David Moyes is fully focused on earning three points for Manchester United rather than any emotions involved when facing his former club Everton on Wednesday. After spending 11 years at Goodison Park, Moyes will come up against Everton for the first time since being chosen as Sir Alex Ferguson’s replacement. But, while stating that he still has much affection for those at the club, he is not expecting the clash at Old Trafford to be different from any other.
“I'm not an emotional person and, in truth, I'd rather just get on with the game," he said, according to Manchester United’s official website. "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."
Moyes is badly in need of returning to winning ways in the Premier League after back-to-back draws leave the champions in eighth place, nine points behind Arsenal. Indeed, United are two points back of Wednesday’s opponents. Moyes was full of praise for his successor, Roberto Martinez, and does not feel that he has an upper hand in knowing so many of the opposition players.
“I don't think it's any advantage that I know the players,” he said. “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."
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Moyes has said that Robin van Persie “has a chance of playing” after being absent since the win over Arsenal last month with a groin injury. Michael Carrick remains on the sidelines, while Phil Jones serves a one-match suspension. Martinez, meanwhile, will have to do without a man Moyes tried to bring with him to Manchester United in the summer, Leighton Baines.
In the left-back’s absence, Everton impressed in thumping Stoke City 4-0 on Saturday to take their unbeaten run to six games and their scoring tally in the past two matches to seven, following a thrilling 3-3 draw in the Merseyside derby. And Martinez believes his squad head to Old Trafford in a confident mood.
"It's always a tough place to go," he said, according to Everton’s official website. "Old Trafford is a difficult place to play your football, and I think that's what we're really looking forward to - to being ourselves and competing against the champions.
"At this point of the season, we're looking strong, with really good confidence, with an understanding of the quality we're going to face on Wednesday but, in the same manner, feeling really positive about the game.”
Manchester United (probable)
G: De Gea
D: Rafael, Evans, Vidic, Evra
M: Fellaini, Giggs
Valencia, Kagawa, Nani
D: Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Oviedo
M: McCarthy, Barry
Mirallas, Barkley, Pienaar
Where to watch: The Barclays Premier League match will kick off at 2.45 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by the NBC Sports Network, with a live stream available on NBC Sports Live Extra.