And so we close in on another Premier League title. The Old Trafford faithful will be expecting United to sweep aside David Moyes Everton side this Sunday but fixtures against the blue half of Liverpool are usual tight affairs. Will this one be any different?
Ahead of the tense fixture with Everton, Sir Alex Ferguson has, once again, spoken about the final stretch of the season and how teams drop points (another dig at our noisy-neghbours methinks)., commenting,
“I`ve always said that the real crunch games come in the second half of the season.”
“Teams drop points and, fortunately for us City dropped points and we`ve managed to get an advantage.”
“That advantage still exists but it`s not decisive. We`ve got to make it decisive and if we win on Sunday it helps us.”
Manchester United Team News:
Sir Alex goes into this fixture without the usual suspects who remain on the treatment table, namely Darren Fletcher, Anders Lindegaard, Nemanja Vidic and Michael Owen although we believe Owen could be available for selection next time out.
As for the starting eleven against Everton, we suggest it could look a lot like:-
De Gea, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Nani (or Young), Carrick, Scholes, Valencia, Rooney, Welbeck (or Hernandez).
Player to watch: Wayne Rooney
Withdrawn in his two previous games, our leading scorer will be keen not to make it an unwanted hat-trick, especially against his former side.
Everton Team News:
David Moyes brings his side to Old Trafford without the injured Jack Rodwell and Leighton Baines. Roysten Drenthe could be available again after making peace with the club again following a dramatic fall-out, but don`t hold your breath.
Player to watch: Jelavic
Signed from the ailing Scottish giants, Glasgow Rangers, in the transfer window, the striker has started to make his presence felt by netting some vital goals. United will have to mark him carefully.
Match Facts & Stats
The last five Premier League meetings between these two sides have been pretty close. United have won 3, Everton have won 1 and 1 has been drawn. But by close, I mean the scores, the last two meetings have both ended in 1-0 victories to United including the reciprocating fixture at Goodison Park this season.
The man in charge this Sunday is none other than Mike Jones. That`ll be the same Mike Jones who saw an imaginary foul on Demba Ba but awarded a real penalty when Newcastle were the visitors back in November of this season.
We`re so near but so far when it comes to grabbing that 20th top flight title. A win against Everton could set us up for the mother of all battles next time out whereby we could actually win the title at the home of our noisy-neighbours and what a pleasurable experience that would be. But first we have to dispose of an Everton side that suffered a painful defeat at the hands of their own noisy-neighbours, Liverpool, in an FA Cup semi-final last time out at Wembley. It`ll be close but we`ll just scrape this one I reckon, against a fired up Everton side.
We continue our march towards a 20th top flight title with a trip to some doss-hole across the city, next time out, with Manchester City.