Premier League Preview: Manchester United v. Everton

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  • Wayne Rooney has now scored 149 Premier League goals for Man Utd. Only Thierry Henry has scored more (175) for a single club (Arsenal)
  • Manchester United have conceded 20 goals in their last 10 Premier League away games, failing to keep a clean sheet in any of them.
  • Romelu Lukaku is one of only three players to score a Premier League hat-trick against Manchester United (after Dirk Kuyt and David Bentley).

With both clubs in the midst of impressive unbeaten streaks Wednesday’s clash between Manchester United and Everton (watch live at 2:45pm ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) promises to be a belter.

Last season Everton shocked United when Marouane Fellaini’s header handed the Toffees all three points. One year later and the Belgian big man has switched allegiances, turning in his Everton blue for Manchester red. Thus far Fellaini has struggled to fit in with the champions but patience is crucial for any player making the jump from a medium to big sized club.

Fortunately, David Moyes has made the same switch and under the Scot’s tutelage, Fellaini is in good hands. Whether the United gaffer decides to start Fellaini against his former club will serve as a huge point of intrigue in this fixture. If he does get the call, he’ll have his hands full helping ensure fellow countrymen Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas, as well as young guns Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu, stay quiet.

Everton enter the match having pounded Stoke City 4-0 on the weekend, one week after a stellar 3-3 draw in the Merseyside Derby. The seven goal splurge was a welcome site for Evertonians, who began to sweat after two straight nil-nil draws, against Crystal Palace and Tottenham, respectively.

Manchester United drew 2-2 with Tottenham at White Hart Lane, one week after a buzzsaw 1-1 draw with Cardiff and a stellar 1-0 victory over league leaders Arsenal. With Robin van Persie sidelined, Wayne Rooney continues to impress in front of an increasingly average looking side.

Of the 84 times these two sides have faced each other in the league, United have been dominant winning 48, drawing 21 and losing only 15. Whether Fellaini and Moyes will be able to guide the Red Devils to continued success against their former club has fans on the edge of their seat in intrigue.

What They’re Saying

Manchester United manager David Moyes: “I’m concerned we’re not as close as we’d like to be [to Arsenal] but it’s a long season and hopefully we’ll be there or thereabouts. There are a lot of games to go. I think the Premier League is tight and we’ll try to stay on the shirt-tails and put ourselves in a good position at the start of next year.”

Everton manager Roberto Martinez: “Over the last 10 years we have not beaten Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool at their grounds and we need to address that. We need to make sure we are ourselves. We need to know how we are going to play and who we are. We are excited about going to Old Trafford.”

Prediction

This one has all the feel of an upset, with David Moyes looking on in bewilderment of having lost to his former, less financially able, club. Manchester United had no answer for Lukaku in the final match of last season when he scored a hat-trick. On Wednesday, I think the Belgian is the difference maker once again. Everton take down the mighty United in their own house.

USMNT: Brooks out with hip strain; World Cup qualifiers loom

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John Brooks is out of Hertha Berlin’s lineup “for the time being” after scans revealed a hip strain suffered in this weekend’s win over Wolfsburg.

That’s all Hertha has said, and that makes it hard to imagine whether American fans should be a little concerned or very concerned ahead of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifiers against Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago in early June.

Brooks was unavailable for two weeks with an adductor strain in September, missing a month before returning to the starting lineup.

The U.S. center back pool isn’t teeming after Brooks and Geoff Cameron. Matt Besler, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, and Walker Zimmerman were called up for the last World Cup qualifiers, and Gonzalez struggled but is a Bruce Arena favorite from their time in L.A.

WATCH: Snazzy Sargent goal leads U.S. U-17s past Mexico

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Josh Sargent scored a pretty goal as the United States Soccer program had another banner day against Mexico.

Nearly two months to the day after the U.S. U-20 side beat Mexico for the first time in 31 years, the U.S. U-17 topped El Tri for the first time ever. That win snapped Mexico’s 25-match unbeaten streak.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

The goal is the first of Sargent’s two goals, as the 16-year-old latched onto a long diagonal ball and used his right foot and head to move the ball into position for a strong shot.

The U.S. clinches a spot in the next round of U-17 World Cup qualifying with one match remaining in group play.

Sargent is from St. Louis and plays with Scott Gallagher-Missouri. Former Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth coaches the U.S. U-17s.

Heads of South American soccer sent $128M in bank transfers

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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) The leaders of South America’s soccer confederation transferred $128.6 million between 2000 and 2015 to personal accounts, suspicious accounts, or unauthorized third-party accounts, according to an audit released Wednesday by Ernst & Young.

According to the audit presented to the annual CONMEBOL congress in the Chilean capital, the confederation’s former president Nicolas Leoz transferred $26.9 million to his personal accounts. Leoz was the president for 27 years until resigning in 2013 for what he said were health reasons.

The audit also found $58 million in payments “to third parties without adequate documentation,” payments of $33.3 million to “unidentified accounts,” and $10.4 million to “suspicious third-parties.”

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

“We had said that we would have four pillars, and the first two pillars were clear accounts and accountability,” said Alejandro Dominguez, the president of CONMEBOL who commissioned the audit last year. “Today we are accountable to the leaders and the whole world of football.”

Leoz, 88, is one of three ex-presidents of CONMEBOL accused on corruption charges by the United States Department of Justice. He is in Paraguay fighting extradition to the United States.

The South American body has been plagued by corruption, which was exposed two years ago during the FIFA scandal. Leoz’s two successors, Eugenio Figueredo and Juan Angel Napout, were both arrested on corruption charges.

“I’m here, I’m the manager” – Moyes will not quit Sunderland

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This has been one horrible stretch for David Moyes.

The Sunderland manager probably thought he’d been through the worst once he left Real Sociedad, where he went 12-15-15.

But he’s managed just seven wins and seven draws in 38 matches in charge of the Black Cats — an 18 percent win mark. He’s also been charged for threatening to slap a female journalist.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

And after Wednesday, Moyes has lost both of his derby matches against Middlesbrough.

Sunderland is 12 points back of safety with five matches left. The odds the Black Cats are headed for the Championship are somewhere north of 99 percent, and fans are calling for his job.

Well, he isn’t quitting. From the BBC:

“No, I’m here, I’m the manager, you take it on the chin. … I’m a football supporter, I know what it’s like. You don’t like seeing your team lose.

“There is nobody who wants to win more than me. I am used to winning, I’m not used to losing and I don’t want to get used to it either.”