David Moyes returns to Goodison Park for the first time as an opposition manager on Sunday as United face Everton in the Barclays Premier League.
Blues reunion Moyes spent over 11 years in charge of the Toffees but now goes up against them on his first return to his former club. He will be eager to seal victory against his old employers and avenge December’s 1-0 home defeat in the process. He’s not the only one set for a reunion at Goodison – first team coach Phil Neville and midfielder Marouane Fellaini were both part of Everton’s playing squad last season, while Jimmy Lumsden and Steve Round were part of the backroom staff before following Moyes to Old Trafford.
Euro chase Both sides are chasing European football for next season, so this clash could prove crucial in attaining that target. The Reds’ most realistic goal appears to be a Europa League place, while Roberto Martinez’s men are looking to catch Arsenal in the race for Champions League qualification, following a surprise home defeat to Crystal Palace on Wednesday. It means there’s still plenty to play for and should make for an intriguing contest.
Flying forwards United have hit four goals in each of the last two league outings, sealing comfortable victories over Aston Villa and Newcastle. Juan Mata has opened his account with three of those strikes, while Javier Hernandez has also shown a clinical touch, finding the net in both outings. With plenty of in-form attacking options at Moyes’ disposal, this could be another high-scoring affair.
Goodison glee The Reds have a good record away to Everton in the Premier League, winning 14, drawing three and losing four of 21 visits. However, we have only recorded one victory in our previous five trips there and Martinez’s side have lost just three times at home since the beginning of last season. It will be tough to return with maximum points, although United have a better chance than most with the best away record in the top flight so far in 2013/14.
Playing for places Over the course of the remaining five games, players will be out to impress Moyes ahead of next season. It’s an opportunity for the boss to start shaping his squad for the following campaign and to consider who the key figures could be. Some sides may ease up in the closing weeks, but you can be sure that United will want to end on a high by building on the recent league successes.
What do you think the score will be against Everton?