Premier League action returns just two days after Gameweek 30, with United vs Everton as one of the big fixtures, a tie that could be a major step towards closing the gap on the top four, and a Champions League spot for both clubs.
Jose Mourinho’s men need motivation after the West Brom fixture added to their list of miserable performances at home, and desperately need a win after they shared points with the Baggies in a 0-0 stalemate on Saturday, while Everton will look to bounce back to winning ways after their Merseyside defeat at Anfield.
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 4, 2017
United have lost just once at home this season, but have drawn (8) more than they have won (6), and this can be encouraging news for Everton, who will look to seize three points from the Theatre of Dreams.
Manchester United Team News
The biggest news for Jose Mourinho and his side ahead of the midweek clash is the certain return of star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, United’s chief goalscorer, who now has 15 goals this season. Paul Pogba could also return to the starting lineup, after having trained with the squad yesterday. Ander Herrera is also available for selection after serving a two-game ban for his red against Chelsea in the FA Cup tie. Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Juan Mata remain long-term absentees. The Spanish playmaker may as well be in line to miss the rest of the season after he underwent groin surgery last Thursday.
Luke Shaw is back in @ManUtd squad after talks with Mourinho this morning. I guess Shaw has to prove he is worth his place.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) April 3, 2017
After the 0-0 draw against West Brom, Jose Mourinho hinted that United’s hope of finishing in the top four was fast fading.
"[After the games against Everton and Sunderland], it's possible that you see me play in the Premier League with a team where I'm going to protect the players that I consider fundamental for the Europa League," he said.
"But only – only – if the results in the next matches put us in a situation where, mathematically, it becomes almost impossible to [finish in the top four]."
Everton Team News
Everton have an even longer list of absentees. Seamus Coleman will miss the rest of the season after breaking his leg against Wales in the WCQ in March, and Ramiro Funes Mori and James McCarthy also returned injured from the international break.
Morgan Schneiderlin could return, although he shall be assessed before facing his former teammates. Muhamed Besic is a long-term absentee, with Yannick Bolasie eyeing a return in late 2017.
— Everton (@Everton) April 3, 2017
Ronald Koeman spoke about United’s dominant possession at home, and their adversities at Old Trafford in the pre-match press conference.
“We know that they have difficulties at home. They had a lot of ball possession and were the better team in every game.
They are still a strong team and we know some players will come back to them.
“We like to play in our way, that means we like to dominate the game.”
Manchester United XI: de Gea, Rojo, Bailly, Young, Valencia; Herrera, Carrick; Lingard, Mkhitaryan, Martial; Ibrahimovic.
Everton XI: Robles; Holgate, Jagielka, Williams, Baines; Gueye, Barry, Davies; Barkley, Lukaku, Calvert-Lewin.
Player to watch out for
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had more shots (109) in the Premier League since 2015/16 than any other Man Utd player.
Reminder: He joined 2016/17. pic.twitter.com/AcwG63Tl61
— Jake Entwistle (@JakeEntwistle) April 3, 2017
The Swede will return to the Manchester United starting XI after having served a three-match ban he picked up against Bournemouth for elbowing Tyrone Mings. United need him to fire away if they are to salvage a win, and after a poor show against Bournemouth, wherein he missed a penalty, Ibrahimovic will be looking forward to make amends.
Manchester United vs Everton will be telecast live on April 5 at 00:30 am on the Star Sports Network.