April’s football schedule is relentless and despite playing on Wednesday night, Manchester United are back in action in the early kick-off this weekend as they host Everton at Old Trafford. With top-four aspirations and relegation survival at stake, which way does the Opta supercomputer go in our Man Utd vs Everton prediction?
Man Utd vs Everton: Quick Hits
- Manchester United favourites to beat Everton at Old Trafford on Saturday (52.7%).
- A home win would see United register their 39th Premier League victory against Everton and would equal the record number of wins one team has against another in the competition.
- Everton’s four-game unbeaten run projected to end in this clash.
Sean Dyche has got Everton hanging in there. His side have now gone four games without defeat (W1 D3) and while Michael Keane’s late screamer to salvage a point against Tottenham Hotspur wasn’t exactly something you could attribute to the manager, he’s no doubt instilled Dychian-levels of grit to the Toffees. But despite that unbeaten run, Everton have been unable to drag themselves out of the nine-team relegation skirmish that has engulfed the lower half of England’s top-flight table. A trip to Manchester United is probably an unwelcome one.
An away win would be a mighty shock, not least because United have lost just one of their last 23 home Premier League matches (W15 D7), with that loss a 2-1 defeat to Brighton in August. Combine that with Everton’s chronic away form – they’ve won just two of their last 31 Premier League away games (D9 L20) and just one of their last 29 Premier League away games against Man Utd (D8 L20) – and we don’t expect the three points to be heading back to Goodison Park.
That said, each of Everton’s last three visits to Old Trafford have finished level so recent history shows us the Toffees can more than compete at The Theatre of Dreams.
Manchester United picked up their first league win post-EFL Cup victory on Wednesday night with a 1-0 over Brentford. Despite FA wins over West Ham United and Fulham, and Europa League progression against Real Betis, Erik ten Hag’s side hadn’t won in the Premier League for three straight games after beating Newcastle in the league cup final. Marcus Rashford’s winner – his 10th winning goal in the Premier League this season, the most by a Man Utd player in a campaign since Wayne Rooney in 2009-10 (also 10) – put an end to that as United look to reignite their top-four bid.
A home win would see Man Utd register their 39th Premier League victory against Everton and would equal the record number of wins one team has against another in the competition (Man Utd 39 vs Tottenham).
Manchester United 3-1 Everton: 6 January 2023 (FA Cup)
The last time these two sides met was in the third round of the FA Cup at the turn of the year. Antony’s early opener put United 1-0 up, Conor Coady levelled the scoring after David De Gea fumbled a tame shot at his near post. Coady then inadvertently turned the ball into his own net before a late Rashford penalty put the gloss on the performance after Alejandro Garnacho was brought down by Ben Godfrey. Man United play Brighton in the semi-final later this month.
The Red Devils have won both of their meetings with Everton in all competitions this season, winning 2-1 in the Premier League and 3-1 in the FA Cup. Just twice have they beaten the Toffees three times in the same campaign (1993-94 and 2015-16), with this the 18th season they’ve faced 3+ times.
After their 3-0 win over Leicester City on 19 February, Manchester United found themselves in an excellent position. They were third in the standings, just five points behind leaders Arsenal and seven points ahead of Spurs in fourth. A month and a half later, and a poor run of form in the league, including that 7-0 hammering against Liverpool, has seen them slip to fourth with Newcastle United leapfrogging them into third. That run has coincided with progression in cup competitions, including a draining Europa League bout with Barcelona, which is probably a trade-off worth making, but United will be keen to solidify their top-four ambitions with a win.
Everton meanwhile have picked up 12 points in their nine Premier League matches under Sean Dyche (W3 D3 L3), seven more than they won in their final 12 Premier League games under Frank Lampard (five – W1 D2 L9).
Player to Watch
Manchester United: Marcus Rashford
Opta Analyst picking Marcus Rashford yet again is it? Surprise, surprise. But the forward is inevitable at the moment and looks to be United’s match-winner at every turn.
Since the Premier League returned after the World Cup, Rashford has more Premier League goals than any other player (11). What’s more, that tally is more than three teams have managed in that time – Crystal Palace (nine), Bournemouth (nine) and Southampton (10).
Everton: Alex Iwobi
Alex Iwobi has started every Premier League game since Dyche took over, and of all outfielders, only James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil have played more minutes. Jordan Pickford, Abdoulaye Doucouré, and Séamus Coleman Amadou Onana are the others who’ve started every single game under Dyche.
Mainly operating from the right of midfield, Iwobi has the industry needed to fit the mould of what Dyche wants.
Among Everton players in the Premier League this season, Iwobi ranks top for possession won in the final third (26), chances created (47) and successful take-ons (41). They are also seasonal highs for Iwobi for possession won in the final third and chances created, only completing more take-ons in two previous campaigns, most recently 2020-21 (45).
Man Utd vs Everton Prediction
Unsurprisingly, the supercomputer thinks a home win (52.7%) is the most likely outcome in this encounter. Given United’s home form and Everton’s poor away record, who are we to argue?
The chances of an Everton win net out at 20.7% while a draw is 26.6%.
But the more interesting story is the macro picture. Despite Arsenal and Man City locking down the top two spots, our season-long predictor still makes United heavy favourites to secure Champions League football (89.4%), with a third-place finish their most likely final position.
At the bottom, Everton are the model’s fourth-favourites to go down (36.8%), but their current predicted finish of 17th would be just enough to avoid the drop. At the moment, Southampton, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth are the predicted three to fall through the trap door.