Everton v Man Utd preview: Striker concerns for Jose Mourinho
Last Updated: 01/01/18 5:26pm
Jose Mourinho will be without Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic when Manchester United travel to Everton on New Year's Day, live on Sky Sports.
Lukaku will miss at least two games after suffering a head injury against Southampton, while Ibrahimovic faces a month out with a recurrence of his knee problems.
Paul Pogba says that Manchester United will feel the omission of Lukaku in particular and has urged the side to get back on track after drawing their last three Premier League games.
"When we have Romelu, he makes it difficult for defenders and creates so much space as well. He's a big miss for us but we have the team to fill the gap of Romelu," he told MUTV.
"We didn't lose [against Southampton] but we have to wake up, bounce back and get back to winning. We drew again. Three draws we have to win, something has to change and we have to change to win.
"It's only one day and then we have to play against Everton - that's football. Tomorrow's another day and we have to go out there and win."
Sam Allardyce has shored up Everton's defence and guided the Toffees out of the relegation zone, but the ex-Crystal Palace manager has insisted the Merseysiders cannot relax yet.
"The lads have done exceptionally well by turning around a leaky team," he said. "It's four goals in nine games, and it's allowed us to escape what was a team threatened with relegation.
"Now the players in their response have done absolutely magnificent in turning that around and into a positive situation to be able to move forward. But we've just got to keep working at all of that."
Elsewhere for Man Utd, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Eric Bailly remain sidelined, with question marks over Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian.
Everton will monitor James McCarthy and Yannick Bolasie before deciding whether to start the duo at Goodison Park with McCarthy lasting just half the game during Saturday's 2-1 loss to Bournemouth.
Idrissa Gueye should feature again after recovering from hamstring trouble, with Leighton Baines and Ross Barkley still sidelined.
Everton have won four of their eight home league games against Manchester United in the 2010s (D2 L2), after winning just two of their 19 against them at Goodison Park in the 1990s and 2000s combined (W2 D3 L14).
Should Manchester United win, they'll set a record for most Premier League wins for a team against a specific opponent (currently 34, the same as Man Utd vs Aston Villa).
Five of Man Utd's last seven goals against Everton in all competitions have come in the final 10 minutes - including three in their 4-0 win at Old Trafford back in September.
Manchester United haven't kept a clean sheet in any of their last six Premier League away games - they last had a longer run without recording a shutout on the road in December 2013 (10 games).
After winning two of his first three Premier League games against Man Utd, Sam Allardyce has won just one of his last 21 against them (D5 L15), though it was in his last such home meeting with them, while at Sunderland in February 2016.
Jose Mourinho has lost none of his 11 Premier League meetings with Allardyce (W8 D3) - the manager he's faced the most in the competition without losing, while likewise Mourinho is the manager Allardyce has faced the most without winning.
Seriously Man Utd? Seriously! They have just played Leicester, Burnley and Southampton and have not won once. I do not know what is happening there. If Arsenal and Tottenham can keep winning then United will be lucky to get in the top four. They are struggling.
I watch them and there is nothing there. When you watch them they don't flow through across the pitch. It just seems like if it is going to happen then it will happen. You watch Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool and they flow through the gears and then they're away. When I watch United I don't see it.
They have drawn at home against Burnley and Southampton and Tottenham have played both those teams over the same period and have absolutely rinsed them. They beat Burnley 3-0 and it could have been 100, and they scored five against Southampton and it could have been 100. Manchester United play them, both at home, and can't win.
Jose Mourinho has talked about money but how much money do you throw at it? They are competing for the top four now. Not long ago we were saying if they beat Manchester City, with the fixtures they had coming up, they could really close the gap. Now they are so far behind.
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But then you have Everton. They didn't have a shot on target against Chelsea at home and then losing to Bournemouth was a kick in the teeth. It's alright drawing with Chelsea and not having a shot and then getting points in other places, but personally I think you need to have a go at home. I think there might just be one goal in this and United will sneak it.
PAUL PREDICTS: 0-1 (9/2 with Sky Bet)