The first Monday night game of the season takes place at Goodison Park this evening as Everton host last season’s runners up Manchester United.
The two teams last met at the tail end of last season with both sides sharing the spoils in an eight goal thriller at Old Trafford.
United had led 4-2 with fewer than ten minutes to play, but late goals from Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar denied Sir Alex Ferguson’s side all three points. The result proved costly, with Manchester City clinching the title on goal difference just three weeks later.
Everton went on to finish in seventh place; and above local rivals Liverpool for the first time in seven years. With Jelavic , the Blues have a proven Goalscorer in the ranks from the start of the season, along with new signings Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas, and the returning Pienaar, David Moyes’s side will be hoping to go one better this term, and secure European qualification.
However, they couldn’t have asked for a tougher test to begin with. Manchester United have certainly strengthened their squad in the close season. Shinji Kagawa is expected to make his debut following his signing from Borussia Dortmund, as its new striker Robin Van Persie.
All eyes will be on the new players on show this evening, with Van Persie 6.0 (5/1) with Stan James to grab the first goal on his debut. However, you may be intrigued to watch for another sub plot in the game.
Wayne Rooney begins his tenth season at the top this evening, back where it all began for the England striker.
Two goals for United’s number 10 will see him reach and incredible 200 career club goals at the age of just 26, with Paddy Power are offering a price of 9.5 (17/2) for the former blue to achieve this feat.