Manchester United will be desperate to rebound from a disappointing loss to Aston Villa when they host Everton in the opening game of round seven in the Premier League this Saturday.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational return to Manchester United recently raised expectations that this could be a season to remember, and the fanfare only escalated on Wednesday night when the superstar striker scored in the dying seconds to salvage a 2-1 win over Villarreal in the Champions League.
Prior to that win, United had slipped to three defeats in four games, and the pressure was beginning to build.
However, Wednesday’s much-needed victory was a timely result for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, particularly with his side just one point behind Premier League leaders Liverpool after six matches.
Solskjaer conceded United had “got lucky” and were “saved” by goalkeeper David de Gea as Villarreal produced plenty of chances. Wednesday’s ‘fortuitous’ victory was also preceded by a shock reverse in their Champions League opener against Young Boys, a League Cup exit to West Ham and last Saturday’s defeat against Aston Villa.
The result against Villa would have been particularly frustrating after a spot-kick miss by Bruno Fernandes condemned United to a 1-0 defeat that brought an end to their unbeaten run in the Premier League.
Yet, there was at least some good news this week as star forward Marcus Rashford indicated he would soon be returning to light contact training as he continues his recovery from shoulder surgery. On the flipside, this comes on the back of the recent confirmation that a calf injury will sideline captain Harry Maguire for several weeks.
United will know they are now set to face a stern challenge against an Everton team that has mirrored the Red Devils’ start to the Premier League, winning four games while drawing and losing just one.
Ironically, it was also Aston Villa that inflicted a 3-0 defeat on Everton in mid-September, but last weekend they did bounce back by claiming a 2-0 victory against Norwich City.