Under-fire Everton boss Frank Lampard leads the Toffees into battle at Old Trafford this evening in the third round of the FA Cup, where a defeat to Manchester United could finally signal the end of the 44-year-old stint in the dugout.
Everton were dismantled 4-1 at home by Brighton against a backdrop of boos and taunts from their own fans on Tuesday and with their confidence on the floor, a test against a Man Utd outfit hunting down a fifth-straight victory looks like another daunting task for the Merseysiders.
As per the usual routine, I’ve compiled a stats pack for this evening’s FA Cup clash, which should arm you with enough info to add some dynamite to your bet builder docket. Take a glance at my Stats Pack Guide for some more hints and tips on how to maximise your results.
Donny van de Beek picked up what looked like a bad injury against Bournemouth on Tuesday and the Dutchman faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Jadon Sancho is still working on an individual fitness programme and won’t feature.
Anthony Martial and Antony should be fit enough to play a part having recovered from minor niggles. Erik ten Hag could hand starts to Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.
Everton will be without injured quartet Nathan Patterson, Andros Townsend, Michael Keane and James Garner for their trip to Old Trafford today. The latter two, being Man Utd academy graduates, will be disappointed to miss out.
Veteran Seamus Coleman should come in at right back, while Abdoulaye Doucoure, Yerry Mina and Anthony Gordon will all be pushing to start for the Toffees in Manchester.
Few of Man Utd’s underlying stats for the campaign will set pulses racing, though they have been making measurable strides under Erik ten Hag and each of their four straight victories since the season’s resumption were accompanied by clean sheets.
United gave faced the second-fewest big chances in the Premier League overall this season behind Arsenal, though they are still light on goals at the opposite end when compared to most of their rivals.
Interestingly, United have collected more bookings than any other outfit in the top flight this season (43), though Everton are running them close (41). You can grab tasty odds of 19/20 for over 3.5 cards to be brandished this evening.
Everton are still searching for their first victory since their 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on October 22 and the Toffees’ waning performances make it difficult to see where that next triumph will come from.
The Merseysiders’ xG and goals against figures (1.91 to 1.33) suggests their plight could have been even worse, while only Bournemouth have been conceding more corners thus far.
Everton prop up the rest when it comes to shots conceded against per 90 however, and the Toffees have been performing even worse on the road in that regard than they have at Goodison Park (17.9 shots conceded per away game vs 15.0 per home fixture).
Player Shots and Shots on Target
Young wingers Alejandro Garnacho and Antony have been clocking strong numbers in the final third for United, though Argentinean teenager Garnacho has caught the eye more of late.
The 18-year-old lodged three attempts, including one on target, when he came off the bench against Bournemouth on Tuesday and a 1/2 to test Jordan Pickford with at least one effort today, he represents decent value.
Red-hot Marcus Rashford, who has racked up eight attempts in his last 222 minutes of football is also an option to consider for your coupon. The 25-year-old carries odds of 11/10 to have two or more shots on target against Everton this evening.
Man Utd’s defence was dislodged by some rapid Bournemouth counterattacks on Tuesday and the jet-heeled Demarai Gray could exploit some of the same spaces this evening.
The 26-year-old unleashed at least one shot on target in each of his last two runouts against Manchester City and Brighton, and Gray is priced at even money to repeat the trick at Old Trafford.
If you’re looking for a slightly more unorthodox inclusion, Amadou Onana could fit the bill. The midfielder had three attempts against United when they played Everton at Goodison Park in October and the 22-year-old could be a decent docket filler at 4/11 to have at least one shot later today.
Player Goals and Assists
If you’re fishing for goalscoring options this evening, Marcus Rashford could be enough on his own to fill your net. United’s talisman is on a four-game scoring streak and he can be backed at 13/8 to prolong his purple patch today.
Save some thought for Anthony Martial, however. The Frenchman has scored seven career goals against Everton in the red of United and his affinity for netting against the Toffees makes him an interesting prospect at 13/10 in the anytime market.
Christian Eriksen (5/4) should be your go-to guy for assists today. The 30-year-old has been quietly clocking them up and he created his eighth goal of the campaign on Tuesday against Bournemouth.
Everton will have to work hard to breach a United backline searching for its ninth clean sheet in ten home matches (all comps), though Demarai Gray – who has scored consolations in each of Everton’s last two matches – looks the best candidate to finish something off (13/2 to score anytime).
Alex Iwobi still ranks as the Toffees’ leading assist provider, however, the midfielder hasn’t set up a goal in any of his last seven appearances for Everton, so if you’re on the verge of including him, it might be wise to have a re-think.
Man Utd played 579 passes against Bournemouth on Tuesday and influential left-back Luke Shaw accounted for 96 of those on his own. The 27-year-old tends to see an awful lot of the ball for United and his pass count should be high again his evening.
With full 90-minute stints rare for Christian Eriksen, Casemiro looks the better option of the two in midfield for your bet builder. The Brazilian rarely hits fewer than 60 passes per appearance and his distribution skills should make him a passing protagonist again later today.
Everton have been averaging just 46% possession per game in the Premier League this season, though that figure drops to an even more modest 42.3% for away assignments.
The Toffees had less than 40% of the ball when they last played United, and with even less control anticipated at Old Trafford, it could be difficult to pick out decent passing market candidates from their ranks.
Centre-halves Conor Coady and James Tarkowski have seen more of the ball than the rest of their teammates however, and both defenders cleared the 50 passes barrier when Everton last played United in early October.
Manchester United Cards
You don’t have to dig too deep to find excellent card market options in United’s squad and a trio of Diogo Dalot, Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro should be on your radar today.
Dalot returned from injury off the bench on Tuesday, however, he is short of match practice and he could be a little rusty against the tricky Demarai Gray.
Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes, who have collected eight bookings between them in the league, are both fiery characters who could be spurred into action by combative Everton duo, Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana.
Demarai Gray is one of the more accomplished dribblers in Everton’s squad and his neat close control and explosive acceleration could panic Diogo Dalot (5/2 to be shown a card).
Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana like to rub their opponents the wrong way in the midfield engine room and that abrasive Everton pairing could draw fouls from Bruno Fernandes (4/1) and Casemiro (3/1). Dalot, Bruno and Casemiro all committed two fouls each when United last locked horns with Everton in October.
Match-Ups to watch
Diogo Dalot vs Demarai Gray
Bruno Fernandes vs Idrissa Gueye
Casemiro vs Amadou Onana
Man City Cards
Amadou Onana was one of two Everton players carded when the Toffees last faced United before the mid-season break and the Belgian’s habit of mistiming his tackles could land him in trouble with referee Darren England again this evening.
Onana’s midfield compatriot, Idrissa Gueye – who has been booked over 70 times during his club career – is always happy to shut down dangerous-looking passages of play by any means necessary, and the 33-year-old should also come into your thinking today.
Manchester-born James Tarkowski was cautioned when he last returned his home town on New Year’s Eve (vs Man City), and his inability to cope with pace could spell trouble for him again at Old Trafford.
Bruno Fernandes’s head-to-head with Idrissa Gueye (9/4) has already featured once in our bet builder tips, with the Portuguese midfielder identified as as someone to keep an eye on in the bookings market, though a card in the opposite direction seems just as likely today.
Similarly, Amadou Onana could both draw and pick up a caution today, especially when Anthony Martial drifts into his area in search of possession.
Alejandro Garnacho has already developed a knack for drawing awkward challenges from his markers and his cutting runs inside from the flanks could trouble Tarkowski.
Match-Ups to watch
Idrissa Gueye vs Bruno Fernandes
Amadou Onana vs Anthony Martial
James Tarkowski vs Alejandro Garnacho