While Everton needs a big victory against Manchester United to stop their first skid of the young season after successive losses to Southampton and Newcastle United, the Red Devils need to bounce back as well. The losses to Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir sting surely, but to rid themselves of the sensation, they will have to overcome a side longing to rid themselves of the same feeling; who will succeed in doing so?
It is not so easy to tell so quickly. Everton will still be without Richarlison, but will regain Lucas Digne after his brief ban as well as James Rodriguez. Surely this will be a boost for our defensive integrity, as well as our wide play when we are breaking, but he cannot replicate the play of our Brazilian genius further up the pitch. To stand a chance against United, we will have to get proper production out of that wing position from either Alex Iwobi, Bernard Duarte or Anthony Gordon, alongside the finishing from Dominic Calvert-Lewin we’ve come to expect from him during the first months of the season. With a return to earlier form from our summer investments, the Toffees will provide ample threat and anxiety for the Red Devils; Everton simply have to refocus and find their form, while United seem to go in and out of theirs sporadically.
Everton Can Make a Statement against Manchester United
United have been inconsistent so far this season, playing off and on in England, with better form and concentration in Europe. Will this continue? It is perhaps, a testament to the quality of the Premiership but could also be construed as a focus, or lack there of, in regards to domestic competition so early in the season by the lot. Whatever the issue for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his squad of stars, Everton can’t go into the match with any preconceptions or misgivings, only ambition, creativity and focus.
The last two matches for the Royal Blues have been unfortunate of course, that is no question. Losing to two inferior to opponents at this point of the season is not acceptable for what Don Carlo wants to build on Merseyside; with that said, a victory here before the second international break would do wonders for confidence, morale and volition in regards to the campaign. While it would not undo to losses of the prior two weeks, it would be further proof that Everton belong in the discussion with the upper echelon clubs in the Premier League this season.
United They Fall
Names like Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes are massive talents, and a team with all of them should be world beaters. Unfortunately for them and Manchester United, they are not quite yet, and Everton must strike at them with all of the force unused from the previous two matches. With the Toffees in fourth despite the prior two setbacks, a victory against United, currently fifteenth on the league table, would be a further blemish against their beleaguered Norwegian manager. Going into the break for them, it would be a time of major reflection, maybe even of a change of manager; the stakes are certainly massive for United, and yet they may not play with the urgency of the home club.
A loss at Goodison Park could see United drop into the relegation zone and with rumours continuing to circulate that former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is on standby to step in, Solksjaer is definitely feeling the pressure. Whether he will be able to transfer that urgency to his players remains to be seen.
For Everton, this is absolutely a statement game on many levels therefore. Winning puts United in a tough position at the bottom of the table while creating a winning feeling and volition once again at Goodison Park and Finch Farm respectively. Proving that they can win without Richarlison, as Ancelotti declared before Newcastle, is still important psychologically as well as practically of course. I think that it will happen and that two match skid will be stopped while confidence without Richarlison can be earned against a wonderfully talented outfit.
With sixteen points going into the second international break of the season, currently in a Champions League spot, with a quarter-final date in the Carabao Cup against the very same Manchester United in December, the Toffees would have to be excited but not cocky by any stretch. Nothing has been won yet and still much can be lost during the very open Premier League campaign. Patience and consistency will be key and with Don Carlo and our young roster, plus perhaps a winter addition or two, the Toffees will have a real shot at success this year, as well as European football in the coming campaigns too. But this match comes first and, thanks to the circumstances of the last week, the magnitude of the match is even greater than one might’ve previously anticipated.