Football News

Premier League preview: Manchester United v Everton

Created on 09 Feb., 2013 8:00 AM GMT

Manchester United get the chance to move further clear at the top of the table when they host Everton on Sunday.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side enter the weekend nine points clear of their closest rival Manchester City and will be keen to continue their unbeaten run in the league that lasts back to November last year.

United have won 11 of their 12 league matches at Old Trafford this campaign, with their only loss coming back in September when they were beaten 3-2 by Tottenham.

They have picked up three points in every other contest at home and will be confident of doing so again against fifth-placed Everton.

Everton are unbeaten in the league in 2013 and get the chance to put more pressure on Chelsea and Tottenham in third and fourth place if they can pick up a positive result away from home.

And the venue will hold no fears for David Moyes' side given they scored twice late in the match last season to salvage an exciting 4-4 draw and ultimately help Manchester City clinch the title.

Earlier this season, Everton prevailed 1-0 over United at Goodison Park so a rare double can be achieved if the Merseyside team can triumph.

Marouane Fellaini was the hero for Everton on that occasion and the Belgian will once again be pivotal in the outcome of the clash if he is passed fit to play.

Fellaini hurt his hip during Everton's 3-3 draw with Aston Villa last weekend, but Moyes is likely to give his star attacker right up until kick-off to prove his fitness.

The 25-year-old is the only Everton player to have scored in double figures this campaign and, if he fails to feature, the out of form Nikica Jelavic is likely to lead the attack.

Jelavic hasn't scored for his side since January 7, so all Everton fans will be sweating on the fitness of Fellaini in the lead-up to this encounter.

Manchester United are likely to be without Phil Jones (shingles) and Darren Fletcher (illness), but are hopeful of welcoming back Ashley Young from his knee complaint.

United have conceded a higher than expected 31 goals this season, but are hopeful of pairing their two best defenders – Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic – in the centre of defence.

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