Evertonians will be thankful 2017 is finally over and everyone involved with the club can leave it where it belongs – in the past.

Two away league wins in the calendar year, a disastrous Europa League campaign and four different people in the dugout, here’s hoping 2018 is one to remember…

The start of the new year couldn’t be much more difficult for the Blues, beginning with Manchester United, then a trip to Liverpool before a visit to Wembley to face Spurs.

Sam Allardyce suffered his first loss as Everton boss, a massively disappointing 2-1 defeat against a Bournemouth side who were sitting in the relegation zone.

United have had an indifferent season, being third in the table is by no means bad, but the Red Devils will be frustrated they couldn’t put up more of a fight against runaway leaders Manchester City.

Jose Mourinho’s outfit haven’t won since a 2-1 away win at West Brom in mid December, since then they have tasted defeat from Championship side Bristol City then three draws against Leicester, Burnley and Southampton followed.

One to watch – 

Marcus Rashford might get a rare chance to play in his natural position leading the line for the visitors.

The 20-year-old forward has featured predominantly on the left-hand side since Mourinho’s arrival but Rashford is a striker at heart.

Electric pace, good at set pieces and an excellent finisher for his age, he is one that the Blues’ backline must take special care of, if selected.

Team news – 

James McCarthy and Yannick Bolasie will be assessed before the game after making their respective come backs recently.

Idrissa Gueye shrugged off a hamstring injury and featured, then went on to score, at Dean Court. Ross Barkley and Leighton Baines are still out.

Depleted United will be missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and former Everton stars Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini won’t be available for a return to the Grand Old Lady. Ashley Young is banned.

Michael Carrick and Eric Bailly continue to seek treatment on injuries. Chris Smalling is hopeful to be fit but Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian are also doubts.

Man in the middle – 

Andre Marriner will referee the game having already taken charge of the reverse fixture earlier this term when United ran out 4-0 winners at Old Trafford.

Up the Toffees.

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jceverton
Member
JLW Average is being kind to him mate! He’s awful. We have fullbacks not allowed to cross the hallway line, wingers in the side just to protect the none attacking fullbacks!! More defensive midfielders than Koeman. He’s isolating the striker more than Lukaku ever was, plus Pickford 99/100 smashes the ball upfield to our lone isolated striker (one of Sams tactics he’s learnt in his 20 odd years of management) resulting in it coming straight back at us. People saying oh we need a striker quickly and we do, BUT what’s a new striker going to?? It’s not like we’re… Read more »
JLW
Member
jceverton Like I say he’s average, that’s why he’s managed the teams he has. Regarding the squad that’s on Koeman and to some extent Walsh. There’s no way that we should be letting Allardyce spend any major money in January to try and fix it. Things would be a lot simpler if we accepted the fact that he’s average and we all agreed to go our separate ways come end of season. Instead we’ve got some people who are deluding themselves that Allardyce is something other than he is. Average is being kind to him mate! He’s awful. We have… Read more »
jceverton
Member
smileychap That has been true of some of his teams, agree. But look at the teams he's had to do that with… Palace, Sunderland in dire relegation trouble. He had Blackburn 7th, Bolton in Europe! Promoted and stabilized West Ham. Most Chairman will favour that work over Silva at Hull (as impressive as their style and run was, they went down). In fairness to him, Watford are now no mugs. Apologies at this point btw, I realize everyone knows this but it has to be taken into account when looking at 'stats'. BFS didn't ruin our squad, lose our best… Read more »
smileychap
Member
jceverton Allardyce averages 1.2ppg over his career, I think he’ll end up somewhere nearer to that than his current 1.5ppg. I don’t think he’s bought particularly great in his career and I can’t see that changing. He’s just a bang average manager who plays poor football. That has been true of some of his teams, agree. But look at the teams he's had to do that with… Palace, Sunderland in dire relegation trouble. He had Blackburn 7th, Bolton in Europe! Promoted and stabilized West Ham. Most Chairman will favour that work over Silva at Hull (as impressive as their style… Read more »
overkill
Member
Jeff Jones

Is that all? Yeah, OK.

Yeah basically were awful in every area apart from Pickford and Gana.