Lucas Digne will be assessed on Saturday to see if he can start after training individually this week
Everton play the second of four successive games against so-called “big six” clubs as Manchester United come to Goodison Park on Sunday.
The Blues will be hoping for a result more befitting their performance than last weekend where they scored very early against Arsenal, conceded three times, then dominated the Gunners over the final third of the match but couldn't find an equaliser.
This time they will be on home turf against a United side that has been unpredictable and erratic at times this season but who nevertheless start the weekend in fifth place having won their last two Premier League games against Chelsea and Watford without conceding a goal.
That followed defeats to Liverpool and Burnley and a goalless home draw with Wolves but with new signing Bruno Fernandes having made a good start to life in England and a 5-0 thrashing of 10-man Club Bruges in the Europa League, there is a feeling that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once again appears to have a handle on the task at Old Trafford.
As such, United would seem to be a more difficult proposition than the last time the two sides met in Manchester in December and this fixture is a little trickier than it looked only a couple of weeks ago.
While Solskjaer will likely be without the injured Anthony Martial, he will be able to hand Odeon Ighalo his first League start since his arrival on loan from China — thankfully, the Nigerian has already got off the mark for them — and Mason Greenwood, the young striker who netted in the reverse fixture against the Blues — is also available after being rested against Bruges on Thursday.
Everton, of course, will have the advantage of Goodison Park where they haven't lost in the League since Marco Silva's side went down to Norwich in November. Carlo Ancelotti will also have André Gomes as a likely starter following his return as a substitute against Arsenal last weekend and if that cameo was any indication, he will add a an entirely new dimension to a midfield that has held together under the Italian but has felt like the weak link since the Portuguese suffered his injury in November.
With Morgan Schneiderlin out for two months following surgery on his knee, the question becomes who between Fabian Delph and Gylfi Sigurdsson partners Gomes if he does start? Both were in the starting XI at the Emirates but with Theo Walcott available again after missing the defeat at Arsenal with a knee injury, it's possible that Ancelotti will revert to a more conventional formation with two central midfielders.
Then there is Bernard who has been a strong performer at home under Ancelotti but who also made a strong case for inclusion with his own display off the bench last Sunday. He could once again replace Alex Iwobi wide on the left.
A late decision will be made over Lucas Digne who was also sidelined last week with a minor injury while it remains to be seen if the manager feels that Seamus Coleman should come back for Djibril Sidibé at right back.
While United have found some form in February, this is the sort of game that can bring the best out of Everton and it should also prompt a raucous atmosphere from the crowd who will remember the 4-0 thumping the Blues meted out to the same opposition last season.
If, as Ancelotti says, they have worked sufficiently on tightening up at the back, they should have the platform from which to carve out the opportunities to win the match and close the gap to United in the table to just two points. That would put the Toffees right back in the hunt for Europe.
Kick-off: 2pm, Sunday 1 March 2019
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Last Time: Everton 4 - 0 Manchester United
Predicted Line-up: Pickford, Coleman, Mina, Holgate, Baines, Delph, Gomes, Walcott, Bernard, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin
Reader Comments (76)
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1 Posted 29/02/2020 at 07:53:21
2 Posted 29/02/2020 at 08:23:43
On Thursday evening I was watching a DVD of a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young concert at Wembley. I was at the gig, in September 1974. It was a good show, rambling along in an American west coast kind of way, when Graham Nash announced, apropos nothing whatsoever, “Manchester United 2 Everton 0â€.
I don't know whether he was trying to be cool and demonstrate his Mancunian roots, but he was clearly unaware that Man Utd were playing in the 2nd division at the time!
To make up for this early example of fake news, I'm going for 2-0 to us tomorrow.
3 Posted 29/02/2020 at 09:09:21
4 Posted 29/02/2020 at 09:11:28
5 Posted 29/02/2020 at 09:54:01
I felt we should have had at least a point against Arsenal, but poor finishing and a few fortunate saves from Leno dictated otherwise. We could have done with at least that point to keep confidence high and in touch with those around us in the Table.
6 Posted 29/02/2020 at 10:06:03
7 Posted 29/02/2020 at 10:06:31
Would like to see the Mason Holgate / Andre Gomes partnership in central midfield. Think it would be a classy and complementary pairing that would give us defensive stability and good balance. Both of them are comfortable on the ball and will help us to control games better.
Prediction; narrow win for the Blues.
8 Posted 29/02/2020 at 10:07:33
Though they've had two wins, I saw nothing against Chelsea that would worry me. Especially given their biggest threat that day was Martial.
2-0 home win, Calvert-Lewin and Gomes to score ;)
9 Posted 29/02/2020 at 10:23:56
I think he might though start Sidibe as he normally does at home and will probably be up against James's pace. I could also see Keane brought in to deal with Igalo.
The rest of Lyndon's team looks likely.
10 Posted 29/02/2020 at 11:01:13
Let's hope Graham Nash has since learnt to "Teach Your Children Well" instead of spreading fake news!
2-0 to the Blues will do nicely thank you!
11 Posted 29/02/2020 at 11:04:22
12 Posted 29/02/2020 at 11:38:29
Man Utd are on a good run so lets spoilt it for them.
13 Posted 29/02/2020 at 12:18:35
Everton need to stop this “nice men bearing giftsâ€ theme, it's past Christmas now.
Too often we just throw schoolboy goals into our own net.
Stop these errors in the back five and then maybe we'll start beating the better sides?
14 Posted 29/02/2020 at 12:38:53
If you have the quality of players that Man City have then you can get away with it, and another thing I would fine players for, is back passing to the keeper when it is totally un-necessary.
15 Posted 29/02/2020 at 12:51:55
16 Posted 29/02/2020 at 13:30:47
17 Posted 29/02/2020 at 14:13:05
A lot of posters seem to think Europe is on the cards and that, from this position, we should expect, and be entitled to get a place. Hopefully we will.
However, let's not forget a number of teams are in the mix and they will also be going all out to secure a place. We can't expect those teams to drop points just because we want a European spot.
We started off half-way through the season in a shit position and are definitely going in the right direction. A European place would be a huge bonus. Whether we are ready for Europe is another matter.
18 Posted 29/02/2020 at 15:40:15
19 Posted 29/02/2020 at 16:02:39
20 Posted 29/02/2020 at 16:30:08
I know Prenton Park is notoriously bad and susceptible to this, but how is the weather on Merseyside and is it likely to impact on our game tomorrow?
As an aside, if I was back there I'd keep an eye on when the Tranmere-Fleetwood game was rescheduled. A chance to see two of our loaners, Gibson and Connolly, in real action.
21 Posted 29/02/2020 at 16:40:50
22 Posted 29/02/2020 at 17:03:02
Do you do nationwide weather forecasts, or only for 'local people'?!
23 Posted 29/02/2020 at 17:04:07
It's blowin' a hoolie and pishin' down but it shouldn't affect our game tomorrow.
And Ray's wasn't a forecast as such. It's always pishin' down in North Wales.
24 Posted 29/02/2020 at 17:13:54
Us wools.ðŸ‘ From Roby.
25 Posted 29/02/2020 at 17:15:39
26 Posted 29/02/2020 at 17:26:18
Coleman Keane Mina Digne
Theo Holgate Gomes Bernard
Need to be solid in defence especially if Martial is fit as he plays down their left. Mason is by far our best defensive midfielder.
This team would win though I can't see Carlo picking it. Please not Delph AND Siggy??
27 Posted 29/02/2020 at 17:40:20
A team that have won 3 on the bounce without conceding, last game scoring 5!!! Next up can we have “never a better time to faceâ€ please
Tough one to call. They are getting goals now and their new player seems to have helped them step up from early season, but so have we.
Got to hope Thursday took its toll on them, although that didn't work out for us last week!
28 Posted 29/02/2020 at 17:56:12
Defeat would be awful, I was there with my dad and brother for the 4-0 last season and it was the best day I have had in yonks!
Can't make it this time so will take my dad to the pub, would be great if Siggy could rediscover his form and find his shooting boots - he is well overdue a goal so if he plays I think he will score and we will win 3-1.
29 Posted 29/02/2020 at 18:19:35
30 Posted 29/02/2020 at 18:27:45
31 Posted 29/02/2020 at 18:58:32
I like the look of Lyndon's team in fact amazingly, it's the same eleven I would choose and I almost never agree with Mr Lloyd.
I have a feeling Baines will score tomorrow from the spot. Hope I'm right.
Onward Evertonians. Full support.ðŸ™
32 Posted 29/02/2020 at 19:12:07
I'd love to see Holgate in DM with Keane in CD and see if that could tighten things up. Losing Gana was a disaster for us but we're recovering. I'm really positive about the situation at Everton now but it's a project, not an instant miracle. What a move for the club to hire this manager.
33 Posted 29/02/2020 at 19:28:25
34 Posted 29/02/2020 at 19:29:29
35 Posted 29/02/2020 at 19:35:59
36 Posted 29/02/2020 at 19:39:28
Tomorrow promises to be an intriguing match: if we turn up, we win.
37 Posted 29/02/2020 at 19:55:33
38 Posted 29/02/2020 at 20:28:58
Wait around after the game by the players car park, the players come out and meet the kids, sign shirts etc. Last time I took my daughter, she met Gomes, Richarlison, Bernard, Digne, Pickford, Keane, Coleman... in fact, it was only Mina who didn't stop for photos.
39 Posted 29/02/2020 at 20:44:26
By the way, looks like Liverpool have given up winning for Lent!
40 Posted 29/02/2020 at 21:03:49
SidibÃ©, Keane, Mina, Delph,
Walcott, Gomes, Holgate, Bernard,
I would also like to see Gordon and Kean come on at some stage.
Good luck Blues.
41 Posted 29/02/2020 at 22:22:14
42 Posted 29/02/2020 at 23:16:11
Your selection is the one I would like to see.
43 Posted 01/03/2020 at 01:18:19
It doesn't matter what or who you'd play. It's up to the manager and I'm sure his name is Carlo Ancelotti.
44 Posted 01/03/2020 at 06:09:43
45 Posted 01/03/2020 at 07:05:25
46 Posted 01/03/2020 at 07:15:46
Dave (26) that is the team selection for me too. Walcott has done well enough under Carlo recently to merit a start. He probably won't go with Holgate in CM and knowing Carlo he will throw in a surprise team selection, if no Holgate as CM please not Sigurdsson or Davies, I would go with Delph.
Holgate has the defensive prowess to release a new, more creative version of Gomes under Carlo's new 'vertical passing' philosophy. I can see a much brighter future under this philosophy, it excites me to think we will have a new CM in the summer, someone who can more effectively help break down play and move the ball forward quickly, the thought of Calvert-Lewin, Kean and Richy bombing forward on the counter-attack is mouth-watering.
47 Posted 01/03/2020 at 07:48:19
Should be evenly matched but I worry about our defense. We've been conceded around 2 a game for the last month and a half and that's not sustainable if we want to win more matches.
48 Posted 01/03/2020 at 08:01:50
Martial is dangerous, but is also capable of being frustrated. Greenwood is a talent.
We need to frustrate them I think, perform some 'dark arts' and get under their skin.
Another goal for Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison in a 2-0 win.
49 Posted 01/03/2020 at 08:03:08
50 Posted 01/03/2020 at 08:12:28
Speaking to United fans, Lindelof is the weak link in defence, so if he plays in place of Bailly hopefully we exploit that. Maguire tends to not bomb forward when playing next to Lindelof (doesn't trust him perhaps).
51 Posted 01/03/2020 at 08:30:53
52 Posted 01/03/2020 at 08:37:16
53 Posted 01/03/2020 at 08:51:27
54 Posted 01/03/2020 at 09:35:56
55 Posted 01/03/2020 at 10:00:32
“Rave on down through time and space down through the corridors
Rave on words on printed page
Rave on, you left us infinity
And well pressed pages torn to fade
Drive on with wild abandon
Uptempo, frenzied heels
Rave on, Walt Whitman, nose down in wet grass
Rave on fill the senses
On nature's bright green shady path
Rave on Omar Khayyam, Rave on Kahlil Gibran
Oh, what sweet wine we drinketh
The celebration will be held
We will partake the wine and break the Holy bread
Rave on let a man come out of Ireland
Rave on on Mr. Yeats,
Rave on down through the Holy Rosey Cross
Rave on down through theosophy, and the Golden Dawn
Rave on through the writing of A Vision â€¦. As the leaves shake out from the trees â€¦ The Onenessâ€
My goodness, what a start to the day - - - my soul and imagination flying, swirling - - like van Gogh's Starry Night - - I have stood at every single site of Vincent's Paintings - - on The Bridge in Arles overlooking The Rhone and floated - - flew - - into a summer night of cobalt Blue sky and swirling moving stars - - what a life we can have - - I am A Piper At The Gates Of Dawn.
My House - - my heart - - my mind - - my imagination - - is filled with books - - everywhere - - books and notepads and pens are in every room at every point - - my mind had wandered to Dickens - - it never strays very far from such thoughts - - I recall Great Expectations - - I still have the original one my sister Margaret bought for me in 1960 for Christmas - - it's on my bookshelf - - inside it has the 1960 Everton team in ink - - I wrote it because I didn't want a proper book but a football book - - but that book changed my life - - it seems Dickens is sitting with me - - waiting to go the game and looking over The River and The City:
““It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.â€ - - Great Expectations
“What Larks hey Pip - - What Larksâ€ - - Dickens whispered that in my ear just now - - - you know once I did a piece in a London Gallery on The Raft of the Medusa by Gericault - - I built a raft in the Gallery under the painting (which was on loan) - - and imagined what it was like if it was my last days - - as if I was adrift with no hope - - I opened my heart and my innermost thoughts to the audience - - and a man jumped on the raft with me and said he wanted to talk about his father - - a difficult relationship he said - - that man's name was Pip - - and we had Larks for many years' after becoming great friends - - when you open yourself up others feel your strength and your fear and join in - - it is both cathartic and healing:
“And when heart is open
And when heart is open
You will change just like a flower slowly openin'
And when heart is open
You will change just like a flower slowly openin'â€
Van blowing away in the ether - - sitting tightly in between me and Charles:
“And you look out on the water
And the big ships, and the big boats
Came on sailing by, by, by, by
And you felt so good, and I felt so good
I felt I want to blow my harmonica
Take me back, there, take me way back there
Take me back, take me back, take me back
Take me way, way, way back, way back
To when, when I understood
When I understood the light, when I understood the light
In the golden afternoon, in the golden afternoon
In the golden afternoon, in the golden afternoon
In the golden afternoon when we sat and listened to Sonny Boy blow
In the golden afternoon when
We sat and let Sonny Boy, blow, blow his harp â€¦.
Everything felt, so right, and so good
Everything felt, so right, and so good
Everything felt, so right, and so good, ah
Everything felt, so right, and so good
Everything felt, so right, and so good, so good
In the eternal now, in the eternal moment
In the eternal now, in the eternal moment
In the eternal nowâ€
Will have to go soon and get myself ready - - Full Kit Inspection in The Dark House before the game - - have to go and wash behind my ears - - make sure there is no tide mark and clean vest and drawers - - I love going to the game - - I always watch whenever we are on TV but I do not enjoy that as much - - obviously - - I get somewhat agitated watching on TV - - in the warm and safety of my settee - - but the ritual of the game - - friends - - the pub - - the conversation - - the cold of a winters day - - the crispness.
Gosia will take me in the car today - - under The River in our own small chariot - - today we will go via The New Tunnel - - coming out of the dark - - into the light of Scotland Road - - St. Anthony's coming quickly into view on the right and along to Smith Street - - where I lived and played - - and learnt and dreamed - - - big game today - - important - - all 3 points needed if we are to dream - - oh my here comes Dante to join me and Charles and Vincent and Van - - the room is getting packed - - but hey man - - all friends and True Blues together - - Dante just said to me:
“O human race, born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou so fall?â€
I just showed the gang here some of the comments on TW - - Dante took off his cap for a moment and leaned into me and whispered again in my ear:
“That precious fruit which all men eagerly go searching for on many different boughs will give, today, peace to your hungry soul.â€
To repeat and repeat again - - What A Life - - What Joy - - What A Pleasure To Be A Blue - -The boys here - - Vincent, Charles, Dante and Van The Man have just put their hands on my shoulders - - for a moment there was Silence - - we looked together out of the window towards The City - - The River - - Van whispered - - took a deep breath - - and said into my ear - -
“Look down on the City - - To The River â€¦ can you see Scottyâ€
“Yesâ€ - - we all breathed
“Ahead where home awaits the heart
Ahead where home is waiting
Ahead where home awaits the heart
Peace is near
Close your eyes in fields of wonder
Close your eyes and dream
Close your eyes in fields of wonder
Close your eyes and dreamâ€
We held our breath - - together - - and we knew - - We Are Blues - - Together - - We Knew.
I send my breath - - my heartbeat - - my good wishes - - and True Blue Cosmic Waves to All You Blues - - wherever we are - - with a firm handshake - - your friends George - - Charlie Boy, Dante, Van and Vincent
Off to the game now - - floating on The Big Blue Astral.
56 Posted 01/03/2020 at 10:09:04
57 Posted 01/03/2020 at 10:38:00
Yes, mate, I saw that; we can dream. It is such a pivotal signing to our progression, that one, I think we should break the bank for whomever it is. I would love Rabiot, you are right, that is the kind of quality required; would he come, however? Is his attitude right?
Widely muted that there are attitude problems there, I seem to recall something about a dodgy agent too (isn't it his mother or something? I don't know, pissing in the dark as per). It doesn't bode well if Juve want rid so soon. I did read, however, that he loves Ancelotti, so you never know.
58 Posted 01/03/2020 at 10:44:21
And glowing* slightly from his toes
His psychic emanations flowedâ€
*The glow was definitely Blue
You know who.
59 Posted 01/03/2020 at 10:44:38
Royal blue cosmic vibes sent to you and your esteemed spirits. Hopefully they've wrote a good script for us today.
60 Posted 01/03/2020 at 10:52:49
What a great bunch of Evertonians: Dickens, Dante, Van Morrison, Van Gogh and McKane.
Have a good day.
61 Posted 01/03/2020 at 11:01:23
62 Posted 01/03/2020 at 11:05:48
63 Posted 01/03/2020 at 11:15:54
It's called free speech. I'm not knocking anyone's opinion. Read it for what it is... My opinion. If you don't like it... tough!!
64 Posted 01/03/2020 at 11:41:49
As has been mentioned, Fernandes seems to have got Man Utd playing better so I fancy Ancelotti will have him closely marked.
Home advantage to us so I'm hoping for a win, but I see it as a tight game where anything can happen!
65 Posted 01/03/2020 at 11:56:49
66 Posted 01/03/2020 at 11:58:34
He died, of course, at Goodison watching the Everton - Liverpool derby.
Bill Shankly's description of the great man will resonate with George, I'm sure:
"He belongs to the company of the supremely great, like Beethoven, Shakespeare and Rembrandt".
Let's hope we get a performance and result worthy of his memory today.
67 Posted 01/03/2020 at 12:11:05
Solsjaer has been brave this season and built for the future and, with many young players, they are inconsistent. They have lost 3 of their last 5 away from home in the Premier League, though had some tough opponents, but today they will be apparently without Martial, which really weakens their threat especially with Rashford missing.
Ighalo, James and Greenwood is decent but not to be feared and our front boys can hurt them.
68 Posted 01/03/2020 at 12:17:08
Hoping we get all three points but won't be easy, but it must still haunt them the meeting in April last year, where it all went right on the day for us. As Jay pointed out too, the 40th anniversary of Dixie Dean's demise, would be a fitting tribute to commemorate it with a win.
69 Posted 01/03/2020 at 12:30:08
Rudi, if it's okay with you I'd like to type something else if that's okay? Okay then, if you're sure.
I used to dread this fixture. That's because Man Utd used to be a top team. They're not anymore. They hold no fear for me. Conditions will be tough for both sides but I really fancy us today, particularly if we score first.
Full support. Onward Evertonians. ðŸ™
70 Posted 01/03/2020 at 13:01:15
Subs: Virginia, Delph, Mina, Iwobi, Sidibe, Bernard, Kean.
71 Posted 01/03/2020 at 13:13:23
Or does Gylfi have some weird clause in his contract which states he has to start if fit?
72 Posted 01/03/2020 at 13:14:21
The very best of vibes to George and hoping for the best today, doubt it will be like last season 4-0, but hope it is for you.
73 Posted 01/03/2020 at 13:17:01
Four starters at Arsenal dropped to the bench and a fifth out injured, that's half the outfield players changed.
Digne still not fit, I guess, as he doesn't even make the bench. Gomes in for Schneiderlin forced. I hope Tom steps up today.
Walcott back for Iwobi no surprise. I'm curious to know if dropping Sidibe, Mina and Delph is tactical, related to form, or a mixture of both.
United's starting XI very strong, based on recent form:
De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Matic, McTominay, Fred, Fernandes, Greenwood, Martial.
Going to be a good barometer to see where we are.
74 Posted 01/03/2020 at 13:18:45
75 Posted 01/03/2020 at 13:27:38
Surprised so many changes from last week, a bit worried about midfield with Davies and Sigurdsson, but hopefully they'll prove my skepticism unfounded and Carlo has the magic formula right.
76 Posted 01/03/2020 at 13:58:21
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