Everton will take on Manchester United on 3rd August in Wayne Rooney’s testimonial, as the striker completes 12 years at Old Trafford. Rooney moved to Manchester in a £27m deal from Everton in the summer of 2004. The 30-year old has played 520 matches for the Red Devils, in which he has scored a staggering 245 goals. During his time at Everton, the England international scored 17 goals in 77 matches.
With the start of the Premier League just under two weeks away, both the teams are expected to put a strong starting XI, as the new managers look to sort out their combinations before the season kicks off on 13th.
Having sacked Martinez earlier in the summer, Everton are now under the charge of Ronald Koeman. Everton started their preseason with two emphatic wins over Barnsley and MK Dons, however, they will go into the match against United following two defeats in the Dresden Cup. Koeman’s main task this summer will be to keep hold of Romelu Lukaku, who is being pursued by Chelsea, following rumours linking Costa with a move back to Atletico Madrid.
Here is the predicted Everton line up, which could start against Manchester United.
Goalkeeper: Maarten Stekelenburg
With Robles struggling to perform on a consistent basis, one feels Stekelenburg will be the number one keeper at Everton in the first few weeks. The summer signing is very reliable between the sticks and should start in goal for the match against Manchester United.
Defenders: Leighton Baines, John Stones, Seamus Coleman and Ramiro Funes-Mori
Baines struggled at left back last season but has looked solid this preseason and should start ahead of Bryan Oviedo for this one. Matthew Pennington suffered a hamstring injury in the last match, therefore Koeman might start with Mori and Stones in the centre. Stones has been linked heavily with a move to Manchester City but with no bid in sight, he remains an Everton player right now. Coleman should start ahead of Holgate, who was impressive against Real Betis but is still a raw talent.
Midfielders: Muhamed Besic, Gareth Barry, Tom Cleverly, Ross Barkley and Arouna Kone
Gareth Barry was the player of the season in what was a fairly disappointing season for the toffees. He was excellent against Real Betis, and will continue in central midfield alongside Bosnian international Muhamed Besic. Cleverly worked tirelessly in the last match but still needs to do more to cement his place in the starting XI, he will start on the left, while Kone will station himself on the right as he looks to support Lukaku upfront. Barkley will start in the number 10 role behind the striker.
Striker: Romelu Lukaku
Lukaku’s mind seemed to be somewhere else against Real Betis, following rumours of him moving to Chelsea in a record transfer deal. Koeman might give him one more start as he looks to keep the Belgian international for another season at the club.