United miserably failed to make up ground on the top four by drawing at home to West Brom on Saturday. But, by the same token, they also didn’t lose ground on rivals Arsenal and Man City following the 2-2 draw between the pair on Sunday. As with every game at this point, Tuesday night’s visit of Everton is a must-win for the Reds. If United fail to take the three points, serious questions will be asked about the team’s ability to credit a top four finish and Champions League football next season.
The good news for the Reds is that Zlatan returns from a three-match ban after his altercation with Tyrone Mings. The big man will presumably slot straight back into the team and will surely have a chip on his shoulder after being made to sit three games out. Paul Pogba also seems set to return after a video was posted of him taking part in the sporadic training session which took place after Saturday’s game. Juan Mata, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have been confirmed by Mourinho to be missing ‘for a long time’ and was cautious when discussing Pogba’s availability, simply saying ‘I don’t know’. Ander Herrera also returns from suspension.
No Old Trafford return for Morgan Schneiderlin as he is ruled out along with Aaron Lennon, James McCarthy, Yannick Bolasie, Ramiro Funes Mori and of course Seamus Coleman after his horrific leg break whilst on international duty for Ireland. Everton are looking to bounce back from just their second league defeat in twelve after they fell short to rivals Liverpool in the Merseyside derby. Prior to that, the Toffees had kept successive clean sheets against West Brom and Hull City. It would be hardly surprising, given the way teams have fared at Old Trafford this season if Everton were to keep another clean sheet on Tuesday night.
I’m going for a 2-0 United win. I’m not as excited about this game as I have been in recent weeks, purely because I still haven’t gotten over Saturday’s game. However, I do think United will win this game and will be spurred on by a returning Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera, two players who have been key for Mourinho’s side this season. The main reason I feel United will get the win is because I don’t feel Everton are a team to sit 11 men on the edge of their 18-yard box for 90 minutes. Koeman’s side have much more character and style about them. Something you would expect from a team who’s manager is an ex-Barcelona player. I just hope I’m not wrong again.