With Manchester City slipping up against Southampton yesterday to be beaten 3-1, current Premier League leaders Manchester United have a glorious opportunity to push their lead at the top of the table to a considerable 12 points with a win over Everton. With only 12 games to play after this afternoon’s fixture at Old Trafford, this lead would be almost unassailable, however Sir Alex Ferguson will be wary of the travelling Evertonians.
United found themselves in a similar position last season, with a sizeable points advantage over cross-town rivals City. However poor form towards the end of the campaign ultimately allowed Roberto Mancini’s charges back into the title race, with the blue side of the city celebrating on a nail-biting last day of the season.
One of the fixtures on footballscores.com football results that will stand out in the minds of United fans will be the 4-4 draw against Everton at Old Trafford. The Red Devils relinquished 3-1 and 4-2 leads over David Moyes’ men that day, which ultimately proved costly at the end of the season.
United have suffered no such downturn in form this time round, with an excellent record of picking up 35 points from a possible 39 over their last 13 league games. With Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney in form, the hosts will be confident of matching the four goals they scored in the fixture in 2011-12.
Everton showed a never-say-die attitude last season in the fixture, and Moyes’ charges have improved again over the last couple of months. The Toffees are eager to contend for a top-four berth and Champions League qualification, however with Tottenham and Arsenal winning on Saturday the Liverpudlians need to pick up points to maintain their ambitions.
Marouane Fellaini’s future has been constantly questioned in the press after impressive performances this term, and the Belgian will be a key man if he shakes off injury to feature. Along with the in-form Steven Pienaar, Nikola Jelavic and Kevin Mirallas, Everton have the potential to make it difficult for a less-than-solid United rearguard. After a 1-0 win over United at Goodison Park on the first day of the season, the hosts would be foolish to underestimate their opponents today.
Both teams want the three points; if Everton manage a shock win it will show the Premier League that they are a real contender for Champions League qualification, whilst if United win the title race could well be over.