A clutch Cristiano Ronaldo goal was the saviour for Man United yet again in midweek when hosting Villarreal as they enacted their revenge on Unai Emery’s side following their Europa League Final defeat last season.
In truth though, too much reliance on their star man won’t get them to the title this season, and they’ve proven in recent weeks how vulnerable they can be.
Indeed, they’d lost three of their last four games prior to Wednesday night, with the exception coming due to Jesse Lingard’s late winner against West Ham and David de Gea’s penalty heroics even later on, so Everton may just take some confidence from that.
A 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa was Everton’s first of the campaign, while they followed that up with a penalty defeat to Championship outfit QPR in the League Cup three days later. They did, however, get back to winning ways against Norwich, though anything other than three points there would have been unacceptable considering the Canaries are yet to pick up a point this season.
The Toffees have been one of the strongest performing away sides in the league for a while now, losing just three of their last 18 such matches, and while one was in their most recent game against Villa, the other two came at Stamford Bridge and the Etihad, both of which can be excused.
The last time they lost back-to-back away games was in November last year, which just highlights how tricky this Merseyside club can be to break down, and United may find this quite difficult if they don’t manage an early strike.
Everton +1.5 Asian Handicap
Everton are no strangers to nicking a result against the Red Devils either, drawing this fixture in each of the last two campaigns, and losing by more than a strike on just one of their eight visits here since Sir Alex Ferguson left.
What’s more, they’ve lost just two of their eight away matches against sides operating in the top-six at the time of playing since the beginning of last season.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin hasn’t featured for the visitors since a 2-0 win over Brighton, though he’s now back in training and may be fit enough for a spot on the bench here, while Seamus Coleman is in a similar boat. Neither should be fit enough to start, though both could make a serious impact from the bench.
England trio Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw will likely miss out again, despite the latter being named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the upcoming internationals, and that could leave a big void for the hosts, especially defensively.
They’ve won just one of their four league matches that Maguire hasn’t started since the beginning of last season, not keeping a single clean sheet in any of them and Everton look like the team to get onside here in some capacity.
EVERTON +1.5 ASIAN HANDICAP