On Wednesday night, two of the best form teams in the league will do battle in the league cup quarter-finals as Manchester United take on Everton at Goodison Park. The landscape in football can turn on a sixpence and United are prime examples of this as they have hit a good run of form.
It was only two weeks ago that the media were speculating that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s job was under threat following the exit out of the Champions League. We are now just five points behind league leaders Liverpool and could reach the semi-finals of the league cup for a second year in a row.
Hitting Top Form
United come into this game against Everton brimming with confidence after hammering our bitter rivals Leeds United 6-2 on Sunday. We have now secured 19 of the last 21 points in the league and are now third in the table. Even us fans were surprised by the performance and how well we started as we were 2-0 up within two minutes of the game starting. This was our second league victory of the season at Old Trafford.
Before the Leeds game, we had only scored once in the last four outings at Old Trafford. We went on to score six goals in a Premier League game for the first time since 2011. Whereas our home form has been inconsistent, our away record has been excellent this season. We became the fourth top-flight team in history to secure 10 successive away wins.
The Red Devils are also only the third team in Premier League history to secure victories in their first six away games, and the first team since 1960 to score at least twice in 10 successive away games.
The omens are good for Solskjær as we have won all six away league cup matches whilst he has been in charge. Two of these victories came this season with 3-0 wins coming against both Luton Town and Brighton. We have every reason to be confident to get the win on Wednesday evening.
For Everton, this will be the first time since the 1987-88 season that they have reached successive league cup quarter finals. The Toffees are the top scorers in the competition with 12 goals having secured wins against Salford City, Fleetwood Town, and West Ham United.
Everton have rediscovered their league form after a slight blip and have now successive victories over Chelsea, Leicester City and Arsenal recently. Before this run, they had only won one of the last seven, which did include a defeat to United back in November.
The Toffees are currently in fourth place level on points with United, only being separated by goal difference. It is the first time since the 2004-05 season that Everton will spend Christmas inside the top four in the league. They have not won a major trophy since 1995 when they defeated United 1-0 in the FA Cup Final and will be looking to win more trophies under serial winner in manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Everton vs Manchester United Match Details
Teams: Everton vs Manchester United
Date: December 23rd, 2020 (Wednesday)
KO Time: 20:00 BST
Competition: EFL Cup
Stadium: Goodison Park
Referee: Andrew Madley
Managers: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Carlo Ancelotti
Manchester United Team News
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær gave an update to the United website with regards to team news. Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw are likely to miss the Carabao Cup tie on Wednesday evening through illness and injury. Ole said, “Luke has been ill for a few days and was only passed fit this morning. He didn’t train yesterday. Scott, it seemed like a groin issue. I don’t know. Hopefully, it won’t be too long as he’s not had any muscle injuries before. But I don’t know how quickly he will recover.”
Changes will be expected to the side as Alex Telles, Edinson Cavani, Donny van de Beek, and Paul Pogba will pushing for starting places. Juan Mata who starred in the previous rounds will be hoping to start, whilst Dean Henderson is expected to return in goal despite his error against Sheffield United.
Everton Team News
For our opponents Everton, Carlo Ancelotti may look to rest key players including top goal scorer Dominic Calvert-Lewin. However, the lure of silverware makes changes to the team less likely. The Toffees are currently limited by a number of injuries to Lucas Digne, Allan, Fabian Delph, and Jean-Philippe Gbamin. Andre Gomes remains a doubt after not featuring in the win against Arsenal. James Rodriguez also missed this game though Ancelotti will be hoping he is available for this game.
Manchester United EFL Cup form: WW
Manchester United form (all competitions): LWLDWW
Everton EFL Cup form: WWW
Everton form (all competitions): WLDWWW
- United will be looking to beat Everton twice at Goodison Park in the same season for only the second time, with the first being in the 1993-94 season.
- The last time Manchester United faced Everton in a cup competition was a 2-1 win in the Semi-Final of the FA Cup 2016. United went on to win the trophy. That season United won all three games against Everton.
- Anthony Martial has 4 goals against Everton. The highest of any current United player. Pogba has set up the two he was at the club for.
- Manchester United have not kept a clean sheet against Everton since January 2018 in five attempts.
- The Carabao Cup is the only competition in which United have not conceded in, scoring six in two games.
Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Telles; Matic, Pogba; Mata, Van de Beek, Greenwood, and Cavani
This will be a tough game as both sides are currently in a rich vein of form. Changes to the United side are expected as we navigate our way through the Christmas fixtures. Our strength in depth will give us an advantage. Given the emphatic win against Leeds, United will be confident in securing the win against Everton to reach the league cup semi-finals for the second successive season in a row.
Everton 1-2 Manchester United