Monday, June 17, 2024
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Everton brace for Man U backlash

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LONDON: Everton manager David Moyes is bracing for a Manchester United backlash as the Premier League champions attempt to bounce back from their 6-1 derby humiliation against Manchester City.

United travel to Goodison Park for Saturday’s early kick-off knowing that anything less than a victory is likely to see league leaders City increase their hefty five-point lead at the top of the table.

If it were any club other than Manchester United, Moyes would be delighted to be facing opponents reeling from a six-goal mauling.

But Moyes knows that United and Sir Alex Ferguson are rarely more dangerous than when backed into a corner and fully expects to feel the force of his counterpart’s fury on Saturday.

“You would normally think ‘Great, they can’t be coming with great confidence. They’ve got to be damaged by that,'” Moyes said referring to United’s 6-1 loss.

“But you’re talking about Manchester United and you’re talking about a manager in Sir Alex Ferguson. So we understand totally they will be desperate to get back to winning ways.”

Moyes hopes his side can draw on the memory of the corresponding fixture last season, when Everton fought back from 3-1 down to secure a 3-3 draw.

“We had a really good game against them last year,” he said. “But when they come off a defeat like the one they’ve just had, you know it’s going to be hard.”

Ferguson, who described the derby defeat as his “worst ever result” after more than half a century in football as a player and manager, was reportedly incandescent with his players following the loss.

The Scot is planning to dramatically overhaul his starting line-up for the match against Everton, with veterans such as Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Darren Fletcher and Anderson all risking being dropped.

Instead Ferguson will turn to youngsters such as Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and the fit again Tom Cleverley to get United’s campaign back on track.

While Ferguson attempts to rework his United side, rivals City have no such concerns as they entertain struggling Wolves just three days after demolishing Mick McCarthy’s side 5-2 at Molineux in the League Cup.

Arsenal meanwhile face the sternest test of their recent run of form when they take on London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in another early kick-off.

The Gunners have won seven of their last eight fixtures in all competitions, a run that has propelled them to seventh in the table. (Agencies)

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