United’s derby win has put them in with a great chance of leapfrogging their neighbours into the top four by the end of the season. They’ve now won three of their last four matches and in Marcus Rashford they’ve uncovered a potential star. Everton, meanwhile, look to have given up on the league and their main focus will now be Wembley glory in the FA Cup.
While Everton’s form at Goodison has been fairly disastrous – only Villa have won fewer home games this season – they’ve lost just once on the road. That away defeat was a narrow one at Arsenal earlier in the campaign but they’ve drawn with Spurs, Man City and West Ham in their other trips to the top-six while they won 3-0 at both Southampton and Stoke. However, their more general form, which has seen them lose six of their last eight at home including their last three, suggests a current malaise. With an FA Cup semi-final on the horizon and nothing to play for in the league they could certainly be forgiven for taking it easy here.
United have definitely been better at Old Trafford under LvG than on the road and they’ve won four of their last five matches here. Furthermore, they’ve won 22 of their last 25 home games when they’ve scored and in Everton they have an opponent that has the sixth worst defensive record in the league. They’ve won eight of 11 here against middle-third teams since the start of last season and their performance when beating the Toffees 3-0 earlier in the campaign was one of their best since Van Gaal took over.
Gareth Barry is suspended for Everton and in the 10 matches he’s failed to start since joining the Toffees (102 games ago) they’ve kept just once clean sheet as nine of the matches have had at least three goals. With Everton’s defence already quite vulnerable we expect United to continue their recent mini-resurgence and pick up another three points.
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