Manchester United head into the final 4 games of the Premier League season with a 5 point lead over rivals City.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side can temporarily open an 8 point lead at the top with a victory over Everton in Sunday's lunchtime kick off. Manchester City are widely expected to pick up 3 points themselves when they travel to virtually relegated Wolves in the final game of the weekend.
Wayne Rooney (2), Danny Welbeck and Nani were all on the scoresheet last weekend as Manchester United cruised to a 4-0 victory over Aston Villa in a one-sided affair. This result came off the back of a surprise 1-0 defeat at Wigan midweek, but a comfortable gap between them and Manchester City remains in tact.
Everton were beaten 2-1 by rivals Liverpool at in their FA Cup semi final at Wembley last Saturday. David Moyes was disappointed with the result especially after they lead at half time. In the league, they are unbeaten in their last 4 games, winning 3 of them.
The Toffees have won just 1 of their last 7 games on the road in the Premier League. They have been beaten at Tottenham and Liverpool in 2012, and drawn with all 3 of the bottom 6 teams they have faced since the turn of the year (Aston Villa, Wigan, QPR).
Ashley Young has been the main focus in Manchester United's last two home games, winning controversial penalties in both. The left winger faces competition in the final weeks of the season from the returning Nani. The Portuguese winger came on for the England international to complete the routing of Aston Villa last weekend. The starting left winger is likely to match up against Tony Hibbert.
On Manchester United's right wing, Antonio Valencia has received a lot of praise of late. For all the time, touches and space the Ecuadorian had last weekend in the final third, Valencia only finished the game with one assist. Left back Leighton Baines is absent with a hamstring injury for Everton.
Baines has been Everton's most-creative player this season, both from open play and set pieces. The former Wigan man has 4 Premier League goals this season; 1 less than the club's top scorer Victor Anichebe. All 5 of Anichebe's goals have come from the substitutes bench.
January signing Nikica Jelavic has made an instant impact at Goodison Park following his move from Glasgow Rangers. The Croatian has scored 4 league goals and 2 more in the FA Cup. He looks deadly from around 8 yards, but how many chances will his team mates be able to create against one of the league's top defences? Jonny Evans has been in a lot of people's good books recently, standing alongside Rio Ferdinand.
Everton's attack comes up against a defence that has kept clean sheets in 6 of their last 7 Premier League games, and 6 of their last 7 at Old Trafford in the division. A tough challenge lies ahead of Moyes' side who aren't the most ambitious going forward.
Javier Hernandez scored the only goal of the game when these two met at Goodison Park back in October, also a lunchtime kick off.
Bazza's Facts & Stats:
Written by Barrie from Premiership Tips
- Everton won the first ever Premier League game at Old Trafford. Robert Warzycha scored the second goal in that game becoming the first player from mainland Europe to score in the Premier League.
- Manchester United have won 15 of the last 18 Premier League meetings with Everton at Old Trafford, drawing the other 3.
- Wayne Rooney has scored 2 goals in his 12 games versus former club Everton.
- Darron Gibson is unbeaten in his last 24 Premier League games since losing 2-1 at home to Chelsea as a Manchester United player on 3 April 2010.
- Manchester United have won all 7 of their Premier League games at Old Trafford in 2012. Luis Suarez is the only opposition player to score during this time.
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