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Everton-Manchester United Preview
There is joy at Everton - at least for the moment.
There will be even more if the Toffees can follow up a much-needed victory with an even bigger triumph, Sunday at Old Trafford against a surging Manchester United side that's aiming for their third consecutive Premier League victory.
Days after sacking manager Marco Silva, and with caretaker coach Duncan Ferguson in charge, Everton (5-2-9) snapped a three-game losing streak with a rather stunning 3-1 home victory over Chelsea last weekend. Richarlison (six goals) scored within the first five minutes and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (five goals) added a second-half brace as Everton posted their first league victory since Nov. 9 at Southampton.
The victory proved to be massive for the Toffees, who moved up to 14th in the table heading into this matchday. Now, the hard part will be building on it by winning back-to-back Premier League matches for the first time this season.
"It has been great (this week), those points were so important for us," the jovial Ferguson told Everton's official website.
"Everyone is happier when you get wins. The boys seem good. They have trained well and are motivated to go again. We're confident because we are off the back of beating Chelsea. But Manchester United are on a great run … It is going to be difficult for us, but it's one we will be up for."
Yes, the task this weekend is huge for Everton, who did beat Manchester United 4-0 at home last season, but have just two victories at Old Trafford during the Premier League era. The most recent coming in December 2013.
And, as Ferguson eluded, United (6-6-4) are playing their best football of the season. They're 3-2-0 over the last five Premier League matches after winning 2-1 at rival Manchester City last weekend - the result left the Red Devils fifth in the table entering this weekend's slate of matches.
First-half goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial proved to be all United needed to top their rivals, though they had to hold on after the hosts got within one on the 85th-minute mark.
Manchester United followed with this week's 4-0 rout of AZ Alkmaar to win their group in Europa League play.
"A week is very long in football, of course, a lot of things can change in a week, but for us, we just want games coming and the boys in good shape," manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told United's official website. "It's a good group … I'm looking forward to seeing how this December goes, because they're growing into a good group."
Rashford, who has a team-leading 13 goals over all competitions this season, has totaled seven over his last eight Premier League contests. Including, three in Man United's last two victories over Spurs and City. Rashford, though, has failed to score in seven career Premier League games versus Everton.
Richarlison, meanwhile, has a goal in three consecutive league matches, but just one in four contests against Manchester United within the top-flight.
Updated December 13, 2019