Manchester United travel to Everton knowing anything less than three points could seriously dent their chances of playing in the Champions League next season.
When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over the reins at Manchester United mid-season following the sacking of Jose Mourinho, no one really expected the Norwegian to turn over United overnight. But a string of wins by a rejuvenated Manchester United side saw them coming within touching distance of the top four in the Premier League, and coupled with their heroics in the first knockout stages of the Champions League against Paris Saint Germain, there was a feeling that United could outdo themselves ably led by one of their favorite former players.
However, with less than a month to go before the end of the Premier League, United find themselves in a difficult position once again. The Red Devils trail fourth-placed Arsenal by two points with five games to go, but while the Gunners have the safety net of qualifying for the Champions League through the Europa League, United’s European exit at the hands of Barcelona means there is only one way left for them to play in Europe’s competition again next year — and that is by finishing in the Premier League top four.
Manchester United travel to Merseyside on the back of a nervy win against West Ham, while Everton come into the game not completely bereft of their own problems. After impressive wins against Chelsea and Arsenal at Goodison Park, Marco Silva’s side once again showed their brittle side by losing away to already-relegated Fulham. Their chances of European qualification could very well rest on this game too, and with Watford pulling clear of them in the race for the seventh position, Silva will know this is their chance to put another top-six team to the sword.
As reported by The Guardian, the game heralds a season-defining eight-day period for the Red Devils, during which, following their trip to Merseyside, they take on champions Manchester City and Chelsea over the next week. Manager Solskjaer has demanded that his team rise to the occasion but appeared mindful of the fact that he needs to find internal solutions.
“We know we have to be realistic here and we know we have a job to be done.”
“There’s no quick fix, it’s not like we buy seven players and suddenly we’re in the right shape, we are where we are.”
Everton will be without talisman Andre Gomes, who has been handed a retrospective three-match ban for a challenge on Aleksandr Mitrovic in the defeat at Fulham, according to BBC. Tom Davies and Morgan Schneiderlin will both try to replace him, while Yerry Milna remains sidelined with an injury. For Manchester United, Ander Herrera, Alexis Sanchez, and Nemanja Matic could all make a comeback, while Luke Shaw misses through suspension.
The game kicks off at 1:30 p.m. BST (5:30 a.m. EST and 6:00 p.m. IST) at Goodison Park.
Everton vs. Manchester United will be Sky Sports main event in the U.K., with the streaming option available on Sky Go, American fans can catch the game live on TV on NBCSN, with the live streaming option available on the NBC Sports app. Fans in India can catch the all-important game on Star Sports Select HD, with the live streaming option available on Hotstar. These are all subscription-based services to watch the game online.
For those of you wanting to catch Everton vs. Manchester United online for free, you can use fuboTV, which gives a week-long free trial. You can then cancel the subscription before the trial version is over.