Manchester United can extend their unbeaten run at Old Trafford to a staggering 24 games when they host Everton in Saturday lunchtime’s Premier League contest. The Red Devils rose back into the top four of the table with a 1-0 win over Brentford on Wednesday, while the Toffees remain above the dotted line thanks to a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Monday.
Man United’s midfield maestro Casemiro will serve the fourth and final game of his domestic suspension this weekend, but Ten Hag has been handed an untimely concern with Luke Shaw, who came off with an apparent hamstring problem in the first half against Brentford.
Shaw will be sent for further assessment ahead of Saturday’s game, but the tight turnaround makes it difficult to envisage the Englishman making a rapid recovery, while ankle victims Christian Eriksen, Alejandro Garnacho and Tom Heaton remain out alongside former Toffees loanee Donny van de Beek (knee).
Tyrell Malacia can surely look forward to a start on the left-hand side of the backline in Shaw’s absence, and with fewer than 72 hours to recover, the likes of Fred, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and even Anthony Martial could come into Ten Hag’s thinking here.
Man United are not the only ones working without a suspended tough-tackling midfielder, as Doucoure starts a three-game ban for his skirmish with Kane, whose reaction to the incident seemed to generate more furore than Doucoure’s actions did.
Andros Townsend, who scored in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last season, is unlikely to be back for another few weeks due to a knee issue, while the luckless Dominic Calvert-Lewin continues to struggle with a thigh injury and remains unavailable too.
Ex-Manchester United protege James Garner may be considered for a first Premier League start of the season in place of Doucoure, but Dyche could be tempted into a formation switch instead, bringing in Vitaly Mykolenko on the left and reverting to a three-man central backline.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Malacia; Fred, Sabitzer; Antony, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial
Everton possible starting lineup:
Pickford; Keane, Tarkowski, Godfrey; Coleman, Onana, Gueye, Mykolenko; Iwobi, Gray, McNeil
Prediction: Manchester United 1-0 Everton
Potentially setting up to frustrate Man United in a defence-heavy formation – especially considering their propensity to concede goals on the road – Dyche’s Evertonian battlers can do exactly that against a fatigued Red Devils team. However, for all of their worthwhile work at Goodison, Everton just cannot find the recipe for success on rival turf, and a Man United side who seldom give much away at Old Trafford can edge another low-scoring battle to strengthen their bid for a top-four finish.