Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Everton vs Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday; kick-off 12.30pm
Everton playmaker James Rodriguez will return to face an under-pressure Manchester United side with manager Carlo Ancelotti reporting a near fully-fit squad for the Goodison Park clash.
The Colombia international missed the match at Newcastle with a knock but Ancelotti has said he will play on Saturday even though he views with scepticism the player's assertion he is fully fit.
"He said that he's 100 per cent I have some doubt that he's 100 per cent but it doesn't matter for me," said the Italian.
The Everton manager also confirmed goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, rested last weekend, will start against United, adding: "I talked to him every day this week, we laughed, we are together. He knows what to do. He starts."
Ancelotti has also been boosted by the return of centre-back Mason Holgate, who has been out since sustaining an injury in pre-season.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has no fresh squad concerns, with Alex Telles back in training after being ruled out recently following a positive Covid-19 test.
"We've not lost any [players] from the Istanbul trip," he said. "Same group, same squad."
On scrutiny of his position following several poor performances, a bullish Solskjaer said: "Of course there's always pressure and expectations on us.
"You're a top coach or a manager when you win, and you're bad when you lose because that's the last game you played. You're not really better than your last game but every game of football becomes history quickly and we need to go into Goodison Park in a positive frame of mind."
How to follow
Follow Everton vs Manchester United in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
People bounce back. That's a well-known fact. However, the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer story is on the verge of getting pulped if results and performances do not pick up.
His sliding doors moment as a top-level manager could come at Goodison Park. Another stinky showing is bound to linger over the international break, especially with a manager like Mauricio Pochettino declaring he is ready for a return.
This erratic United side are a punter's nightmare. One day, sublime, another day atrocious.
It's impossible to predict which team will turn up. But what we can control is Everton's reliability at home. Carlo Ancelotti's side have lost just one of their last 15 Premier League games at Goodison Park, winning four this season and scoring 18 goals in that period.
With Lucas Digne and James Rodriguez hopefully back, I would like to think we will see a more dangerous Everton to the one that plodded to a limp defeat at Newcastle. If they can get service into Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ancelotti's men should be well equipped to bulldoze their way past a flaky United.
JONES KNOWS PREDICTS: 3-1 (18/1 with Sky Bet)
- Everton are unbeaten in their last three league games against Man Utd (W1 D2), with both games last season ending 1-1. They last went four without defeat against the Red Devils in March 1990 (W2 D2).
- Manchester United have won more Premier League games against Everton than any side has won against another in the competition's history (36). Meanwhile, their 16 wins at Goodison Park is the joint-most away wins for a club at a specific venue in the competition (Man Utd also 16 at Villa Park).
- Everton are looking to avoid losing three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since December 2019, while manager Carlo Ancelotti hasn't lost three league games in a row since November 2006 with AC Milan.
- After a run of scoring in 17 consecutive games, netting 39 goals in the process, Manchester United have failed to score in their last two Premier League matches (0-0 vs Chelsea, 0-1 vs Arsenal). They last failed to score in three consecutive league games in February.
- Manchester United have won each of their last six Premier League away games - only between April-August 1993 (7) have they won more consecutively on the road in the competition.
- Everton haven't kept a clean sheet in any of their last seven Premier League home games, last having a longer such run between May-November 2015 (8). Indeed, the Toffees have conceded at least twice in each of their last four league games at Goodison Park.
- Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored eight goals in his seven Premier League games this season, only failing to score in one game so far. The striker has scored in just one of his seven Premier League appearances vs Man Utd, but it was in his last such match against them (1-1 at Goodison Park, March 2020).
- Manchester United have conceded four penalties in their six Premier League games this season, already more than they had in their 38 games last season (3). Indeed, only in four completed campaigns have they ever faced more penalties in the competition (5 in 2006-07 and 2016-17, 6 in 2010-11 and 2018-19).
- Marcus Rashford has been involved in six goals in his last four Premier League away games for Manchester United, scoring three and assisting three.
- Man Utd's Bruno Fernandes has been involved in 12 goals in his nine Premier League away games so far (8 goals, 4 assists), only failing to register a goal involvement in one of those nine matches (vs Crystal Palace in July). Even if he fails to get a goal or assist in this game, it will be the highest number of goal involvements in a player's first 10 Premier League away games in the competition's history.
Pitch to Post Preview Podcast: Jamie Carragher on Man City vs Liverpool; Steve Bruce on Callum Wilson; Chelsea's title chances assessed
Jamie Carragher and Steve Bruce are among the guests on this week's Pitch to Post Preview Podcast.
Sky Sports pundit Carragher joins Peter Smith and Adam Bate to look ahead to the big Super Sunday clash between Man City and Liverpool, while Steve Bruce is on the line to discuss Newcastle's Friday Night Football trip to Southampton and the form of star striker Callum Wilson.
Also on the show we analyse how Chelsea have turned around their defensive problems, how Leicester have coped with injury problems, and Adam makes a bold Pitch.