Both Teams to Score for Manchester Utd. vs Everton Soccer Picks

Lee Phelps

Wednesday, October 1, 2014 8:26 PM GMT

Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014 8:26 PM GMT

Manchester United face their first big test this season in the Premier League, with Everton at Old Trafford. The betting has the Red Devils as strong favourites. Check out what Lee Phelps thinks of the odds and what his best picks are.

It’s a case of one step forward, two back at the moment for Louis Van Gaal and his Manchester United team. They ground out a win against rejuvenated West Ham, but in the process lost Anders Herrera and Wayne Rooney to injury and suspension. If Herrera’s broken rib doesn’t allow him to play, there will be nine first team players missing for the visit of Everton.

 

Walking Wounded
Defenders Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Jesse Lingard are all out while midfielders Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Ashley Young are also absent. Wayne Rooney's sending off against West Ham means he will be unavailable until November.

Not that Everton are much better off, with Steven Pienaar, Seamus Coleman, Kevin Mirallas and Ross Barkley are all injured. They also have the added headache of a trip to Russia on a Thursday night to play in the Europa League. I’m writing this before their match, so it will be interesting how Roberto Martinez plays it. In past seasons Premier League clubs have made it a habit to draw their away group games with weakened teams and win at home with a stronger first team. I can see Martinez giving some of the second string a start. The likes of Samuel Eto'o, Darron Gibson, Leon Osman and Antolin Alcaraz could all do with a game and are all well capable of getting a result in Krasnodar. It is worth remembering they will finish their game at 2pm EST time on Thursday and land back in the UK at 10pm EST on Thursday night given them about 60 hours until they kick-off in Manchester.

 

First Big Test
Everton are the first team from last season’s top six to play Manchester United, so it represents a real test of their progress under Van Gaal. I’ve been largely ignoring the results and watching to see if the defence and defensive midfield players are tightening up at all. The answer looking at the West Ham stats is “no”. The Hammers had 13 attempts on goal with 10 of them inside the penalty area. In truth United were lucky to get away with a win.

A lot has been and will continue to be made about Rooney’s absence, but I can’t see it hurting the Red Devils too much. They are blessed with attacking talent of course. Radamel Falcao is getting ever closer to his first goal in his new red shirt, while Angel di Maria was a threat again against West Ham and Robin van Persie should go from strength to strength now.

 

Toffees Stuck in a Rut?
Everton have still only got one win on the board this season, with draws against Leicester, Arsenal and Liverpool. They got away with it a bit at Anfield with Phil Jagielka’s thunderbolt levelling the scores just before full-time. They seem a fair way off the level they were at last season. A much more solid three man midfield helped them remain tight in the derby and I wonder if Martinez will try something similar. With United’s injury problem, they could run all over the home midfield and pile more pressure on the fragile defence.

 

Goals, Goals, Goals
The soccer odds for the winner market see United at 4/5, the draw 3/1 and Everton 21/5, which despite their stuttering start, means Everton are 6/5 for the draw and win. That is too big for a team with the players the Merseysiders possess and the amount of Manchester United players missing. As well as that, I really like both teams to score in the first half at 3/1. Last week my pick was over 1.5 first half goals, so I'm happy to go with a slightly bigger price this time. Both teams have seen this happen in half their games so far and with the personnel missing, I can see it happening again. So take both teams to score in first half 3/1 for your soccer picks.

Soccer Pick: Both teams to score in the first half 3/1

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