Everton host Man Utd at Goodison Park on Saturday in the Premier League’s early kickoff. The hosts are just one point above the relegation zone and desperately need a win or they could face the drop in May. Frank Lampard has overseen seven losses in nine league matches but faces a Ralf Rangnick side with three wins in 11 matches.
Everton’s form is truly abysmal. Frank Lampard took over an Everton which had lost 10 of their previous 13 matches and has only been able to get two wins (and seven defeats) in nine Premier League matches. Defensively, the side has conceded 17 goals during that run as well as leaking four times in an FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Crystal Palace.
After playing quite well and being denied a clear penalty in a 1-0 home loss to Man City, Everton were thrashed 5-0 at Tottenham. A 1-0 home loss to Wolves followed before a last-gasp 1-0 home victory against Newcastle. They have since been beaten 2-1 at West Ham having equalised, before a 3-2 loss at Burnley in midweek. The Toffees led 2-1 after 56 minutes but defensive fragilities surfaced once again.
Everton Team News
Lampard welcomes back Allan in central midfield after suspension. Mason Holgate covered there in midweek and may drop out or even partner Allan in a more defensive setup. Teenager Jarrad Branthwaite will compete with the returning Michael Keane to start at center back with Yerry Mina still injured.
Tom Davies and Andros Townsend are out for the season and Andre Gomes has a knock. Donny van de Beek is ineligible to play against his parent club. Demarai Gray will be hoping for a recall but may need to be an impact substitute again.
Motivation will be extremely high with the Goodison crowd fully behind the team. Despite Everton’s awful form overall, they have victories against Arsenal, Leeds, and Newcastle in their last seven home league matches.
Lampard will set his side up to work their socks off, probably in a 4-4-2 shape. As against Newcastle, expect a rudimentary performance with no frills or fuss and plenty of clearances, crosses, and long balls – they have gone back to basics. A draw would be a pretty decent result and Everton could settle for one of the levels in the second half.
Man Utd Form
With just three wins in 11 matches, Man Utd have looked disjointed and out of form in recent weeks. After losing 1-0 at home to Wolves, they went 11 matches unbeaten across all competitions albeit with six draws in that run.
That unbeaten run was ended by a 4-1 humiliation against Man City before bouncing back to beat Tottenham 3-2 thanks to a Ronaldo hattrick in an average performance. Their last two saw the side eliminated from the UEFA Champions League after a 1-0 home loss to Atletico Madrid before drawing 1-1 with Leicester at home. United finished that match strongly but were largely outplayed in the opening 70 minutes.
Man Utd Team News
Man Utd have some issues in attack. Mason Greenwood remains unavailable and Edinson Cavani is out for several weeks. Cristiano Ronaldo missed the draw against Leicester due to illness, as did Jesse Lingard, but both should return for this one.
Paul Pogba could move into a deeper midfield role alongside Fred or be used in a more advanced role as one of two false nines or two number tens. Luke Shaw should be fit after some leg pain in recent weeks otherwise Alex Telles will deputise. Harry Maguire could stay on the right of the centre back pairing.
Man Utd Motivation
United could go level with Arsenal and Spurs on points in the race for the top four if they can win this match. After one win in six, this is a must-win for United against a team in desperately poor form.
Rangnick will expect to face an early onslaught from Everton and will look to quieten the crowd by keeping the ball and slowing down possession.
Everton have lost 7/9 PL matches under Lampard
Everton have won 3 of their last 7 home PL matches
Everton have conceded 14 goals in their last 7 in the PL
Man Utd have won 1 of their last 6 matches in all comps
United have lost just 1 of their last 10 away matches (5 draws)
Man Utd are 7 away matches without a clean sheet (12 conceded)
On paper, Man Utd should win this match. However, Everton are desperate and will have the Goodison crowd behind them. With Allan back in midfield, it’s possible that the Toffees could sneak a point from this match.
Best Bet: Both teams to score at 1.71
Value Bet: Draw at 3.80
Multiplier Leg: Man Utd win/draw double chance and over 3.5 goals at 1.71