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At the quarter-final stage everyone will feel they hold a chance of obtaining some silverware, and both managers here could do with a trophy to downplay any critics.
Both sides come into this fixture off the back of a good weekend result however, and with two of the better attacks in England’s top flight, we should be set for an entertaining clash.
The Toffees have made progress under Carlo Ancelotti but after years of underachievement, the experienced Italian will be expected to take them a step closer to challenging for honours after spending big.
Meanwhile, the jury remains out on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s credentials for the top job at Old Trafford, but his side have snuck up to third place in the table somewhat under the radar.
In fact, Man Utd would also be third to Liverpool and City based upon a table since the Norwegian initially took charge.
Everton made a blistering start to the season as they won seven on the bounce across all competitions, even if two of these came over lower league opponents Salford and Fleetwood.
After struggling for a period as they won just one of seven matches (W1-D2-L4), successive victories over Chelsea, Leicester and Arsenal have propelled them back into the top four, with this the first time since 2004/05 they’ll spend Christmas there.
Over 2.5 Goals
Man Utd have certainly provided entertainment for the neutral as seven of their past eight in all competitions have featured a minimum of four goals, with both teams scoring in each of those same seven games.
The exception was a goalless stalemate in the Manchester derby, though it’s worth noting that opponents Man City have had some very low-scoring matches domestically over the past few months.
Both teams have scored in four of five head to heads between Utd and Everton since 2018/19, though at short odds, we’d leave that market alone.
Instead, we’d stick to backing goals given the way United are playing at the moment, while the Toffees have hardly been goal-shy in this tournament either. Everton are top scorers in the League Cup this season and although those clashes with Fleetwood and Salford helped, they still put four past an in-form West Ham in the last round.
The match outcome is also a close call, with Everton putting some impressive wins together of late, while United have been excellent on their travels.
The Red Devils have won nine of 11 road trips in all competitions this term, with all 11 featuring at least three goals, while Solskjaer has won all six away league cup matches as a manager.
The team news does however favour the visitors slightly. Scott McTominay came off late on last game with a groin problem and is expected to miss out, while Luke Shaw also had to be withdrawn against Leeds, but Ancelotti has greater concerns.
Summer signings Allan (thigh) and James Rodriguez (calf) are both major doubts, while first-choice left-back Lucas Digne remains a long-term absentee.