Manchester United will close out their pre-season preparations ahead of the 2021/22 campaign when they take on Everton in a friendly at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. The match kicks off at 12:45PM BST. The game can be watched live in the UK on MUTV with coverage starting at 11:45PM.
United had been due to take on Preston North End in a pre-season match last Saturday. It had been postponed due to suspected cases of coronavirus amongst the first-team squad. Though, in the end, it proved not to be the case and the players were cleared to return to training.
This postponement means the Red Devils have only competed in three pre-season friendlies. We began our preparations with a 2-1 victory over Derby County on July 18th. This then followed a 4-2 defeat to Queens Parks Rangers on July 24th. United then played an entertaining 2-2 draw against Brentford on July 28th with Everton being the final game of pre-season ahead of the league campaign starting on August 14th.
We begin our Premier League campaign with a mouth-watering match against our rivals Leeds United at Old Trafford. This follows games against Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers to close out the month.
New signing Jadon Sancho is expected to begin training with teammates on Friday. Whilst defender Raphael Varane has yet to complete his transfer to us due to ongoing visa issues. The Frenchman will not feature in the game against Everton, though he could make his debut against Leeds.
Manchester United Team News
For United, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær has seen the return of a number of players who were on international duty at Euro 2020 and Copa America. There is a possibility we might see Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, and David de Gea feature in the game against Everton. As mentioned, Jadon Sancho is due to train from Friday so is unlikely to be in the squad for this friendly game.
Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka could start in the full-back roles as speculation mounts that Brandon Williams is due to exit out on loan. Alex Telles is currently out injured and is not due to return until September.
Edinson Cavani will not be involved, having not yet returned to pre-season training. Axel Tuanzeve could start in the defence despite his uncertain future at United with Aston Villa a potential loan move for him.
Victor Lindelof may also feature in the defence. It is unclear if manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær will utilise captain Harry Maguire having only just returned to training from Euro 2020.
Manchester United’s Predicted Lineup
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Tuanzebe, Dalot; Matic, Pogba, Van de Beek; Lingard, Greenwood, and James.
Everton had taken part in the Florida Cup at the end of July having completed two matches. However, the competition had to be changed following the withdrawal of Arsenal and Inter Milan. They beat Millonarios on penalties following a 1-1 draw on July 25 before securing a 1-0 victory over Pumas UNAM on July 28.
The Toffees’ preparations have been far from ideal and would have liked to have played more than two pre-season games. The clash against United will give those players more needed game time and improve fitness levels.
Everton has brought in a number of new faces to the club with the likes of Demarai Gray, Andros Townsend, and Asmir Begovic coming in. Whilst Moise Cenk Tosun and Jonjoe Kenny have all returned to the club following their loan spells last season.
Everton Team News
For our opponents, goalkeeper Jordan Pickford could see involvement in the game against United but it might be Asmir Begovic who starts in goal. Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are not expected to feature due to having played for their respective countries during the summer.
Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure are likely to be the central midfield pairing. It could also be the same back four with Seamus Coleman, Michael Keane, Ben Godfrey, and Lucas Digne.
Manchester United Pre-Season Friendlies form: WLD
Everton Pre-Season Friendlies form: WW
It is important that United go into the new league season with a victory over Everton in our final pre-season game. This will give the players that confidence boost. Though we have played more games than Everton, you cannot read too much into pre-season form. It is going to be a close affair but United should get over the line and secure the win.
Manchester United 2-1 Everton