Everton (+260) at Manchester United (+105) (Draw +240)
Manchester United earned a huge three points last weekend, winning the Manchester Derby (1-0) over City. The win moved the team within one point of the all-important top-four. If the Citizens falter again this weekend, the United can vault past them with a win over Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday (11:00 AM Eastern).
After a disappointing exit from the Europa League at the hands of rival Liverpool, United fans needed something to get excited about. And get excited they can after the win over City. Not only did it move United one step closer to a Champions League berth for next year, but it also served as another installment of Marcus Rashford’s coming out party. The 18-year-old phenom scored the only goal of the game in the 16th minute, giving him five goals in eight matches for the offensively challenged team.
United have now won five of their last seven games, with draw thrown in. Encouragingly, they’ve scored 11 goals in that span (1.6 GPG), a marked improvement from their 1.3 GPG season average.
They’ll have a good chance to pot a couple more this weekend against Everton. The Toffees can score with the best in the EPL (51 goals in 29 matches), but struggle to defend their own net at times (41 goals against). Still, their +10 goal differential is a good number (only one worse than United’s +11) and would suggests the team is better than its current 12th-place position (9-11-9, 38 points).
Everton looked like they’d turned a corner in early February, earning back-to-back 3-0 wins over Newcastle (home) and Stoke (away). But they couldn’t keep the momentum going, dropping three of their next four, including a 2-0 (home) setback to Arsenal last time out.
That was the third straight game the Toffees have lost at Goodison Park, so heading to Old Trafford this weekend may be more welcome than usual.
United and Everton have split the last six head to head, but United ran away with the first matchup this season (3-0). Everton are better than their record suggest, but United seem to be finding their stride just a bit and will be eager to move into the top-four. Take the Red Devils to win on the moneyline.
Pick: Man United (+105).
(Photo credit: Дмитрий Голубович [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo may appear cropped.)