Manchester United kick off in the new Premier League season away to Everton. Having seen likely title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea get off to winning starts, Manchester United will be hoping for the same.
The first game of the season marks the first opportunity for summer signings to be properly shown off as players of their respective clubs. Manchester United have so far signed Nick Powell, Shinji Kagawa and Robin Van Persie. Each of the summer additions will be available for use on Monday night. It is likely we will see debuts for both Shinji Kagawa and Robin Van Persie at some point during the night.
So far this summer Everton have only added Steven Naismith to the squad which drew with Manchester United 4-4 at Old Trafford at the end of last season. They have also managed to secure the permanent signing of Steven Pienaar who was on loan from Spurs last season.
New season, same old story. Injuries have already started to take it’s toll and the season hasn’t yet began. Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Rio Ferdinand have already been ruled out of the game with various injuries. This means it is likely that we will see Michael Carrick playing at centre back, something he had also been doing over pre-season. Darren Fletcher got through 90 minutes at U21 level at the back end of last week which is encouraging for him in his attempt to return from a long term stomach illness however he is obviously unlikely to feature on Monday night.
Possible XI: De Gea, Rafael, Vidic, Carrick, Evra, Scholes, Cleverley, Valencia, Nani, Rooney, Van Persie.
Everton more or less has a full squad available for use. Marouane Fellaini and Darron Gibson will face late fitness tests, with the former likely to miss out tonight.
Possible XI: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Heitinga, Baines, Neville, Osman, McFadden, Pienaar, Naismith, Jelavic.
Recent head to heads
Goodison Park hasn’t been kind to Manchester United in recent years. Last season we won narrowly thanks to a single Javier Hernandez goal. The 3 meetings previously ended 3-3, 1-3 and 1-1.
The last time these two sides met, Everton effectively cost Manchester United the title after a 4-4 draw. This time Manchester United will be hoping that this fixture will be the beginning of a successful title challenge. For supporters, the excitement for this game has grown since the signing of Arsenal’s talismanic striker Robin Van Persie. I, like everyone else is most definitely eager to see the Dutchman in the red of Manchester.
Watch the announcement of Robin Van Persie for Manchester United