With an important game against Real Madrid looming in the next few days, United host Everton on Sunday, in match number 26 of the 2012/2013 season.
It will be a day where United fans will want all three points in the bag, not just for the title race but also for the boys who died in Munich 55 years ago, as tributes will be paid throughout the day to those who lost their lives.
Everton are well known for being one of our toughest opponents when they visit Old Trafford, and Sir Alex will have to strike a good balance in his team selection so he can win on Sunday, and not lose on Wednesday.
The boss has stated that Ashley Young will be fit again for the visit of Merseyside’s strongest team, and Michael Carrick also returns to the fold.
Phil Jones is likely to miss out through illness, and Sir Alex will utilise his squad to the hilt – perhaps playing Anderson, Evans, Smalling and Chicharito, with thoughts of them being on the bench for Wednesday.
For Everton, Coleman and Hibbert are due to miss the trip, and fans will welcome back old-boy Phil Neville, as he skippers the club he joined from the reds almost eight years ago.
The visitors make the short trip down the East Lancs on the back of a 3-3 home draw to Aston Villa last week.
The Toffeemen are unbeaten in all competitions so far in 2013, and they will be looking to earn at least a point at Old Trafford, as they did in the same fixture last season. United on the other hand wont be looking to switch off as they did in that game, as we surrendered a 4-2 lead to share the points, ultimately having a big say in the title race.
They’ve played for both sides:
As well as Phil Neville, there have been a number of player who’ve worn United red and Everton blue down the years:
Norman Whiteside: Big Norm needs no introduction. A man-beast of a lad, who made his debut for United aged only 16, but had the build of a mountain that was ten years older. And was hard as nails. He scored the only goal of the game in the 1985 FA Cup Final against Everton, and spent four more years at United, a lot of that on the treatment table, before moving to Everton. At Goodison Park he had two seasons, scoring 9 goals in 29 games, before being forced to quit the game through injury.
Andrei Kanchelskis: Kanchelskis was an exciting, lightning quick Russian right winger who signed for the reds as an unknown from Shakhtar Donetsk in 1991. It took him a while to break in to a side that saw Lee Sharpe and Ryan Giggs occupying the flanks, but when he got a run, he made the right wing his own. He famously scored a hat-trick in the 5-0 demolition of Manchester City in 1994, but his Old Trafford career ended under a cloud the following summer. The Russian had spoken out against the club and the manager in the press a few times that year, and rumour has it he had mafia connections. This resulted in Chairman Martin Edwards alledgedly being told to “Sell Andrei, or you will not be here much longer”. The hassle wasn’t worth the threat and he was shipped out to Everton for £5m.
John Gidman: ‘Giddy’ was Ron Atkinson’s first signing at United in 1981, in a deal that saw winger Mickey Thomas go in the other direction. Gidman starred in the 1970s for Aston Villa after going through the Liverpool youth ranks. He had two years at Goodison, and five years at United. He’d share right back duties with Mike Duxbury throughout his time here, and won an FA Cup Winners medal in that ’85 final against Everton. Gidman left Old Trafford for Maine Road in 1986, making his debut for City against United only a few days later.
Check out RedFlagFlyingHigh’s exclusive quick-fire interview with John Gidman next week!
The gap at the top could be 12 points at 6 o’Clock on Sunday. But in the grand scheme of things, a point against Everton wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen. They’re a quality side, with a manager who knows how to snuff us out and frustrate us.
Wherever you’re watching it on Sunday, enjoy the game.
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