at Old Trafford: their Champions League results and their remarkable road record.

However, both were shattered on Wednesday night when they found themselves on the wrong side of Istanbul Basaksehir's first Champions League win.

Indeed, the Turkish team's first goal in the Champions League served as an example of one of the big questions looming over United right now, as former Chelsea striker Demba Ba was immeasurably left with half. end. break the deadlock after only 13 minutes.

The defensive disorganization that led to the kind of goal that would enrage even a Sunday league coach did nothing to quell mounting criticism for an alleged lack of leadership at Old Trafford, criticism that grew in volume after the docile 1 loss. 0 against Arsenal last weekend. 

As a result, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's position has inevitably come under scrutiny, and the onus certainly falls on the coach to get to the bottom of how Man United can look so impressive in wins over Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, but then so poor in losses to teams like Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir.

If the Red Devils' away form runs out, then it will only be a matter of time before Solskjaer is sent packing; the midweek loss ended the longest winning streak in its history (10 games) and was its first away loss in 19 games since January.

The disparity between form at home and away is one of the curious inconsistencies that continues to frustrate Man United fans: They have the worst defensive record at home this season and only Burnley has accumulated fewer points on his own turf, but away from home. . they have done. he won two of two this period and six in a row from 2019-20.

However, there are still plenty of reasons for optimism among Everton fans and despite that defensive record at home, they are one of only two teams, along with local rivals Liverpool, who have yet to be beaten on their own. . patch this period.

Everton has also not risen from their current fourth position at this stage of the season since 2004-05, when they finished in the top four, so hopes of pushing for the European qualification again this time will be high.

In fact, Everton's hopes can be considered more realistic than Manchester United's at the moment, as the Toffees look to build a nine-point lead over Saturday's visitors.

That said, historically, Manchester United could hardly wish for a better match to get back on the winning track after having beaten Everton 36 times in the Premier League before - more wins than any club has had against another in the competition's history. 

Sixteen of those victories came at Goodison Park, another Premier League record, albeit shared, although Everton has avoided defeat in their last three meetings and could extend that streak to four for the first time since March 1990.

Everton Premier League form: WWWDLL

Everton form (all competitions): WWWDLL

Manchester United Premier League Form Status: LWLWDL

Manchester United form (all competitions): WWDWLL

Team news

Everton will have James Rodríguez available again after he missed the defeat at Newcastle with a minor injury.

Jordan Pickford notably fell to the bench last time out, although Ancelotti was quick to confirm after the game that he would return in place of Robin Olsen for this game.

Andre Gomes limped off at the hour mark against Newcastle,

Manchester United have midweek scorer Anthony Martial available after a three-game national suspension, and he could start again ahead of Edinson Cavani upfront.

Mason Greenwood is expected to return to a front of four that was otherwise in full force in Istanbul, but Paul Pogba may have to settle for a spot on the bench again, where he could join Donny van de Beek.

Victor Lindelof stayed among the substitutes on Wednesday night due to a minor back problem, but he is expected to be fit for this match, while David de Gea should return in goal.

Alex Telles has now returned a negative coronavirus test and is therefore available, but is unlikely to start returning to training, while Eric Bailly remains out of the game and Jesse Lingard is a doubt after the narrowly missing the middle of the week.

Marcus Rashford has been directly involved in six goals in his last four Premier League away games, scoring three and assisting three, but even he has to be Bruno Fernandes' second fiddle.

The Portuguese playmaker has been involved in 12 goals in his nine Premier League away matches so far, only without registering goal participation in one of those matches. 

The possible starting lineup of Everton:

Pickford; Coleman, Digne, Mina, Keane; Doucoure, Gomes, Allan; Calvert-Lewin, Rodríguez, Iwobi

Possible starting line-up for Manchester United:

De Gea;  Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Fernandes, Greenwood,  Rashford; Martial

Prediction: Everton 2-2 Manchester United

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