Manchester United will travel to Merseyside to face Frank Lampard‘s Everton on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League.
Ralf Rangnick’s side will be aiming to keep their top four dreams alive; while The Toffies will be attempting to avoid a nightmare first-ever relegation from the Premier League.
Their 3-2 loss against Burnley on Wednesday evening means that just a single point separates The Toffies from a potential drop.
United were uninspiring in their 1-1 draw against Leicester City last weekend. While there is only a glimmer of hope that they’ll qualify for the Champions League next season, Arsenal’s 3-0 loss to Crystal Palace kept their dreams alive — albeit, only slightly.
The Red Devils will aim to have a much-improved performance against Lampard’s men this weekend.
Ones to watch (Man Utd)
Fred has been one of the best players for United since Rangnick was appointed in November. He will likely be key for United in their attacking play on Saturday.
It was the Brazilian who secured a point for the Reds last weekend, where he pounced on a rebounded shot and lifted his strike into the roof of Kasper Schmeichel‘s net. He also put a chance on a plate for Bruno Fernandes in the first half of that encounter, winning the ball back high up the pitch and setting his Portuguese teammate up, but his shot was too tame to trouble the goalkeeper.
United are on the lookout for a midfielder for the new season, but Fred’s performances since the German interim manager took over could mean that any new midfielder is paired with the tenacious Brazilian in the new campaign.
Cristiano Ronaldo will be the other player for United supporters to watch out for in this game. The 37-year-old missed the last game against Leicester through illness, but Rangnick has confirmed that he is back available. It was clear to see that the side were lacking a true goal scorer in the side on that occasion.
While Ronaldo is not a true striker, and often drifts to the flanks, the lack of presence against the opposition backline was even worse when Rangnick attempted placing Fernandes and Paul Pogba as duel false-nines.
The Portuguese forward was ill last weekend, which means that this time around he will be fully fit and rested. It has been suggested that United should manage his game-time until the end of the season last month – with sufficient rest, he should make an impact on Merseyside.
Ones to watch (Everton)
Despite an awful result last time out against Burnley, Everton supporters could’ve taken encouragement from Richarlison’s performance. He scored two penalties in their 3-2 loss and looked dangerous all game long.
That followed an assist against West Ham last Sunday and three goals for Brazil during the international break.
While the team are in a low point at this moment in time, the 24-year-old forward could provide difficulties for a United defence that has looked far but secure this season.