English Premiership

Preview: Man United v Everton

2016-04-03 15:45
David De Gea (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester United will be looking to keep their Champions League hopes alive when they welcome Everton to Old Trafford on Sunday in the late kick-off.

Louis van Gaal's side boosted their chances of finishing in the top four after beating neighbours Manchester City 1-0 in the last round of Premier League fixtures before the international break.

The victory, courtesy of Marcus Rashford's 16th-minute goal at the Etihad Stadium, put some gloss on a disappointing month for the Red Devils as they halted a four-match winless run in all competitions, which saw them eliminated from the Europa League by fierce rivals Liverpool.

United enter this weekend's clash just one point adrift of fourth-placed City in sixth, although that gap could extend to four if Manuel Pellegrini's men win at Bournemouth on Saturday.

The Toffees make the short journey down the M62 just three points shy of the top 10 in 12th position, although they do have a game in hand on the two teams directly above them in the standings.

Roberto Martinez will be seeking a response from his charges in the league following back-to-back defeats against West Ham (3-2) and Arsenal (2-0) prior to the two-week hiatus, although they did manage to book a place in the FA Cup semi-finals after beating Chelsea 2-0 last month.

Should the Merseyside outfit manage to avoid defeat at Old Trafford they will set a new club record of nine consecutive games without being beaten in the top flight.

In team news, the hosts will be without Bastian Schweinsteiger after the midfielder injured his knee during training with Germany ahead of their friendly with England last week.

It is feared Schweinsteiger will not return to action before the end of the campaign, although Wayne Rooney could soon make his comeback from a knee problem he sustained in the 2-1 reverse at Sunderland on February 13.

Ander Herrera is set to miss a third game in succession with a groin concern.

The visitors are boosted by the return of three players. Kevin Mirallas is available after serving his suspension, John Stones has recovered from the knock he picked up in England's 2-1 loss to the Netherlands on Tuesday, while Bryan Oviedo is back from a chest infection, which saw him miss the last two encounters.

However, Gareth Barry remains on the sidelines as he serves the final installment of a two-match ban.

United beat the Toffees 3-0 in the reverse fixture back in October, with Rooney on target against his former employers, along with Morgan Schneiderlin and Herrera.


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