Everton Vs Manchester United
Barclays Premier League
20th August 2012
KO - 20:00 BST
Man Utd Preview:
Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney up front makes for a mouth watering partnership, they netted 57 league goals between them last season, if they hit somewhere near their individual targets from last term, United are going to be a formidable force.
Fergie has a lot to think about with regards to injuries, particularly at the back. Nemanja Vidic managed a number of appearances during pre-season and should feature but Rio Ferdinand could miss out due to injury along with Chris Smalling (groin), Jonny Evans (ankle) and Phil Jones (back), so Michael Carrick may be forced to play centre-back.
United will still be strong, they were fantastic on the road last season, picking up thirteen wins, which help them amass the highest points tally by a side in season who failed to win the league. They played better last season than they had in the previous one and we should see a progression forward this time again. They will know the challenge before them in Manchester City and they won’t want to let their rivals get an early jump on them. United looked happy to grind out narrow away wins last season, they could be picking up three points on the road with more of a flourish this time around.
The Toffees held on to David Moyes in the summer, after he was being linked with the Tottenham job. So that was a big boost for the Goodison Park outfit, as he is the backbone of the entire club. As long as he is there you know what you are going to get from his side, hard work and the potential to score victories over the big guns. Everton finished really strongly last season and there was some good football being played from them. While they like to keep things tight in the middle of the park, there was still a good attacking flair from them.
Everton usually struggle for goals, but they found a real gem in Nikica Jelavic who looks a wonderfully accomplished striker. They have lost a big midfield injection through Tim Cahill who has departed, but they did bring back Steven Pienaar to cover the midfield area. The Toffees have already lost Jack Rodwell for around £12 million to Manchester City and while they intend to reinvest that money, it is not going to happen overnight. Moyes is supremely shrewd in the transfer market, but this is a tough opener. Their defence only averaged conceding just over a goal per game last season, they will need that tightness to keep United at bay on Monday.