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BETTING PREVIEW: EVERTON vs MANCHESTER UNITED

Despite a disappointing draw against Leicester recently, Manchester United will know that a win over Everton this Saturday can keep their top-four hopes alive.

It’s been a league season of both highs and lows for United, who have been the picture of inconsistency for large parts of the campaign, as reflected by a record of 14 wins, nine draws and seven losses.

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Last weekend, the Red Devils played out to a lacklustre 1-1 draw with 10th-placed Leicester, and are now hovering in seventh spot on the Premier League table.

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However, United are still just three log points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, who are level on 54 log points.

Interim manager Ralf Rangnick may soon be stepping away from a frontline coaching role at United, but he will know that a clash against relegation-threatened Everton represents a prime opportunity to bank maximum points.

It will be the 100th time United have played the Toffees at Goodison Park, winning 17 out of the last 29 meetings at the venue in the Premier League era.

At times this season, Rangnick has found himself under pressure, but in the opposite camp it’s really been a horrid start to the tenure of Everton manager Frank Lampard, who won just two of his eight league games in charge.

“There are nine games (still to play) where we have to give absolutely everything, every ounce that we have. I will certainly do that and everybody has to do the same,” Lampard commented this week.

United are still expected to be without Edinson Cavani (calf strain), while Luke Shaw is also a doubt (leg injury), but there is no doubt the visitors will be firm favourites to return to winning ways.

Donny van de Beek, Nathan Patterson and Andros Townsend are not available to Lampard, who has little choice but to consider the same group of players who slipped to a 3-2 defeat against Burnley on Wednesday.

Should Everton – a club who have been a virtual permanent fixture in the top flight for decades – end up being relegated, it would be one of the most unexpected drops in recent history.

Everton last suffered relegation in 1950-51, and have been a top flight club longer than Liverpool (since 1962-63), Manchester United (1975-76), Tottenham (1978-79), and Chelsea (1989-90).

Lampard’s team are currently just one perilous point above the drop zone, having collected just 12 points across their last 23 league games.

A challenging set of fixtures also lie ahead for the Toffees, starting with this clash against a United side that can be expected to claim a comfortable victory.

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