Sunday 21 April: 1.30pm
Live on Sky Sports Football
Manchester United have suddenly hit a dip in form and the chances of them making it into next season’s Champions League are in a bit of bother. They travel to Goodison Park on Easter Sunday needing a win to boost their qualification hopes but Everton have their own dreams of European football next season.
Football can be a cruel game at times, just ask Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. He became the returning hero that revitalized Manchester United’s season and became their full-time boss. Now he’s only 4/1 (5.0) at Ladbrokes to leave the club before the end of this year.
His long unbeaten run after taking over as interim-manager has turned into a run of form that has seen them lose five of their last seven games. They were outclassed in the Champions League in midweek by Barcelona and begin the Easter weekend sixth in the Premier League and two points behind the top four. You can get odds of 5/2 (3.5) at SkyBet on them finishing in the Champions League places this season. It’s 2/7 (1.28) with Paddy Power that they don’t finish in the top four.
United’s weaknesses have been exposed again in recent weeks as they have gone off the boil. It took two penalties for them to get a home win over West Ham United last weekend. There are odds of 6/1 (7.0) on Manchester United scoring a penalty in this match.
It’s a vital week for United with this tricky game at Everton followed by home games against Manchester City and Chelsea. They need to pile up some points from those games before two final matches against relegated Huddersfield Town and Cardiff City. It’s 13/10 (2.3) at BetVictor that they beat Everton on Sunday. To do that, they need to improve on a recent away record of four straight losses in league and cup games.
Everton are ninth in the table but only a point behind the seventh place that could get them Europa League football next season. That’s an early start to the season and look what it did to Burnley this season and Everton the season before.
The Toffees didn’t do their European qualification hopes any good last weekend with a 2-0 defeat at relegated Fulham. That ended a run of three straight league wins without a goal being conceded. Not scoring a goal against Fulham is almost impossible but they managed it.
Home form has seen Everton earn seven points from their last three league matches. It’s been against tough opposition with Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal being the visitors and no goals conceded either. You can get odds of 9/4 (3.25) at Betfred on them beating Manchester United and William Hill will give you 9/2 (5.5) on an Everton win to nil.
Manchester United are undefeated in their last eight games against Everton with six wins and two draws. The last three have all been won by United with over 2.5 goals in two of the wins. it’s 5/2 (3.5) at Coral on Manchester United winning this game and over 2.5 goals being scored. However, six of the last seven Everton home league games have had the opposite stat. A bet on under 2.5 goals in this match has odds of 10/11 (1.91) at Betway.
Luke Shaw is still suspended for Manchester United. Alexis Sanchez is a possible starter after coming on as sub against Barcelona in midweek. Morgan Schneiderlin could be fit for Everton but they will be without the injured Yerry Mina and suspended Andres Gomes.
Both Teams to Score
Four of the last six games played between these two sides have seen both of them get on the score sheet. The odds on both team scoring on Sunday are 7/10 (1.7) at Sportingbet.
Manchester United can’t afford to drop points and will hope their neighbours will do them a favour by beating Tottenham on Saturday. Their own form isn’t good though and United’s owners might just be regretting making an early decision on appointing Solksjaer as full-time manager. Everton’s home form is good and a bet on this game ending in a draw with both teams scoring is 7/2 (4.5) at BetVictor.