EFL Quarter-Finals preview: Everton vs. Manchester United (Wed - 20:00h. GMT; 21:00h. CET) - Team news, possible lineups

Two of the Premier League's form teams do battle in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night, with a semi-final spot up for grabs when Everton welcome Manchester United to Goodison Park.

The Toffees come into the match off the back of three successive wins, while Man United have won six of their last seven outings domestically to catapult themselves into title contention.

Match preview

The football landscape can change incredibly quickly, and no team is a better example of that than Manchester United right now.

Just two weeks ago Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's job was coming under scrutiny following their exit from the Champions League group stages, but now they find themselves being tipped as title contenders and just 90 minutes away from reaching the semi-finals of another cup competition.

A 6-2 hammering of bitter rivals Leeds United on Sunday made it 19 points from the last 21 on offer to them in the Premier League, lifting them up to third in the table and five points off leaders Liverpool with a game in hand.

Not even Solskjaer would have seen that victory coming quite so emphatically; his side had only won once at home all season and had scored just one goal in their previous four Old Trafford outings, yet they were two goals to the good within three minutes against Leeds, had four after just 37 minutes and went on to score six in a Premier League game for the first time since 2011.

Whereas Man United's home form had been poor up until the Leeds win, their away form has been remarkable, becoming only the fourth side in English top-flight history to win 10 successive away games.

The Red Devils are also only the third team in Premier League history to win their opening six away games of a season, and the first team since 1960 to score at least twice in 10 consecutive away league games.

Add to that the fact that Solskjaer has won all six of his away League Cup matches as a manager and Man United have every reason to be confident heading over to Merseyside.

Two of those away League Cup wins have come this season, with Man United cruising to 3-0 victories against Luton Town and Brighton & Hove Albion so far, and they could now advance to the semi-final of this competition in back-to-back seasons for the first time in more than a decade.

Everton themselves have reached the quarter-finals of the League Cup in successive years for the first time since 1987-88, but they have only gone on to reach the semis twice since then.

The Toffees are the top scorers in this season's competition, though, netting three against Salford City, five against Fleetwood Town and four against West Ham United en route to the quarters.

Carlo Ancelotti's side seem to have rediscovered their form in the Premier League too, recording successive wins over Chelsea, Leicester City and Arsenal in the space of a week to come away from a difficult build-up to Christmas with maximum points.

A run of just one win in seven - including a defeat at home to Man United - before that had seen them slip down the table, but Everton have now climbed back up to fourth, level on points with Wednesday's visitors.

The Toffees will therefore spend Christmas in the top four for the first time since 2004-05, and progression to the semi-finals of the EFL Cup on Wednesday would further brighten the mood for the festive period.

Everton have not won a major trophy since beating Man United in the 1995 FA Cup final but have a serial winner at the helm in the form of Ancelotti - although this was the one domestic piece of silverware he failed to win during his time with Chelsea.

Man United, meanwhile, are looking to beat Everton twice at Goodison Park in the same season for only the second time, having previously done so in 1993-94, which also included their last League Cup meeting.

Everton EFL Cup form: WWW
Everton form (all competitions): WLDWWW

Manchester United EFL Cup form: WW
Manchester United form (all competitions): LWLDWW

Team News

Scott McTominay made Premier League history against Leeds by becoming the first player to score twice in the opening three minutes of a game, but his afternoon ended in more disappointing fashion as he limped off late on with a groin problem.

The extent of the injury is yet to be determined, but he is almost certain to miss this match, while Luke Shawis also a doubt following his withdrawal against Leeds.

Solskjaer is expected to rotate his squad given the relentlessness of the fixture schedule at the moment, with players like Alex Telles, Edinson Cavani, Donny van de Beek and Paul Pogba all pushing for starts.

Juan Mata starred in the last round against Brighton and so will be hopeful of another start, while Dean Henderson is expected to come back in despite his howler against Sheffield United last week.

Eric Bailly, Nemanja Matic and Mason Greenwood are among the other players pushing for starts, but Marcus Rashford will also be hoping to retain his place having netted five goals in his six away league games this season.

Incidentally, from the start of the 2017-18 season only one player has scored more League Cup goals than Rashford, and he is on the opposing side on Wednesday with Dominic Calvert-Lewin's hat-trick in the last round taking him up to 10 in that time.

Ancelotti may opt to rest his star striker, but the lure of silverware may prove too strong for Everton and they are less likely to make wholesale changes than their visitors.

The hosts' options are limited by injuries to Lucas Digne, Allan, Fabian Delph and Jean-Philippe Gbamin, though, while Andre Gomes is a doubt after missing the win over Arsenal with a slight hamstring injury.

James Rodriguez was also missing once more against Arsenal, but Ancelotti is hopeful of having him back available for this match.

Everton possible starting lineup:
Olsen; Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Godfrey; Davies, Doucoure; Bernard, Sigurdsson, Richarlison; Calvert-Lewin

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Telles; Matic, Pogba; Mata, Fernandes, Van de Beek; Cavani

Source: Sports Mole / Barney Corkhill 



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