Five reasons why United and Everton should hate each other

David Moyes

The sides meet at Old Trafford tonight in the Premier League, with the clash a potential surprising grudge match.

Everton travel to Manchester United tonight ahead of the Premier League champions on the table, with both sides having a point to prove.

These sides have something of a close-knit recent history, and as such there is every reason to suggest that both teams will have motivation for revenge.

Here are five reasons why United and Everton will have extra motivation to claim three points.

Managerial rivalry

The fixture is the first time that David Moyes will face this former club, where he was at the helm for 11 years.

Successor Roberto Martinez has started life at Goodison Park in impressive fashion, with the Toffees playing attractive, attacking football this season.

Both managers will be gracious and respectful, but will surely be keen to get a bit of a one-up with three points in the clash.

4-4 draw

There is a case to suggest that United’s 2011-12 title challenge floundered due to a stubborn Everton performance at Old Trafford.

With the hosts in need of points to keep an in-form Manchester City at bay in the dying weeks of the title race, they found themselves 4-2 up against Everton with ten minutes to play in April 2012.

However, Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar hit the back of the net to give their side a 4-4 draw, and put a massive dent in United’s title hopes. With City claiming the league on goal difference, the result effectively cost the Old Trafford outfit the title.

Transfer wranglings

Moyes revisited Everton over the summer in an attempt to pry Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines away from his former club, adding angst to the rivalry as a result.

A joint offer for the pair was rejected as ‘derisory’ by Everton, while the Belgian ended up moving to Old Trafford on transfer deadline day.

With United likely to revisit Goodison for Baines in January, Everton will not appreciate the champions’ increased attention of late.

Personal history

Apart from the Fellaini deal, a number of other players have swapped Old Trafford for Goodison Park or the other way round.

Wayne Rooney is a former Everton youth product, while the likes of Steve Round and Phil Neville followed Moyes to Manchester in the summer.

Tim Howard and the injured Darron Gibson have moved from United to Merseyside in the past.

Three points would be a real statement

For both sides, three points here would be a significant boost for their respective ambitions this season.

United sit eighth ahead of the clash and need points to get back in the title race, while a win for Everton at the home of the existing champions would be another piece of evidence that they are real contenders for a top-four place this season.

image: © Jason Gulledge

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