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Lethargic Everton in poor state for trip to Old Trafford

Koeman has big problems

Man United's Anthony Martial (left) and Romelu Lukaku
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Ronald Koeman has never lost in five Premier League meetings against Jose Mourinho but that is about the only positive thought the Dutchman can have as his Everton side make the trip to take on Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Koeman is unlikely to continue his hex over Mourinho and the Toffees boss already finds himself in a sticky situation just four matches into the Premier League campaign.

Part of the problem was that many people overrated the business done by Everton this summer and instead of focusing on consolidating their position as the league's seventh-best team it was hoped the Merseysiders could make up the considerable gap on those above.

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Everton were eight points behind a United side who finished sixth last term and that was after the Red Devils finished the campaign concentrating on the Europa League, while the margin to fourth-placed Liverpool was 15 points.

It was hard to see how Everton could make up that deficit after they had sold their best player and top goalscorer Romelu Lukaku to United.

Around £140m was spent (the net figure was reportedly £45m) with just under £100m splurged on Gylfi Sigurdsson, Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford from Swansea, Burnley and Sunderland respectively.

Wayne Rooney, despite being United and England's record goalscorer, is not the same player these days and the former Three Lions skipper, Sigurdsson and another new arrival Davy Klaassen all want to operate in the same space behind a main striker.

They failed to bring in a proper replacement for Lukaku, a situation that will need rectifying in January.

Everton looked sluggish in the awful 3-0 Europa League defeat against Atalanta in Italy on Thursday, a result which followed lethargic losses to nil against Chelsea and Tottenham.

Koeman's side picked up a point at the Etihad in a 1-1 draw but Manchester City dominated even after Kyle Walker's first-half red card which should have changed the dynamic of the encounter.

Everton have managed a total of just three shots on target in those games against City, Chelsea and Tottenham and barely got out of their own half at Stamford Bridge. It has been a tough start but the sequence of games does not get any easier at Old Trafford.

Lukaku's pace, power and overall presence is sorely missed on Merseyside with the Belgian already making a major impact, scoring ten goals in eight outings for club and country this season.

Paul Pogba's absence makes United slightly less dynamic but they fully deserve to be short-priced favourites and a comfortable win seems likely.

Manchester United to win & under 3.5 goals
1pt 21-20 BoyleSports, Coral, Ladbrokes

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Team news
Manchester United
Phil Jones and Eric Bailly return from European bans but Paul Pogba is injured. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo are also unavailable.

Ross Barkley, Ramiro Funes Mori, Yannick Bolasie and Seamus Coleman are all sidelined.

Key stat
Manchester United have won to nil in each of their last four home games.

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Lukaku's pace, power and overall presence is sorely missed on Merseyside
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