Following Wednesday’s dramatic ending which saw Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo score a last-gasp winner against Villarreal in the Champions League, the Red Devils welcome Everton to Old Trafford on Sunday.
United currently sit fourth in a tightly congested race for the top and are just one point from league leaders Liverpool, with Everton impressively finding themselves positioned just one place below – also on 13 points.
The headlines leading up to this game could’ve been very different after Solskjaer’s side went a goal against Villarreal behind thanks to Paco Alcacer’s 53rd-minute goal, with David De Gea keeping his side in the match for large parts of the first half.
Though in typical United fashion, the comeback commenced after Alex Telles scored a sublime volley on the edge of the box to claw the Old Trafford club back into the game.
And it was only a matter of time before the inevitable happened as Cristiano Ronaldo – who had been absent for large portions of the match – came up with a winner in the 95th minute to keep United’s Champions League hopes alive.
It was a needed victory following a disappointing showing last weekend during their home defeat to Aston Villa with Kortney Hause stunning Old Trafford early on through a headed goal to provide the Villains with an impressive away victory.
An incredibly tough fixture list in October and November awaits Solskjaer with his side having to face most of their title contenders – and another defeat would certainly raise eyebrows as to whether his side can mount a genuine title challenge.
As for Everton, they have enjoyed a strong start to the Premier League season despite the large controversy over hiring their rival’s former manager – Rafa Benitez.
Though the Everton fans will have no complaints over their clubs’ current position, boasting the same record as the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and their upcoming opponents – Manchester United.
Benitez’s side recovered in impressive fashion following their 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa in September, returning with four victories in their opening six Premier League games which marks one of their best starts to a Premier League season.
Their last outing was a convincing 2-0 victory at home to struggling Norwich City thanks to goals from Abdoulaye Doucoure and new signing Andros Townsend, who has settled into life on Merseyside well with two goals this season.
Despite their fine form, the Blues have yet to win at Old Trafford in the Premier League since 2013 during the era of David Moyes, which should give added incentive to Benitez’s side.
Solskjaer will be without their captain Harry Maguire who came off injured against Aston Villa though should return after the international break.
Meanwhile Marcus Rashford and Amad Diallo continue to be out with injury, while Luke Shaw should be in contention to return after needing to be substituted following a knock during the defeat to Aston Villa.
Victor Lindelof will likely retain his spot in the absence of Harry Maguire while Edinson Cavani may push for a starting position after his inspired cameo performance against Villarreal.
As for Everton, the lengthy injury list continues to grow with Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Seamus Coleman and Andre Gomes all missing out – though Jordan Pickford is likely to return following a shoulder injury.
The forward line of Andros Townsend, Demarai Gray and Solomon Rondon who played in their victory over Norwich may well be retained with all three going to Old Trafford in good form.
Manchester United vs Everton – kick off at 12:30pm (UK time) on Saturday 2nd October 2021