Sports Mole previews Friday's FA Cup clash between Manchester United and Everton, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Manchester United will be bidding to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup when they welcome fellow Premier League side Everton to Old Trafford on Friday night.
The Red Devils will enter the match off the back of a 3-0 win over Bournemouth in the Premier League on Tuesday, while Everton suffered a 4-1 defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion on the same night.
Man United made it six straight wins in all competitions on Tuesday night with a 3-0 victory over Bournemouth in the Premier League; Casemiro, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford scored the goals for the Red Devils, who strengthened their grip on a top-four spot in the Premier League table.
Erik ten Hag's side are currently fourth in the table, five points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and level on 35 points with third-placed Newcastle United, who have played a game more; Man United are also now just one point shy of second-placed Manchester City in England's top flight.
The Red Devils have lost just once in all competitions since the start of October, while they have won all four of their games since returning to action following the World Cup, scoring nine times in the process and keeping four clean sheets.
Ten Hag's team will welcome Charlton Athletic to Old Trafford in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup on Tuesday evening before hosting Man City in the league on January 14, and they will then travel to Arsenal, with this month set to be key for the club in terms of their ambitions for the season.
Man United were knocked out of the FA Cup in the fourth round last season by Middlesbrough, but they are the second-most successful side in the history of the competition, lifting the trophy on 12 occasions.
The Red Devils last won the FA Cup in 2016, but it does appear that Ten Hag will take every competition seriously this season, as the Dutchman bids to secure silverware in his first season at the helm.
Everton, meanwhile, are five-time winners of the FA Cup, last winning the trophy in 1995, when they recorded a 1-0 victory over Man United in the final, with Paul Rideout netting the only goal of the contest.
The Toffees have already lost to the Red Devils this season, suffering a 2-1 home defeat in the Premier League on October 9, but they have drawn their last three fixtures at Old Trafford, which should hand the Merseyside outfit confidence ahead of Friday's contest.
Everton will enter this match off the back of a 4-1 home loss to Brighton on Tuesday night, with the result leaving them in 16th position in the Premier League table on 15 points.
Frank Lampard's position as head coach continues to be called into question, but the 44-year-old remains in the role for now, and he will be looking for a huge result at Old Trafford.
Everton did enjoy their trip to Manchester on December 31, as they held Man City to a 1-1 draw in the Premier League and that result would have given Lampard some breathing room.
The Toffees will take on Southampton and West Ham United in their next two Premier League matches, which are huge fixtures considering the position of both teams, before opening February at home to Arsenal.
Manchester United form (all competitions):
Everton form (all competitions):
Man United will again be without the services of Axel Tuanzebe due to a long-term issue, while Jadon Sancho remains a major doubt due to his ongoing fitness problems.
Donny van de Beek will also be missing due to the serious injury that he picked up against Bournemouth, but Anthony Martial should be available despite suffering a knock in Tuesday's fixture with the Cherries.
Antony is also a major doubt due to the problem that forced him to miss the team's last game.
Lisandro Martinez and Diogo Dalot made their returns against Bournemouth, featuring for the first time since the World Cup, while Scott McTominay was back on the bench following illness.
Ten Hag is expected to make changes for this match, with Raphael Varane, Dalot, Martinez and Alejandro Garnacho set to return to the starting side, but Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Bruno Fernandes and Rashford should all retain their spots.
As for Everton, Amadou Onana will be back in the squad, having served a suspension, while Anthony Gordon could return for the Toffees following illness.
The visitors will again be without James Garner, Michael Keane and Andros Townsend, and Nathan Patterson is also absent due to the knee injury that he suffered against Brighton.
Lampard is expected to select a strong team for this match, with the head coach potentially making just two changes from Tuesday's game.
Onana should be back in central midfield, while Seamus Coleman is expected to replace Patterson, but the likes of Dwight McNeil, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Demarai Gray should retain their spots.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Dalot, Varane, L Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Eriksen; Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial
Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Coleman, Coady, Tarkowski, Mykolenko; Iwobi, Gueye, Onana; McNeil, Calvert-Lewin, Gray
Man United are seemingly a team moving firmly in the right direction, and they are difficult to back against at the moment, especially at Old Trafford. Everton managed to draw with Man City in Manchester last weekend, but we are firmly expecting the Red Devils to progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
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