David Moyes Manchester United
Manchester United manager David Moyes will be keen to get one over his former side Everton when the two sides clash in the English Premier League. Reuters
Manchester United manager David Moyes will be keen to get one over his former side Everton when the two sides clash in the English Premier League. Reuters
Manchester United manager David Moyes will be keen to get one over his former side Everton when the two sides clash in the English Premier League. Reuters

When Manchester United host Everton in the English Premier League on Wednesday night - one: David Moyes will be sitting in the dugout of the team in red, and two: he will be up against a side playing top-quality eye-pleasing football with attack very much the flavour for the team in blue.

Moyes spent 11 years as manager of Everton, before taking up an offer that he just could not refuse. In terms of results not a lot has changed since Roberto Martinez took over at Goodison Park - Everton are pretty much up there competing for the European places and have a good chance of finishing in the top four or just below.

Martinez, though, has taken off that handbrake at Goodison Park since his arrival, and to great effect. One thing that can't be denied is that a Moyes team is always prioritised on a solid defence. Defending properly comes first, before the attacking lions are unleashed.

While the Scottish manager did reasonably well on the forward front during his spell, especially with the growing years, Martinez has cranked it up a notch or two since taking over, with one, two-touch passes, and a cutting edge, despite a few hiccups here and there, very much the norm now.

At the other end, Moyes has come for criticism from the United fans for the lack of attacking prowess shown by his side, despite going on a seven-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, albeit punctuated by plenty of draws.

A couple of hefty wins also notwithstanding, this United team have definitely struggled going forward, and to complicate matters, the normally sturdy defence, so often associated with the former Everton manager, has also gone missing.

It was always going to take time for United, two points behind Everton and nine adrift of leaders Arsenal at the moment, to respond under a new manager, after enjoying unprecedented success under Sir Alex Ferguson. There have been signs of improvement of late, with Moyes himself insisting the best is yet to come.

Maybe the trigger towards the making of Moyes as United manager will come from a win over his former side Everton. Three points against the Toffees might just give everyone at Old Trafford a lift, and with it bring to an end the inconsistencies which have bogged down the reigning Premier League champions so much this season.

Moyes insisted nostalgia would not play a part on Wednesday night, and he would treat the fixture as just another Premier League game in charge of Manchester United. "I'm not an emotional person and, in truth, I'd rather just get on with the game," Moyes said. "I've got great respect for Everton, their chairman, their players and their supporters but from my point of view I'm Manchester United manager now."

Gerard Delofeu is an Everton player that David Moyes is not too familiar with. Reuters
Gerard Delofeu is an Everton player that David Moyes is not too familiar with. Reuters

It would seem that Moyes would have the inside track on the Everton players, having worked with them for so many years; but with the way that the Toffees are playing now under Martinez, the United boss does not see too many holes to exploit.

"I had a great time at Everton," Moyes added. "It was a great club for me at the time in my career when I left Preston North End. They were fabulous to me. They gave me a chance to succeed at the club the best I could.

"[But] I don't think it's any advantage that I know the players. They have a new manager there and he's brought in his own players as well.

"I do know a lot of them; in fact, I probably brought all of them into Goodison, except the recent ones. They're all really good players and I've got a lot to thank them for because they helped me to win games. But I've got to say Roberto's gone in and done a really good job and kept it going."

What cannot be forgotten in all the return-and-managing-against-former-side-nostalgic-match though is the fact that United are in desperate need of three points on Wednesday. After that 2-2 draw against Tottenham at the weekend, a previously five-point gap to Arsenal, achieved after that 1-0 win at Old Trafford, has now bulged to nine points and the home side really cannot afford to drop anymore points.

Team news: Moyes is hopeful of welcoming back Robin Van Persie to the lineup, with the Dutchman not featuring since scoring the winner in that 1-0 win over his former side. "Robin is OK," Moyes said. "He has a chance of playing."

Phil Jones is suspended after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Spurs, while Michael Carrick remains sidelined.

Everton will be without long-term absentees Arouna Kone and Darron Gibson, with Leighton Baines also unable to feature against the side that failed to sign him in the summer.

Key men: Manchester United: Wayne Rooney has been in stunning form, and what cannot be forgotten is also that the England forward is a former Everton man and will want to impress. Marouane Fellaini, if given an opportunity, will also be keen to shine after leaving the Toffees in the summer.

Everton: The battle between the two sides could be won in midfield, and with United's still not quite convincing enough, the onus will be on James McCarthy and Gareth Barry to control matters for their side.

Where to Watch Live

The game is scheduled for a 1.15 am IST start with live coverage on Star Sports 4 in India. You can also catch the match via live streaming by clicking HERE. Viewers in the U.S. can watch the match online by clicking HERE. For live streaming coverage in the U.K. via MUTV click HERE. Viewers from North Africa and the Middle East click HERE.

Expected lineups: Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Fellaini, Cleverley; Valencia, Rooney, Kagawa; Van Persie.

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Oviedo; McCarthy, Barry; Deulofeu, Osman, Mirallas; Lukaku.

Prediction: 2-1 to Manchester United