The Red Devils scraped a 2-1 win over West Ham on home soil last weekend and know they face another difficult encounter against the Toffees, who did the double over United last season, this weekend.
Everton, though, have been out-of-sorts this season, having picked up a disappointing six points from their opening six league matches.
The Merseyside outfit did, however, rescue a crucial point against local rivals Liverpool last weekend thanks to Phil Jagielka’s magnificent goal, and followed that result up with a 1-1 draw against Krasnodar in the Europa League on Thursday night.
United have had plenty more rest than their next opponents, but will be without captain Wayne Rooney, the boyhood Everton fan who left Goodison Park for Old Trafford a decade ago.
The England skipper was sent off for a professional foul on West Ham’s Stewart Downing last weekend, and will subsequently miss the forthcoming games against West Brom and Chelsea, as well as the Everton clash.
Mata to return to line-up
This should mean that Spanish playmaker Juan Mata starts for the first time since United thrashed Queens Park Rangers 4-0 last month.
The 26-year-old came off the bench during the 5-3 defeat to Leicester City, but remained a substitute for last weekend’s narrow victory over the Hammers.
There’s a chance that Louis van Gaal may throw a curveball by selecting Adnan Januzaj instead. The Belgian starlet has been hugely impressive for United’s Under-21 side in recent weeks and scored a sumptuous free-kick against Tottenham’s youngsters on Monday night.
But Mata is likely to start behind Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao, who is still looking for his first Manchester United goal.
Fletcher for Herrera
In central midfield, however, Van Gaal has a problem on his hands. Ander Herrera is out for the next few weeks after fracturing a rib against West Ham, so Darren Fletcher could slot in alongside Angel di Maria.
Fletcher looked well off the pace during the opening weeks of the season, but United’s vice-captain will be expected to step up against Roberto Martinez’s side.
Jones for Paddy McNair
And in defence, Van Gaal will be praying that Phil Jones is passed fit to play before the match. The England international has missed the last few weeks through injury but could return to partner Marcos Rojo in central defence this weekend.
Rafael and Luke Shaw, meanwhile, will continue at right and left-back respectively. And David de Gea, who has been below-par by his high standards this season, will start between the sticks.
Manchester United predicted line-up
De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Rojo, Shaw; Blind, Fletcher, Di Maria; Mata; Falcao, Van Persie.
Manchester United 2-1 Everton
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