Morgan Schneiderlin joins Theo Walcott and Fabian Delph on the sidelines with an expected absence of two weeks
Everton have more injury headaches as Duncan Ferguson prepares for his second match in charge with Sunday's trip to Old Trafford.
Ferguson inspired Everton to a stunning 3-1 triumph in his first game as caretaker boss and he is hoping for a positive result against Manchester United having been given at least the next game as interim manager.
The Blues are already without long-term absentees André Gomes and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, while Fabian Delph continues to battle a hamstring injury and Ferguson says he will have to do without both Morgan Schneiderlin and Theo Walcott for the remainder of the year.
Walcott had to be substituted towards the end of last Saturday's win over Chelsea along with Lucas Digne while Schneiderlin either aggravated an existing problem in that match or picked up a knock in training. That would leave Tom Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson as the default midfield pair.
In defence, Digne is back in training and Ferguson is hopeful he can play despite picking up a groin strain last weekend but Leighton Baines is waiting in the wings should he be needed. Meanwhile, both Delph and Yerry Mina, who missed the last two games with a minor hamstring problem, are back doing light sessions but might not be risked this weekend.
Having roused an immense performance from the team against Chelsea in a backs-against-the-wall atmosphere at a raucous Goodison Park, Ferguson faces a difficult, more strategic challenge this time around against a rejuvenated Man Utd side who are coming off three impressive victories.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, another potential managerial casualty before his early-December revival, has overseen wins over Tottenham, Manchester City and AZ Alkmaar, the former two lifting the Red Devils into 5th place in the Premier League table, 7 points above Everton.
The Blues will therefore be facing a young, energetic team high on confidence which attacks at speed and efficiency and will therefore provide a stern test.
Ferguson will no doubt demand just as much commitment and intensity as last weekend but with 4-4-2 likely to be somewhat risky on the road against a form team, the Scot may opt for a more defensive 4-5-1 and ask his side to sit in more, keep it tight and look to hit United on the counter-attack.
As was the case at Leicester, a huge onus will be on the midfield duo and discipline at the back and the hope that enough ammunition can be provided to the attacking unit to score goals at the other end.
The way Ferguson spoke after the Chelsea game, it sounded as though he didn't expect to be in charge for this game but in many ways, it represents a “free hit” for him. Almost no one expects him to win so a defeat will, unless it's a particularly heavy one, probably won't move the needle much. But come away with a point or more and he will have provided the board further breathing room and, in all likelihood, a shot for himself to oversee the cup quarter-final against Leicester in midweek.
Ferguson maintains that he is not looking too far ahead and will continue to do what is asked of him while the club continues its search for a permanent replacement for Marco Silva.
“In the future, I'll look to progress to be a manager. I know I can do it in one game but it was only one game.
“I don't know what's happening behind the scenes but I've been told to take this game and I'll continue to do that (if asked).
"I don't want to get drawn into names but all [the] guys [mentioned] are fantastic managers so hopefully the club will find the right one. We want the best managers in the world managing this football club.”
Kick-off: 2pm, Sunday, 15 December 2019
Referee: Michael Oliver
Last Time: Manchester United 2 - 1 Everton
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Sidibé, Kean, Holgate, Baines, Davies, Sigurdsson, Iwobi, Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (67)
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1 Posted 13/12/2019 at 19:46:37
I cant think of anyone else ?
Onward Evertonians. 💙
2 Posted 13/12/2019 at 20:19:48
Would there be any that Duncan may be more likely than Silva to promote to greater responsibility, now that his hands aren't tied?
3 Posted 13/12/2019 at 21:48:40
4 Posted 13/12/2019 at 22:09:36
5 Posted 13/12/2019 at 22:14:55
There is a chance some first-team starters will not show up, and if Big Dunc can get our players up and running like against Chelsea, anything can happen. Like bringing the right equipment to this so-called gunfight.
6 Posted 13/12/2019 at 22:23:35
Richarlison can play on the right, Davies comes in for Schneiderlin and maybe throw the 2 young guns up front for more work rate.
No pressure on Kean for this one.
7 Posted 13/12/2019 at 22:32:18
We might have injuries, but with a bit of flexibility from the manager, we might also find ways to get round them that little bit better?
Michael Keane worries me, which means I hope Yerry Mina is fit, but the last time Mina partnered Holgate, they also had a disastrous second half against Norwich, so despite so many injuries to midfielders, this is still the position that troubles me the most.
8 Posted 13/12/2019 at 00:05:42
If Mina was fit, maybe Holgate could take up the Schneiderlin role of covering the backline, he certainly has the necessary distribution ability. I know it would not be an ideal situation, but I will suggest it anyway. Holgate getting forward in support may be a problem.
I would also suggest If Coleman is fit, playing Sidibe in the Walcott role in front of him. I really think the right flank has to be tightened up against Man Utd. They have got a lot of joy on the right flank against us in the last game.
Also, I think that United will try a long-ball / over-the-top game, like Liverpool. The above may guard against this.
I would prefer keeping attacking options available on the bench.
9 Posted 14/12/2019 at 00:07:45
10 Posted 14/12/2019 at 03:21:00
Now we will see if Dunc has it to play some of the kids.
11 Posted 14/12/2019 at 03:22:39
12 Posted 14/12/2019 at 04:31:26
13 Posted 14/12/2019 at 07:35:50
14 Posted 14/12/2019 at 07:55:31
15 Posted 14/12/2019 at 07:56:13
16 Posted 14/12/2019 at 08:10:52
17 Posted 14/12/2019 at 08:13:57
18 Posted 14/12/2019 at 08:20:55
I agree that 4-5-1 will be used
Sidibe Keane Holgate Digne
Richarlison Davies Sigurdsson Iwobi Bernard
There's a goal or two in that team. The question will be: Can we match the work-rate that we achieved against Chelsea to keep Man Utd out?
19 Posted 14/12/2019 at 08:31:51
Still, I don't feel too bad about our chances at Old Trafford. Close down Rashford to induce frustration, that affects their whole psyche and who knows what we can achieve?
0-1 to us I reckon is a good chance.
20 Posted 14/12/2019 at 09:05:14
Man Utd have had a good little run but are still beatable and playing on the counter will suit us.
21 Posted 14/12/2019 at 09:28:28
22 Posted 14/12/2019 at 09:50:00
Sidibe Keane Holgate Baines
Richarlison Davies Sigurdsson Iwobi
Or Lyndons starting 11 with Bernard and Iwobi on the wings and the same front two as Chelsea. Let's go there and go at them. 2 good results doesn't mean they are anything to fear. On our day we can beat them.
23 Posted 14/12/2019 at 10:01:44
A draw on Sunday will be a good result. But I hope for a win.
24 Posted 14/12/2019 at 10:03:23
We can cause them problems if we have people close to Calvert-Lewin. As an aside, the AZ coach has a very young side very well drilled and playing good stuff. Might be too soon for him to come to the Premier League however.
25 Posted 14/12/2019 at 10:19:07
Give Anthony Gordon some pitch time. A star in the making?
26 Posted 14/12/2019 at 10:27:07
27 Posted 14/12/2019 at 11:27:37
Kean, Tosun, Niasse: and then who else? Gibson to cover for the Back 4, maybe Coleman will be on the bench to make up the numbers. Is Baningime good enough to provide cover? Maybe Gordon? The squad is really stretched. But, if we keep it tight and don't let in an early goal, things could get interesting.
28 Posted 14/12/2019 at 11:33:59
30 Posted 14/12/2019 at 12:03:00
Beating Chelski was great for Dunc. and all of us fans but we need another good result against Manure to give us hope for the new year.
Hopefully some other will get fit and maybe another signing or two will make the second half of the season help us forget the first half.
Unless the Foxes can overhaul RS it's likely RS will walk away with the title which doesn't make any of us feel any better.
Leicester's resurgence has been remarkable given that they lost Maguire and that they don't appear to have the strength in depth of RS but it would be tremendous if they could win the title again.
Everton were a little unlucky to lose all the points against them and they in turn unlucky to lose against them.
Nothing is cast in stone in his league and a lot can happen in the new year. One thing for sure there will be more managerial sackings soon.
31 Posted 14/12/2019 at 12:21:18
The second goal, after a blatant foul, killed AZ. The players are too young and inexperienced to deal with such unfairness properly.
Arne Slot is doing great stuff with a very young side, in his very first season at AZ! They are second, three points behind Ajax, who they play tomorrow. So if AZ win, they'll be joint top, seven points ahead of PSV.
If Arne Slot goes anywhere, it may well be to Ajax. Eric ten Hag may leave, with Bayern Munich being the most likely destination, as he learned his trade there.
Marcel Brands and Eric ten Hag do know each other, to say they're friends, I couldn't say. But Ten Hag is the sort of person Brands is looking at as a possible successor for us.
As for the match tomorrow, and taking the injuries into account as well, we'd all take a draw. Although most of us would love to see Moise Kean score a winning goal.
32 Posted 14/12/2019 at 12:30:04
Dunc's presser was good to watch and he loves the club as much as we do. With all the injuries and all the negative press around Marco's sacking, he might be encouraging a bit of the old 'siege mentality'. Hopefully gee the players up even more and keep the tempo and commitment going.
My money has gone on a lovely away win,
34 Posted 14/12/2019 at 14:38:12
I think Rashford has played wide left recently and uses his pace and power to good effect. I suspect he'll give Sidibi a roasting if left alone, so you need someone in front of Sidibi who can support his full-back. Richarlison can work his socks off more than any other player we have, but what a waste of our star player. Davies, Iwobi, and Bernard won't have the pace to cope and Kean hasn't shown us he's capable of defending yet, so we have to play Richarlison wide right.
On the opposite flank we need Digne, he knows Martial from the French National team, and has the pace to cope, whereas Baines won't. If Digne fails his test, then Iwobi will have to support Baines.
Then it's up to Sigurdsson and Davies to match up against Fred, McTomminey, Mata. Tough job, as Calvert-Lewin will have up against McGuire.
Expect a draw at best!
35 Posted 14/12/2019 at 15:09:13
37 Posted 14/12/2019 at 15:34:40
Im intrigued to see how Big Dunc handles it and what kind of formation and gameplan hes going to adopt.
Obviously United have hit some form but I think the fact that we will sit deep means that they will not have the same freedom that they had against Manchester City, playing on the break.
We could really do with another good result and try to build momentum because other clubs around us will win or pick up draws again, we arent out of danger.
The worry is our poor away form, which rarely shows much sign of improvement.
I expect Dunc to whip them up so lets watch what happens.
38 Posted 14/12/2019 at 15:55:58
United have kept less clean sheets than the blues, (2) so they are to be got at and have had a couple of big games recently.
Fancy us for at least a point with the Big Dunc feel good factor to take us into Leicester. COYB.
39 Posted 14/12/2019 at 17:07:32
Let's see how Duncan has got his injury-ravaged squad ready for this game, seems like anything can happen with nineteen of the teams at the moment. The other one, although not playing well, are making easy meat of the rest of the league, surely there are a few nasty surprises in store for them.
40 Posted 14/12/2019 at 17:14:12
41 Posted 14/12/2019 at 17:46:21
42 Posted 14/12/2019 at 18:15:27
It was a great occasion last Saturday and Dunc deserved it, we deserved it, about time.
But one glance at the league table will tell you that we are still in a very very poor position and with a massive four weeks ahead of us we need to scrap and fight for every point we can possibly get, coupled with two huge Cup matches.
Last week was great but it needs to carry on, let's be honest it's not like we've exactly been spoiled this season is it?
43 Posted 14/12/2019 at 19:57:14
44 Posted 14/12/2019 at 20:05:28
45 Posted 14/12/2019 at 20:23:22
Everton should give a game to Moise Kean who can play up-front with Calvert-Lewin, while Richarlison can take the injured Walcott's place on the right.
46 Posted 14/12/2019 at 20:41:16
In my opinion our best chance is to start 4-5-1 with Calvert-Lewin up front and Richarlison and Bernard as wide midfielders, both of whom are good at supporting their full-backs.
47 Posted 14/12/2019 at 21:17:48
48 Posted 14/12/2019 at 22:13:56
Moise Kean, well hopefully get on the pitch tomorrow, and break his duck!
49 Posted 15/12/2019 at 00:10:21
Wishful thinking. I just hope we don't get a tonking with all the injuries and their current run of form where they are eying top 4.
50 Posted 15/12/2019 at 01:24:15
After Chelsea we have to play a 4-4-2. I also think they'll be a positive result, whether that be a close win or a score draw.
51 Posted 15/12/2019 at 03:17:18
52 Posted 15/12/2019 at 07:33:28
53 Posted 15/12/2019 at 07:44:07
54 Posted 15/12/2019 at 08:39:25
55 Posted 15/12/2019 at 09:55:23
I think we have to play a deeper line, direct football up to DCL and hope the pace and power of him and Kean can cause some issues for the Man U back line. Have Richie on the right as hell get little change out of Wan Bissaka who is awesome defensively.
Sidibe Holgate Keane Digne
Richarlison Davies Siggy Iwobi
56 Posted 15/12/2019 at 10:43:15
I love Baines, and hope to see him play some games during this very busy period, but Digne is one of the very few players who always has a go, so Im not so sure he wont be missed.
57 Posted 15/12/2019 at 10:46:15
Yes, United have experienced a major form turnaround but interesting that it was against their city rivals and visiting old manager. Will they be as up for us? The jury is still out on Solskjaer. Other factor is them playing a midweek Europa game.
I'm expecting a gritty, battling performance. United can look great on the counter but are lacking in the guile and clever movement needed to break down a compact outfit. I don't think we'll win but we have a solid shot at a draw.
58 Posted 15/12/2019 at 11:01:04
We are pretty well down to the bare bones squad-wise, I would like to see a couple of youngsters Gordon and Gibson at least on the bench so we have options. United have blooded youngsters of their own with success.
Plus it would give those talented lads of ours hope that they are in the reckoning, and imagine the boost it would give them playing at The Theatre of Shattered Dreams!
59 Posted 15/12/2019 at 11:22:19
60 Posted 15/12/2019 at 11:24:15
61 Posted 15/12/2019 at 11:31:40
62 Posted 15/12/2019 at 11:48:15
Jeez I hope we don't play a 4-4-1. Don't need to give 'em an advantage from the start :-)
63 Posted 15/12/2019 at 11:58:49
64 Posted 15/12/2019 at 12:01:17
I don't think Duncan has many options, but I think we cant sit back and surrender possession. DCL and Richarlison will be key for us today, as they are the only players who look capable in this team of scoring a goal. Results didnt go our way yesterday, so we could do with getting something out of the game otherwise we are back to must win games against Arsenal and Burnley which we are more than capable of getting, its just you don't want players under pressure every week.
65 Posted 15/12/2019 at 12:41:17
66 Posted 15/12/2019 at 12:50:41
I heard they had agreed terms with him but it was subject to a board decision which has not been made yet.
We can only hope that bully boy Bill doesnt get his way.
As regards the game I think were back to twitchy bum time but this is one of the poorest Utd sides in recent years so I hope we can get something there.
67 Posted 15/12/2019 at 12:53:07
I know things are different right now and were away this time, but I think 2-2 today. DCL and Richarlison on the score sheet again.
68 Posted 15/12/2019 at 12:55:44
69 Posted 15/12/2019 at 12:57:21
70 Posted 15/12/2019 at 13:02:18
Agree m8. I was making a joke about 4-4-1 though coz 4-4-1 means we're playing with ten men. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣
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