Manchester United-Everton Preview
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes he is the right manager for Manchester United despite pressure building ahead of Saturday's trip to Everton.
United have lost consecutive matches having been beaten 1-0 by Arsenal before a 2-1 Champions League reverse at Istanbul Basaksehir, while Solskjaer has overseen the worst start to a season at home of any United manager since 1972-73.
Another defeat at Goodison Park, where they have not won since January 2018, would cast further doubt on Solskjaer's long-term future as speculation builds around the club having sounded out Mauricio Pochettino and Julian Nagelsmann as possible replacements, but the current United boss came out with a strong rebuttal.
"If I don't trust my beliefs and values and my staff's quality and players' quality, who else should? I don't look at one or two results and fall like a house of cards,"said Solskjaer, whose side had won a club-record 10 successive away wins before Wednesday's defeat in Turkey.
"There's ups and downs in football and you have to have belief in yourself and the players the club has been very positive and they've shown strong character and leadership.
"I've always had a very good, open, honest, positive dialogue with the club and they've shown strong leadership. I don't expect the wind to turn. Of course, there is always pressure and expectations on us, but I've grown up here and learned how to deal with good and bad times."
Everton have also lost their last two games, though sit six points above United, and Carlo Ancelotti sympathised with his counterpart.
"I have sympathy for all the managers," Ancelotti said.
"I have more experience than Ole and I can tell him that when things are not good, there is only one responsible - that is the manager. Every manager is under pressure. It is a privilege, so we have to be able to analyse ourselves but with a cold mind."
Everton - James Rodriguez
While he confirmed Jordan Pickford will start in goal after dropping to the bench last week, Ancelotti has been handed a boost by the return to fitness of star man James, who has created 17 chances so far this season. He is behind only Bruno Fernandes, Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne in that regard.
Manchester United - Bruno Fernandes
Fernandes scored United's equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Goodison last season. The playmaker has been involved in 12 goals in his nine Premier League away games so far (eight goals, four assists). Even if he fails to get a goal or assist in this game, it will be the highest number of goal involvements in a player's first 10 Premier League away games in the competition's history.
- Everton are unbeaten in their last three league games against Man Utd (W1 D2), with both games last season ending 1-1. They last went four without defeat against the Red Devils in March 1990.
- United have won more Premier League games against Everton than any side has won against another in the competition's history (36). Meanwhile, their 16 wins at Goodison Park is the joint-most away wins for a club at a specific venue in the competition.
- Everton are looking to avoid losing three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since December 2019, while manager Ancelotti has not lost three league games in a row since November 2006 with AC Milan.
- United have won each of their last six Premier League away games - only between April-August 1993 (seven) have they won more consecutively on the road in the competition.
- Dominic Calvert-Lewin has scored eight goals in his seven Premier League games this season, only failing to score in one game so far. The striker has scored in just one of his seven Premier League appearances against United, but it was in his last match against them.
- Marcus Rashford has been involved in six goals in his last four Premier League away games for Manchester United, scoring three and assisting three.
Updated November 6, 2020