Barkley and Jagielka were dropped to the bench, with Funes Mori, Cleverley and Mirallas starting against Man Utd.
Ronald Koeman had an almost fully-fit squad to choose from, with the exception of long-term absentees Muhamed Besic and Matthew Pennington. Barkley and Jagielka were dropped to the bench and did not p[lay.
For the visitors, Luke Shaw was sidelined and Wayne Rooney was denied a Goodison return through suspension.
Man Utd kicked off but The Blues got possession without showing too much energy until Bolaise fired in a decent cross that led to a good corner put in well by Mirallas, defend out for a second effort, a superb delivery but no Blue shirt on the end of it.
Lukaku tried a through-ball from deep for Bolasie, straight to a Utd defender and turned over possession after a bright start. The Reds built their attack with equal lack of intensity, Pogba firing a loose ball well wide. They got behind the Blue line but Martial was offside.
Barry's passing was poor, two out of play, one to a defender, before Funes Mori strode forward and fired off a ridiculous shot, well high and wide. A poor challenge from Barry led to a stern lecture for him, as he was shown up for slow rections.
The football was pretty scrappy, which benefited Everton a little, but the poor passing was always going to limit them going forward, and would give the Reds time to build, with little pressing on show. Funes Mori cleared straight to a red shirt in the centre-circle and the ball came right back.
Rojo went in really hard on Gana, studs showing, a horrible tackle, but the Everton midfielder jumped up straight away. The Everton players surrounded Oliver but all he gave was yellow. Mirallas put in a good ball in but Williams headed it backwards for a lame volley from Coleman.
Man Utd won another corner taken by Martial, leading to head-tennis that was finally claimed by Stekelenburg. Lukaku dribbled well into the left channel and then passed straight to a defender.
Bolasie did a great dummy and scampered forward but Lukaku was behind the defender and could not reach the good-quality cross. A free-kick was swung in but again no-one could get to it.
Barry again gave the ball away in the centre, drawing more pressure that fortunately came to nothing. Everton tired the direct approach, a hoofball overhit to De Gea.
Lukaku got forward and played in Bolasie whose cross/shot was poor — too far ahead of Mirallas coming in at the far post. Pogba tried to drive through Barry and fouled him. More hoofballs were overhit as this simplistic approach to building attacks was producing little.
Funes Mori blocked Mkhitaryan, giving away a dangerous free-kick in the dee: Ibrahimovic powered it straight into the Everton wall. More formless play from both sides saw plenty of lofted lottery balls. Barry finally saw yellow for a nothing foul — accumulation.
Darmian fouled Lukaku, for Mirallas to curl in another free kick, off Funes Mori, but Barry had strayed offside. Another attempt to release Lukaku with a lofted ball forward failed, despite the big man winning the ball in the air. Baines was next with another poor forward ball. Funes Mori was across sharply to nick the ball off Mkhitaryan, saving us from surely the first shot on goal.
Man Utd were using the same tactics with the forward lofted ball, with the same level of quality and success as the home side; really poor quality from two side battling for 6th place in the world-renown Premier League. But no pressing in midfield by Everton as Man Utd had better ground-ball play that petered out to nothing.
But the lofted ball forward finally worked for Man Utd, Ibrahimovic with a brilliant lob over Stekelenburg who was way out of his area, the ball bouncing up onto the bar, down onto the goalline, hitting the post and just crossing the line before Funes Mori, who had crucially dawddled watching it, finally scooped it away, a fraction too late, as shown by the goalline technology. The first shot on goal scores, and Everton behind.
Bolasie beat his man and crossed well enough but Lukaku was again behind the defender with no chance of getting the ball, summing up another poor (a fine distinction from 'abysmal') half from the Blues, still to produce anything worthy of the words 'attack on goal'.
No changes from the Dour Dutchman, with Everton hoofing forward from the kick-off and Lukaku losing possession. Bolasie and Lukaku tried to pass the ball into the Man Utd area but Lukaku ended up passing it behind by the corner flag.
Funes Mori played a through-ball to no-one except De Gea. The next attempt at a forward ball to Lukaku brought audible groans from the faithful.
Coleman did well to beat Ibrahimovic but then turned back into the big striker and collapsed in a heap beneath his full weight. Another ridiculous lofted ball by Williams straight out of play by the corner flag.
Barry and Lukaku suddenly combined, Mirallas powering in and shooting but De Gea instinctively stuck out a foot to deny him.
Everton with the ball at the back and Funes Mori, a dreadful mistake gaves it away to Ibrahimovic. A passage of intense pressure resulted, with calls for a penalty off Baines, slidding to defend a ball on the ground. More pressure from the corner, then Cleverley fouling to give away a dangerous free-kick but it was defended well enough.
The impetus, however, was clearly with the visitors, despite Mirallas's excellent attempt. Gueye tried to release Lukaku but the ball as miles away from him. Cleverley could not dig the ball out and Man Utd swept forward, with a series of crazy plays in the Everton area, Mkhitaryan lashing it against the crossbar, but Everton broke away and Bolasie crossed well beyond the far post.
The hour mark, and Deulofeu was readied to come on but Bolasie was barged off the ball and writhed in agony after falling awkwardly on his right knee. Cleverley was withdrawn but Coleman was struggling as Pogba headed over. Holgate replaced Coleman, then Bolaise sat down and he was replaced by Valencia.
Valencia at least showed some effort but was tackled firmly. Deulofeu was bamboozled by Pogba, while Williams played the ball from the centre, back to Stekelenburg with nothing happening in front of him.
Some better forward play ensued around the Utd area but led to nothing. Another lofted ball to Lukaku evaded him. Baines could not cross past Mkhitaryan. Koeman finally stood up and moved around, probably in an attempt to keep warm.
Better forward play along the ground saw Gueye fire a hard shot but straight at De Gea, and that roused the frustrated Goodison crowd, Darmian fouling Deulofeu despite touching the ball. Deulofeu delivered an excellent ball headed toward the top corner and tipped behind by De Gea.
Everton were finally trying to make a game of it with barely 15 minutes remaining. But the structure of the play was lacking and it failed to penetrate the Man Utd defence.
Holgate put in an excellent first-time cross off Deulofeu but Valencia headed straight at De Gea's feet. Deulofeu tried to create something but there was little movement in front of him.
Deulofeu tried to beat his man but was fuming that the decision was a goalkick. The Blues kept applying some pressure and then Fellaini sent Gueye flying ... Penalty! Leighton Baines fired in coolly from the spot to save Everton from their first defeat at Goodison park this season.
A tremendous atmosphere now as Everton finally showed some initiative. Great shot by Baines, lashed in and parried out by De Gea for a corner.
Holgate did superbly at the other end to deny Herrera's cross as the 5 minutes of added time ticked away. The pressure was more persuasive from United, however, as the Blues surge seemed to have faded. But Fellaini got a great cheer when he needlessly played the ball out.
Deulofeu was at the heart of a good break but his cross was too close to De Gea and the ball went straight back to the Everton area, Oliver blowing the final whistle to end the contest, with Everton miraculously still unbeaten at Goodison park but with only one win in 10 games.
Everton: Stekelenburg, Baines, Funes Mori, Williams, Coleman (67' Holgate), Cleverley (65' Deulofeu), Barry [Y:32'], Gana, Bolasie (68' E Valencia), Mirallas, Lukaku.
Subs not Used: Robles, Jagielka, McCarthy, Barkley.
Manchester United: De Gea [Y:88'], A Valencia, Jones, Rojo [Y:16'], Darmian, Pogba, Herrera, Carrick, Mkhitaryan (85' Fellaini [Y:88']), Martial (83' Rashford), Ibrahimovic.
Subs: Romero, Bailly, Blind,, Lingard, Mata.
Kick-off: 4pm, Sunday 4 December 2016
Referee: Michael Oliver
From My Seat: Man United (H)
A cold day was made warmer as we settled in the Room of Nonsense and rejoiced in watching our cousins go from heroes to zeros whilst baiting the few red-shirted ones present. We did discuss whether Big Ron should indeed introduce some of the U23 players or not.
The teams were beamed to hand-held electronic devices and the answer from Ron was “no”, although Holgate made the bench and had the company of Ross and Jags along with Lennon but not Cleverley whose promotion to a starting berth was not well received. Whether Ron is right about the non-introduction of some youngsters or not on the basis they are not yet ready I don’t know but he sees them every day and with none of the rich C.L. clubs from the four major leagues in Europe showing any interest in our youngsters then I reckon he is right.
Talking of Holgate, remember the first game of the season when he got on the wrong side of his man and the Spurs lad scored well an identical situation occurred today but this time he did it right and it was his diving header that saved a goal. Shows the lad is willing to learn, eh.
The walk up was a chilly one but the festivities on Goodison Road were as popular as ever with Goodison looking resplendent bathed in Blue light. Inside well in time for Z-Cars and then the minute’s silence for the victims of that terrible plane crash in Brazil which was observed wonderfully by all the fans in the ground.
From the kick off it was clear one lesson had been driven home from recent games in that we started fast and looked up for it. It took the visitors a little while to get used to the Everton approach but as the game settled United came into it more and I wondered if the hundreds of millions they had spent in the summer on players would start to dominate and dictate. Well they did but not by that much and a great midfield battle for supremacy started to take place as the giant Pogba was taken on by the much lesser giant Gana. Both would have important parts to play in the whole 95 minutes. On the day I believe Gana won that battle.
As the half started to settle Barry let Ibrahimovic know reputations meant little to him and left him in a heap on the deck. He was booked but it fired others a little and Funes was next to let him know he was about with a strong but well-timed tackle, one of those that Jose says is a sending off for an opponent but a great tackle for a Manc.
Shortly after a Manc should have definitely been red carded when Rojo thundered into Gana with both feet off the ground studs up and in full view of the ref Mr Oliver who saw it as only a yellow-card offence. Do refs now make the laws up as they go along as and when they like? Luckily our man got up without the histrionics of most players and I wondered did that have any bearing on the refs action. IT SHOULDN’T HAVE.
United seemed now to be having the better of things with good, quick build-up through midfield but certainly not all their own way. Their travelling fans were in full voice but as we attacked more our fans got themselves heard, apart from a few groans when the long ball became a hoof to no one.
From one attack we gained a free kick which Mirallas took well and a scrambled clearance went to Cleverly on the edge but he made a hash of it by either mis- hitting it or just a poor hurried flash. Anyway still no shots on target for either side. Lukaku showed his strength to get past his man and make ground and feed Bolasie to run on goal with Mirallas free at the far post. Bolasie smashed the ball across goal and out the other side. If it was a shot it was woeful if it was a cross it was a disgrace.
United replied with a good break when Pogba fed Ibrahimovic in space and he effortlessly found Mkhitaryan on a run into the box when a superb sliding well timed tackle from Funes saved the day. With the half ticking down and the clock passed the 40 minute mark when I thought I noticed some confidence coming back into both our play and players and thought, if we can get in all square Ron can assure them if we play as we can a win could be on. I wish I didn’t think those things because the next thing I saw was United lob one forward. Looked like meat and drink for our defenders who were back until the sight of the giant yellow peril careering out of his goal looking like his brakes had gone and the ball at the feet of Ibrahimovic. He was 4 yards out of his area when Ibrahimovic lobbed him. Funes Mori, who was ready to tackle Ibrahimovic, looked shell shocked for a vital split second which prevented him getting back to maybe clear before the ball bounced up, hit underside of bar came down, hit the post and Funes hooked away. It may have fooled human eyes but goal-line technology rules and we are yet again going into half time 1-0 down.
The half time chat was of a bit of a better start than we had been having and most agreed the manager has a fair way to go to get us properly firing. January shouldn’t be seen as the saviour to all our ills as January is never that productive for most teams. I reckon he needs to know his squad and how to get the best from their individual abilities and weld them into a team until we can get in players to improve on what he is able to build with the present squad. It might take more time than we think.
Second half and before you know it we have a flash point as a United cross is met by Coleman who turns and beats Ibrahimovic who chases him and floors him and lands on top of him. From my seat the Swede kicks Coleman slyly as he pretends he is trying to get up. It looked deliberate to me but the ref was close and gave nothing. I thought that’s two he has bottled in their favour perhaps he will have a conscience and give us a pen. Spooky or what?
The game ebbed and flowed with Gana superb in the middle of the park; in fact the best I have seen him play this season. Then I had that dreadful thought of what happens when he is away in January at the ANC. Still that’s a problem for the manager; we will see how he copes. Could James McCarthy get fully fit and do the business? Just a thought.
No shots on target as the half went on until Lukaku got on the ball and played a one-two-three with Mirallas who cut in and hit a blockbuster which unfortunately hit the keeper’s arm and deflected over the bar. “IF ONLY,” we all thought as the ball went for a corner. Still, I suppose it’s good to have a good keeper who is also lucky.
United had a good spell with the highlight being an attack from us that had Cleverley on the edge of their box but he dawdled and the ball was taken from him and the clearance found Ibrahimovic midway who sent a good pass to the fast running Pogba. He fed Mkhitaryan whose shot was blocked by Coleman but he won it back with some tenacity and played it across the box to Carrick who slipped in Herrera. He thumped one against the bar and the rebound out was picked up by Mirallas who quickly made ground and played in Bolasie on the right but once again his cross was woeful and just drifted out.
Mirallas was quickly involved again when he ran with the ball and fed a peach of a pass to Gana who hit a swerve ball that had the keeper scrambling. Around the hour mark Big Ron decided on plan B and made three subs in quick succession. First it was Cleverley and Deulofeu came on looking determined to make his mark and he was soon going at pace and twisting and turning his man but, as ever, it is that end product that is missing.
We then welcomed Holgate for Coleman who was decidedly the worse for the Ibrahimovic mauling and one minute later Bolasie limped off in favour of Valencia. This was an interesting one in trying to work out what position he was supposed to take up but whatever it was it suited Lukaku who seemed to come more committed and sharp on the introduction of the loanee. I thought I hope Barry doesn’t get a second yellow now.
Mirallas was having one of his best games of the season so far and was a pest to the United rearguard. He picked up the ball midfield and sprayed a superb 39-yard pass out to the unmarked Deulofeu who, seeing his route to goal blocked, played it back to Holgate who put in a cracking cross that saw Valencia rise highest and head the ball down toward goal but, alas, it was straight to the keeper.
The clock was ticking down, the crowd were doing their best to roar the lads on and they had a chance to turn up the volume when Barry, who had been solid throughout and could be seen to be playing a captain’s part with his gestures and with that clock ticking, was trying to help fashion a joined up approach to getting someone free in their box. Some fans were leaving now even though we were probably having our best sustained spell of the game. Jose sent on Fellaini who was booed by some and clapped by others. “Give us an o.g. laa!” I shouted.
Barry took up the ball in midfield, saw Baines go past him up the left wing and our captain played the ball with just the right pace for Baines to control and look up. Finding his route for a cross or a run blocked, he turned and played it back to the get-out man Barry. He took one pace, looked up and slid a peach into the box for our standout man Gana to turn with a free run on goal. (Who says our holding midfielders don’t get forward?) A player who used to come to our rescue in years gone by did so again today when Fellaini barged him over in the box. The Ref had a quick think and pointed to the spot.
No doubt penalty taking had been discussed in team meetings as Mirallas picked up the ball and threw it to Baines and the rest stepped back. Goodison went silent as the United players tried all the off-putting tactics they knew but Bainsey stood and waited as calm as playing his guitar. Eventually the ref got order and blew his whistle. Baines ran up, De Gea guessed correctly and dived to his right but the Baines spot kick was spot on and the corner of the net bulged. That sound of wet ball hitting sisal mesh was heard a millisecond before Goodison erupted. Just think, quite a few fans missed that.
We were quickly back for the kick off as the players sensed a win. We had two minutes of good pressing then United had their two minutes then the final minute was played out with both teams ready to take a point. Final whistle and a bit of me see that result as good as a win in terms of the game giving some much needed confidence that we all hope can be carried forward.
Coming out of the ground the Old Lady looked even more impressive now that it was properly dark. Mind you, they can get the ground looking great but yet can’t fix the escalators on the top balcony. Most people seemed happy enough with the result but a few moans about the style of play. I reckon we can play any style the manager wants so long as we show improvement and gain the confidence to play with a fluidity that will not only be better on the eye but more importantly bring more wins. In football confidence is a very big thing.
I heard Jose give his press commitment and he said ‘We are a far, far, better team than Everton’. People watching on tele or reading it in papers can believe that but I had a look at a couple of things. Today we were equal one goal and one point each. We now have one win in 9 games; Man U have one win in 8 games. They are one point better off than us. We are 8th in the league. They are 6th. Man U a far, far, better team than us? Makes you think eh?
Here’s hoping for a confident display and three points at Watford. We will need to work hard so let’s hope we are indeed starting to show signs of better things to come.
UP THE BLUES
Baines rescues point in bruising encounter
Our boiler broke two weeks ago and, despite two visits and parts being ordered from the boiler engineer, we are still without heat and hot water during a particularly cold time of the year. Just to ensure I had a shower today, I jogged to my parents house with Katja following in the car with my clothes and belongings for the day. Once I was showered at my parents, Ste picked me up and on we went to Goodison Park. We were in the pub with plenty of time, Liverpool already 2-0 ahead before we even arrived.
The pub swelled with supporters with most glued to the TV screens as Bournemouth launched quite an astonishing comeback against our loveable neighbours. At 3-1, you couldn't see a way back for The Cherries but fair play to them for persevering, and when they went 4-3 ahead in injury time, the pub erupted, Ste and I, like many others, jumping for joy and hugging as they grabbed the winner. A very impressive comeback indeed, ensuring we were onward to Goodison Park in good spirits.
None of us really expected a victory over Manchester United and before the game I'd personally have taken the draw. Ross Barkley, Phil Jagielka and Aaron Lennon were the three to make way from our meek display at Southampton last weekend, with Ramiro Funes Mori, Kevin Mirallas and Tom Cleverley all in the team; Mirallas lining up in a more central attacking position with Tom Cleverley on the wing.
Manchester United were without the suspended Wayne Rooney, though did boast Zlatan Ibrahimovic, P aul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst their formidable line up. Michael Oliver officiated and got the game under way only after a minute's silence in respect of those who passed away during the Chapecoense plane crash.
The atmosphere was tasty early doors but was soon flattened as events on the pitch, or there lack of, ensured there was little to get too excited about as both teams seemed to cancel each other out. Martin Stekelenburg did make one good save though the flag had already been raised by the linesman against Anthony Martial.
It may even have been Ronald Koeman's game plan to contain Manchester United for a long period of the game before going for the kill later on. We'll never know I suppose as a piece of brilliance by Zlatan Ibrahimovic just three minutes before half-time ensured that Manchester United went in at the break a goal ahead.
It was a wonderful Zlatan-esque finish by the Swede though our Dutch goalkeeper was very culpable as he dashed out and presented an open goal, with Ibraimovic requiring no second invitations to loft the ball into the goal...the ball hitting the crossbar and then the post and then sneaking over the line before it was cleared by Funes Mori with the ball "millimetres over the line" according to a Manchester United fan via text message.
Though disappointing to be behind at the break you at least knew Everton would be forced to give it a go after the break. Marcus Rojo was apparantly a lucky boy to remain on the pitch for the second half after also following a two-footed lunge on Idrissa Gueye.
It took time before we clicked into gear in the second half and things could have been very different had Ander Herrera found the net rather than the bar with a presentable volley. Otherwise however, opportunities alone, particularly as we surged late in the game, would suggest we deserved our draw.
Earlier in the half, Kevin Mirallas, one of very few players out there who gave it a good go, came close when he burst into the penalty area and forced a decent save from David de Gea. The big Spaniard was forced into more action as the end closed in while Everton rallied for the equaliser. He saved from Idrissa Gueye's distance drive, from substitute Mason Holgate's looping header, and, albeit more easily, from Enner Valencia's downward header.
That was before Leighton Baines finally secured a point for Everton from the penalty spot when ex-Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini, only just on the field as a substitute, clumsily fouled Idrissa Gueye. De Gea guessed right, literally, but Baines' penalty was too good and Everton were level with just a minute of normal time remaining. It was great to see Kevin Mirallas grab the ball immediately after the penalty was awarded and throw it straight to Leighton Baines.
Goodison Park was rocking again by this point and the players had their tails up. On another day we may have snatched a late, late winner in the five minutes of stoppage time. The closest we came was probably when Baines struck with a surprise shot inside the penalty area but De Gea was able to beat it away. At full-time we had to be pleased with a point given it looked so bleak earlier in the game. Hopefully that is the spark we need to re-ignite our faltering campaign. A win at Watford next weekend would be a timely opportunity to prove this.
Stekelenburg: After half a dozen games or so I was delighted with Maarten Stekelenburg but he is error-prone and maddeningly inconsistent. I wouldn't really like to rely on Joel Robles either so after an encouraging start from Maarten, I'm now, alas, of the decision that this is a problem position again and one that needs fixing. 5
Baines: He was fairly quiet for a lot of the game but, like the rest of them, seemed to kick into life as we pressed for the equaliser late on. 6
Williams: He's doing OK but doesn't quite seem to be the commanding centre back we thought we had signed. 6
Funes Mori: Though Phil Jagielka probably deserved to be dropped after a number of poor performances this season, Ramiro Funes Mori isn't the answer. Despite his best efforts, he really can't defend. 5
Coleman: Was doing OK until he was forced off injured. That'll be him out for a little while I assume. 6
Barry: It wasn't for lack of trying but this wasn't one of Barry's better games. His passing at times was particularly sloppy. Credit to him though, he never hid and kept on going. 5
Gueye: Another brilliant display by Idrissa Gueye, this one perhaps his best yet. Though he has shown his strength in tackling and breaking up the play plenty of times this season, this was certainly the most dynamic, yet combative I've seen him play for us yet. My man of the match. 8
Bolasie: Had a woeful game before coming off injured. Effort was there but he really didn't get into the game at all. 4
Cleverley: Struggled on the flank but tried. Certainly didn't deserve the ironic cheers on his departure when he was substituted. 5
Mirallas: One of only a few who showed up throughout. He was full of effort and this perhaps rubbed off on his colleagues when we finally got going late in the game. Should surely remain in the team. 7
Lukaku: He was very isolated and cut a frustrated figure up top. He was living off scraps and not a lot went for him, bur he did at least battle, perhaps more than I've seen him do so for some time. He's got to be due a goal now, hopefully he can get on the goal trail next week. 6
Deulofeu (for Cleverley): Not exactly at his best but he did cause a few problems. 6
Holgate (for Coleman): It's great to know that Mason is more than capable of coping in Coelman's absence. He did very well and won't let anyone down these next few weeks if, as expected, he is required. 7
Valencia (for Bolasie): Maybe it's time to start him in a few games? His pace and energy up front would cause most teams problems I would have thought. 7
Everton enter a seven-match sequence between now and the New Year which could go a long way to shaping their season, even if there is hope among many that the January transfer window can inject some life into a Blues squad attracting much criticism for recent performances.
Starting with Manchester United and including further home games against Arsenal and Liverpool, it's being viewed as a sticky part of the fixture calendar but it need not all be trepidatious if the team can get its act together and play with some vim and vigour.
Erratic Watford, struggling Champions Leicester and a Hull City side that currently sits in the relegation zone could all be picked off away from home if Ronald Koeman can discover an effective system, productive line-up and the ability to motivate his charges.
Likewise, a Manchester United side whose own inability to win means they sit just a point ahead of the Blues coming into this weekend despite their outlay of hundreds of millions of pounds represent beatable opposition for an Everton side properly in the mood.
That has been a rare sight this season; indeed, Evertonians are still waiting for their team to put together a consistent display for 90 minutes under Koeman. The Dutchman suggested in his pre-match press conferencethat the visit of high-profile opposition like United could provide the spark for his players but it remains to be seen what, if any, changes he makes in terms of personnel.
Certainly, there have been calls from fans for some individuals to be dropped while there is a growing clamour for Koeman to try something different when it comes to his formation or system as well.
James McCarthy is available again after recovering from his brief set-back in a return from a hamstring injury but is an unlikely starter in place of either Gareth Barry or Idrissa Gueye.
Again, unless Koeman is planning radical changes at full-back or Ross Barkley's “number 10” role, the areas of the side most apt for a reshuffle are in central defence where Phil Jagielka's position has come into question lately and in the forward areas, where any one of Gerard Deulofeu, Aaron Lennon or Kevin Mirallas could be deployed on the opposite flank to Yannick Bolasie.
That is to assume, of course, that the manager doesn't opt for two up front — be that Bolasie, Deulofeu or Enner Valencia partnering Romelu Lukaku — and, perhaps, a central midfield reinforced by either McCarthy or Tom Cleverley. Hopes that Tom Davies might get a start to inject some youth and hunger into the side are likely to go unfulfilled.
On a run of just one league win in seven games himself, Jose Mourinho returns to Goodison Park for the first time since a Steven Naismith-inspired Everton beat his Chelsea outfit 3-1 in September last year.
He will welcome record signing Paul Pogba and ex-Blue Marouane Fellaini back after they served respective suspensions but another more famous former Everton player, Wayne Rooney, will be ineligible as he serves a ban of his own. He picked up his fifth booking of the season in the EFL Cup win over West Ham, a game in which Luke Shaw picked up a knock that could rule him out this weekend.
Kick-off: 4pm, Sunday 4th December, 2016
Referee Michael Oliver
Last time: Everton 0 - 3 Manchester United