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Everton v Manchester United Preview: Will Rooney Haunt Goodison Again?

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Manchester United will attempt to get over their Derby Day disappointment this lunch-time by winning for the first time in four years against Everton at Goodison Park.

After only winning once in their last four Premier League games, today is a massive fixture for United. If they fail to win today, there’s no doubt that the press will claim that the team are this year’s ‘Chelsea’ who of course started last season faster than the speed of light only to suffer a dreadful autumn which ultimately cost them a decent crack at the championship.

Everton as has been their tradition over the last decade have had a slow start to the season. Their wise manager David Moyes has already said that the best his side can finish this season is 7th, which as we know more or less means that they will be the ‘best of the rest’ and will not be having European football next season.

As a manager that must have been a hard thing for him to admit. However, Everton have had a knack of proving people wrong before. They will not to motivated for today’s game and after losing to Chelsea in the Carling Cup in midweek will this time to lay down another giant of English football rather than be slayed themselves late on after a valiant battle.

So what can we expect from tonight’s game. What will be the key battles on the pitch? 

Nemanja Vidic v Tim Cahill

There’s a good reason why Tim Cahill is feared by defenders up and down the country. After all his bursting late runs into the area and his terrific heading ability have seen him score 54 goals in the last seven seasons and he’s pretty much scored againgst all the top teams.

Incredibly though due to injury the little Australian hasn’t scored a league goal since December 2010. Nemanja Vidic won’t be bothered by that stat and will have to be on his best today to deal with Everton’s no.17 using all the strength and experience he has.

Darren Fletcher v Jack Rodwell

Despite scoring arguably the best goal of the Manchester derby last week against Manchester City, there’s no doubt that Darren Fletcher alike the whole of the United team will have something to prove today. He has enjoyed success at Goodison before scoring in a 1-1 draw back in 2008.

Scotland’s captain though will have to be at his best to deal with Jack Rodwell who it seems has all the ingredients to be an England star of the future. The hard-working box to box midfielder has hurt United before and no doubt will want to do the same today.

Wayne Rooney v Sylvan Distin

Usually when players go back to their old clubs, they are welcomed back and given a nice reception. Wayne Rooney however hasn’t been treated like that by Everton’s fans who haven’t forgiven him for leaving in the summer of 2005

The boy-hood Everton fan will as ever want to go out and hurt his former side and get another one over the fans who once worshiped him. Everton’s skipper Sylvan Distin, will be buoyed on by that and will work as hard as he can to prevent the England striker from scoring.

In terms of a prediction for the game, as I stated earlier on in a predictions article, I believe that this will be a tough game for United. However they should have enough quality over a decent Everton side to just about nick this one, which is exactly what they need to do today.

I can’t see there being too many goals in the game and United may only need to score once to grab the three points. That may be ‘boring’ to some fans, but at the end of the day it’s a win and one United badly need right now as they can ill-afford to more points this afternoon.

By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87