Manchester United entered the international break on the back of a nervy win over Wolfsburg and an extremely disappointing 3-0 loss to Arsenal, so the return of the Premier League represents a good opportunity for Louis van Gaal’s men to get back on track.
United will look for a marked improvement from their visit to North London when they travel to another famous footballing region in the form of Merseyside.
Everton at Goodison Park has not been a kind fixture for Man United in recent times and it’s yielded both poor results and poor performances.
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The Red Devils lost last season’s corresponding fixture 3-0 so Van Gaal knows that his team will have to be at their best in order to earn a positive result against Roberto Martinez’s resurgent side, and this is the starting lineup that will give United the best chance of picking up maximum points.
GOALKEEPER – DAVID DE GEA
David de Gea has claimed that he is currently in the best form of his life and his incredible man-of-the-match display for Spain against Ukraine was another indication of just how good he has become. United’s no. 1 will be aiming to keep a clean sheet on Saturday.
RIGHT-BACK – MATTEO DARMIAN
Matteo Darmian looked worryingly uncomfortable against Alexis Sanchez in United’s last Premier League game and in truth the Chilean forward ran him ragged.
Before that game, however, the Italian had been one of United’s most consistent performers and he even scored in the international break to help his country secure a place at next summer’s European Championships.
CENTRE-BACK – CHRIS SMALLING & DALEY BLIND
Like De Gea, Chris Smalling is also in the best form of his career and he is fast becoming one of the most dominant defenders in English football. Having featured for England last week, Smalling will need to put in another commanding display at Goodison Park.
Under his father Danny Blind, Daley Blind has been playing as a holding midfielder for the Netherlands but is expected to revert back to the centre-back role that Van Gaal has positioned him in since the beginning of this season.
LEFT-BACK – MARCOS ROJO
25-year-old defender Marcos Rojo hasn’t played for Man United since their 3-2 win at Southampton last month, but he should be fit enough to start on Saturday afternoon.
Given Luke Shaw’s horrific leg break and Ashley Young’s unfamiliarity with the left-back position, Rojo has the chance to cement his place in United’s starting XI going forward.
CENTRAL MIDFIELD – MORGAN SCHNEIDERLIN & MICHAEL CARRICK
Morgan Schneiderlin’s presence was greatly missed against Arsenal and in that game United’s midfield lacked organisation and energy. The Frenchman should return to Van Gaal’s starting XI for what will be a physical contest involving the duo of Gareth Barry and James McCarthy, neither of whom are afraid to put their foot in.
Bastian Schweinsteiger seemed unsure about his role in the defeat to Arsenal and he picked up a knock whilst on international duty, so Michael Carrick will more than likely continue in the middle.
The 34-year-old Englishman can be the controlling force that Van Gaal wants to dictate the tempo of the game.
WINGERS – JUAN MATA & MEMPHIS
Juan Mata was involved in both of Spain’s latest Euro 2016 qualification games and the attacking midfielder will look to continue his impressive form at club level. No Manchester United player has scored more league goals than the 27-year-old Spaniard.
Memphis has struggled for consistency since his arrival in English football but he is one of the few players in this current United squad who can beat his man, provide pace and width to United’s attacking play and show neat skill in the final third.
The 21-year-old will have to quickly get over his country’s failure to qualify for Euro 2016 and a reported bust-up with former Red Devil Robin van Persie.
NO. 10 – WAYNE ROONEY
Wayne Rooney missed both of England’s final two Euro 2016 qualifiers with an ankle injury, but he returned to training at United’s AON Training Complex on Thursday. Van Gaal will hope that his captain has fully recovered and is fit enough to play against his boyhood club.
CENTRE-FORWARD - ANTHONY MARTIAL
After a sensational start to his Manchester United career, teenager Anthony Martial has dropped slightly in terms of goals, but in terms of his overall performance and contribution to the team, he has shown that he has what it takes to make it as a central striker.
His fine form continued during the international break after making his full France debut and providing two assists across their two friendly games.
Is this the starting XI that will take three points from Goodison Park? Have your say in the comments section below!