Two in-form teams meet at Goodison Park looking to finish the season strong as Everton hosts Manchester United live on NBCSN at 8:30am ET or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
Manchester United looks set to lock up a return to the Champions League, as a win at Goodison today could simultaneously put them a whopping 10 points above Liverpool in fifth place while also vaulting them above Manchester City and Arsenal into second place.
Meanwhile, their opponents have been in good form as well. The Toffees have rattled off five unbeaten, including four wins over that span, and look poised to finish a somewhat disappointing season on a high note. Everton sits in 12th position, but a win could put them level with West Ham on points for 10th.
Daley Blind returns to the field for the Red Devils after missing out with a slight ankle problem, but the defense is slightly beaten up with Phil Jones and Marcus Rojo both on the sidelines. That leaves young Paddy McNair to spot start yet again in central defense alongside Chris Smalling, something he did plenty of early in the season. Michael Carrick also will not play thanks to a calf injury.
Embodying the juxtoposition of last year’s failures against this season’s success, former Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini starts on the return to his former club.
For the home side, Roberto Martinez is without Steven Pienaar thanks to injury while Leon Osman and James McCarthy are both ready to return from knocks and are in the starting lineup. Everton have scored exactly one goal in each of their last three games, but the defense has been stout and they’ve recorded seven points across that time.
Everton: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Lennon, Barkley, Osman; Lukaku.
Bench: Joel, Kone, Mirallas, Naismith, Besic, Garbutt, Alcaraz.
Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, McNair, Shaw, Blind, Herrera, Mata, Fellaini, Young, Rooney.
Bench: Valdes, Blackett, Januzaj, Pereira, Di Maria, van Persie, Falcao.