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It could be a hard-fought encounter at Goodison Park. Picture - Reuters.

Wayne Rooney will make his return to his childhood club when Manchester United travel to Merseyside to face Everton in the Premiership.

Having been drubbed, humiliatingly so, at the hands of bitter-rivals Manchester City last week, the Red Devils will look to spring back in some fashion today - a point Everton manager David Moyes is well aware of.

Having said that, this isn't easiest place to go as Goodison Park is known for its atmosphere. The Toffees were eliminated from the Carling Cup during midweek, at the hands of Chelsea, in extra time despite a spirited performance. They'll be looking to make a comeback of their own and although they're yet to get going at home, they still pose a considerable threat to United.

A look back at the corresponding fixture last season will revive memories of a terrific comeback from Everton wherein they scored two goals in injury time to come away with a 3-3 draw.

Man United know another defeat serve added pressure on his side, especially with Man City already opening up a five point gap at the top of the table.

Signs are that this could be a cracker!

Team News

Everton will be without captain and ex-United boy Phil Neville, who sustained a hamstring injury against Chelsea in midweek. Tim Cahill is another absentee for David Moyes while the in-form Royston Drenthe unavailability due to suspension is a heavy blow.

Manchester United winger Ashley Young is a doubtful with a toe injury while Nemanja Vidic and Tom Cleverley, after recovering from injuries to play in the 3-0 win over Aldershot in midweek, could feature. Wayne Rooney, who was absent from the Carling Cup tie, could also make his return.

Prediction

Although Everton will provide a stern resistance to a determined Man United, they fall short in overall quality.

Everton 1-2 Manchester United