The final fixture in this weeks Premier League programme takes us to Old Trafford as we will witness a remake of ‘Trading Places’ as both Romelu Lukaku and Wayne Rooney go up against their former employers. Not only that though, the fixture is played among the backdrop of these two clubs having very differing fortunes in Europe during midweek.
For Manchester United it was a routine win in their return to the Champions League over Swiss champions FC Basel. The only blot on the copybook for Jose Mourinho’s men will have been the hamstring injury to Paul Pogba, this now means that the French international will be ruled out for six weeks something that has drawn the ire of the United boss.
While for Everton their return to European action was an evening to forget as they were soundly beaten by Atalanta. Three goals before the break finished the game as a contest as the Toffees came unstuck in Italy. To be fair they were nothing short of dreadful and this was a performance that came so soon after being soundly beatean at home by Tottenham.
For a team that has top six aspirations this will come as something of concern to their manager Ronald Koeman. You could argue with some conviction that the fixture computer has not been kind giving them Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester United in succession but if they are to advance up the table then these are the fixtures in which they need to start picking up points.
Manchester United lost their one hundred percent record in the Premier League last weekend as they were held by Mark Hughes’ Stoke at the Bet365 Stadium. It is fair to say that this was their first real test of the season especially as they made such light work of West Ham, Swansea and Leicester. It was not their best day at the office but a few more teams will come unstuck there so a point cannot be construed as the worst result.
Romelu Lukaku scored at Stoke just as he did in midweek against Basel and were it not for the missed penalty against Leicester before the international break then he would have found the net in every game for his new club both domestically and in European competition. Is this a streak that he wil continue today and if he does what will the level of the celebrations be?
The same will be asked of Wayne Rooney if he was to find the net against United, he may well be the clubs record goalscorer but accolades of that nature will be quickly forgotten should he be the first player to score a Premier League goal past David De Gea at Old Trafford this season. The fact that Rooney is the only person to have scored for Everton in the league this season does speak volumes though.
Everton have scored just two goals in the league, that is an average of 0.5 a game. They have failed to score in their last two and when you compare that to United’s average of 3 per game then it makes for pretty desperate reading if you are an Everton fan. It’s games likes this where the other summer signings are going to have to start pulling their weight and contributing to the cause.
The likes of Davy Klassen and Gylif Sigurdsson were signed with great expectation and in the case of the latter great expense but they have not really offered that resembles the makings of a player that is going to help his side breakthrough the glass ceiling which is the top six of the Premier League. In fairness to Sigurdsson he has joined later than Klassen but what we’ve seen is not befitting someone who is worth fifty million pounds.
I think United will have their tails up after a win on Wednesday and although Paul Pogba is out injured his repalcement Marouane Fellaini scored in that win over FC Basle and is started to look more and more like the player that used to bully defences while he was wearing an Everton shirt. I think it’s going to be another miserable outing for Everton as the Red Devils secure another home win.
Here is what social media thinks will happen
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) September 13, 2017