Manchester United vs Everton Preview: A special night for a special player

source: vavel

Manchester United play Everton in Wayne Rooney’s testimonial at Old Trafford tonight in a game which celebrates the United captain for his 12 years of service to date.

Rooney signed for the Red Devils in 2004 as an 18-year-old from the Toffees and has gone on to score 249 goals in 520 appearances which puts him only four goals behind Sir Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record.

The striker, who turns 31 in October, wanted the opponents on his special night to be his former side, who he has scored five goals against in 20 appearances since his move to Old Trafford.

The game at The Theatre of Dreams is United’s first at home since they defeated Bournemouth at the end of last season and it is set to be a great place to be as the crowd celebrate someone who gives his all for the team.

The game could be seen as a pre-season friendly but Jose Mourinho, who will manage United for the first time at Old Trafford, will want to give his side valuable minutes on the pitch before the Community Shield game against Leicester City on Sunday.

On the other hand, Ronald Koeman, who enjoyed success at Old Trafford on his last visit as the Southampton manager, will want to see his side starting to gel together as well as they prepare for a crucial Premier League season for the team.

The last meeting between these sides was at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final in April when Anthony Martial scored a last-minute winner to send his side through to the final. 

The cup tie, though, was just one of three wins over Everton last season as they secured the double in the Premier League winning 1-0 at Old Trafford and 3-0 at Goodison Park.

Mourinho is expected to field a strong side from the start at Old Trafford, with the likes of Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata impressing in the last pre-season game against Galatasaray and are pushing for a start.

Chris Smalling and Timothy Fosu-Mensah will miss the game due to injury but, apart from that, Mourinho has a full squad to choose from.

The Toffees also have a strong squad to pick from now that all of their International players are back from their holidays but John Stones could miss the game with an injury.

The one to look out for is Romelu Lukaku, who scored 25 goals for the Toffees last season and he will be looking use his power up front and show what he can do for the new manager.

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