Everton v Manchester United

The race for seventh is still wide open despite Everton’s slip-up at Craven Cottage last week, a top four chasing Manchester United stand in their way this week

Everton produced one of their worst performances of the season last weekend — with Leicester, Watford and Wolves all losing the Toffees really should be sitting in seventh before game week 35 kicks off, but it was not to be.

Fulham looked more like they were the side chasing Europe and Marco Silva’s outfit looked like the team who had been relegated the week previous.

Tom Cairney’s first Premier League goal in nine years (his last one also came against Everton) and a Ryan Babel strike put an end to Everton’s three match win streak. 

Manchester United come into this one on the back of being knocked out of the Champions League by a formidable Barcelona — Lionel Messi scored two, and Philippe Coutinho made it 3-0 with a wonder-strike to seal the Red Devils’ European exit. 

United now have a real fight on their hands if they want to be playing in Europe’s premier competition next campaign. 

They currently sit sixth in the table, two points behind Arsenal who occupy the final CL spot. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s honeymoon period as United chief has well and truly came to an end. After losing just one of his first 17 matches in charge, the Norwegian has lost five of his last seven clashes, only scraping wins past West Ham and Watford in that time. 

Everton’s recent record against United has been dreadful, since the Blues thrashed them 3-0 in April 2015, nine games have passed and the Blues haven’t won any — three draws and six wins for this weekends visitors, most recently in this seasons reverse fixture when the Manchester side came out 2-1 winners at Old Trafford. 

One to watch

Evertonians will know all about Romelu Lukaku, in his five seasons at Goodison, he became the clubs Premier League top goal scorer with 68. 

But this will be his first return to the blue side of Merseyside since his departure in 2017 having missed out last season. 

Everton’s defence looked weak against an already relegated Fulham side, so the Belgian forward will be keen on adding to his 15 strikes this term on the weekend. 

Team news

Andre Gomes was retrospectively banned by the FA during the week, so this will be the first of a three game suspension. Yerry Mina is still missing. Gylfi Sigurdsson has been nursing an injury but should be fit to play.

The visitors will be without Ander Herrera, Eric Bailly and Antonio Valencia. 

Man in the middle

Paul Tierney will take charge of this one. He refereed Everton’s 2-0 win away to West Ham two weeks ago, in 28 games this season he has shown 91 yellow cards and one red.

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