Manchester United won their first match in 2023 and are ready to get on with another competition this season. The FA Cup third round is upon us, traditionally in early January, and the Red Devils will have an interesting opponent to kick it all off in the oldest football competition in the world.
Everton are crossing the short trip from Liverpool to Manchester to face off with Erik Ten Hag’s side, amidst their numerous problems. Frank Lampard’s side is not doing well at the moment, but a surprise victory against Man United in the FA Cup could ignite new energy into the team in their quest for Premier League survival as well. Here is everything you need to know ahead of the Friday night clash.
United will have certain players out of contention. Clearly, Donny van de Beek will be far from the pitch, after he picked up a serious injury against Bournemouth last time out. Axel Tuanzebe is also out of the picture, while Jadon Sancho is a huge doubt for this one, thanks to his fitness issues and trainings outside of the group. But there are also plenty of players returning to the fold. Anthony Martial should still be ready to play, Lisandro Martinez and Diogo Dalot are back after missing out the first matches after the World Cup, while Scott McTominay also dealt with his illness.
Everton, for that matter, will be without Michael Keane, Nathan Patterson, James Garner and Andros Townsend, all due to injuries. Anthony Gordon was ill, but he should be ready to help the team. Amadou Onana has served his suspension and could be in the team for the trip to Old Trafford.
Manchester United are in such great form it is hard to remember when was the last time they had a run of results this good. Ten Hag’s side is on a roll, winning last six competitive matches and nine of the last 10. The loss to Aston Villa in November remains the last one, but since then, United managed to get equal on points with the third-placed Newcastle, with a game in hand. That is some good place for the Red Devils right now, and they will clearly want to continue with this form in the FA Cup.
On the other hand are Everton, who are constantly under pressure. That is especially the case with their manager Frank Lampard, who is once again mentioned among the coaches closest to getting sacked. Everton are without a win since 22 October, when they defeated Crystal Palace 3-0. Since then, they drew twice and lost the other five matches in the process. The Toffees are in the relegation zone and just three points off the bottom of the Premier League standings. These are serious problems for Lampard’s team.
Considering everything, the hosts will be clear favourites and we predict Manchester United will beat Everton 1-0. United have done well scoring-wise against Bournemouth, but this time a spirited Everton side could slow them down a bit. Still, United should have enough about them to progress to the next round and a potential clean-sheet would make things sweeter for the hosts.