Everton v Manchester United
Marouane Fellaini (groin) and Darron Gibson (thigh) sat out last week's international action but will be hoping to return in time to feature. Steven Naismith and Steven Pienaar could make their Everton debuts but Belgian forward Kevin Mirallas was not registered to play in time.
United have been boosted by the arrival of Robin van Persie from Arsenal and Sir Alex Ferguson expects to hand the Dutchman a run-out at Goodison Park. Japanese forward Shinji Kagawa and teenager Nick Powell could also make their Premier League bows. The Red Devils will definitely be without the injured defensive trio of Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling.
Everton go into the Premier League opener having won three of six pre-season outings. The Blues hit four at Morecambe and repeated the feat in Tony Hibbert's testimonial against AEK Athens at Goodison Park. Their last outing was a narrow 1-0 defeat against big-spending Spanish side Malaga last weekend.
United's pre-season campaign saw them beat South African outfit Amazulu FC 1-0, draw 1-1 with Ajax Cape Town, then defeat Shanghai Shenhua by a single goal in China. Goalless draws against Valerenga and Barcelona followed before a 4-3 victory over Hannover in Germany.
We've got a new stats feature for the 2012/13 campaign called 'Magic Numbers'. In this week's we told you who can boast the honour of being Everton's leading scorer against Manchester United, who netted the quickest ever Goodison goal and why Sir Alex Ferguson won't have fond memories of playing against the Blues. To read ‘Magic Numbers’, click here.
Former Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson... “It makes it even bigger given what we did at Old Trafford last season and everyone is excited. They try to win every game but maybe there is a bit of anger there because the game against us lost them the league really, but we will go out and try and get the right result."
Scorer in last season's 4-4, Marouane Fellaini... "The 4-4 was a fantastic game and we played really well but this is a new game. Man United is a big team in England and last year they almost won the title and would have done but Man City won the last game. But it is good for us to play a big team in the first game. It is a big test for us.”
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson on potential debutant Robin van Persie... "Rooney and Van Persie are two fantastic players and it’s great to have both of them. Going back to the 1999 season, we had Yorke, Cole, Sheringham and Solskjaer, the four best strikers in Europe. We’re getting towards that now with Wayne, Robin, Chicharito [Hernández] and Danny Welbeck. It’s great to have a player of Van Persie’s quality to come into the squad as it is. I’m really pleased.”
Manchester United 4-4 Everton, 22 April 2012. The game Sir Alex Ferguson said cost United the title. Four-two up with eight minutes to go, the Red Devils saw Nikica Jelavic notch his second of the afternoon before Steven Pienaar poked in an exquisite equaliser with just five minutes remaining. Marouane Fellaini, imperious on the day, was Everton’s other scorer.
Manchester United 0-3 Everton, 19 August 1992. Sunday marks the 20th anniversary of Everton's first ever Premier League meeting with the Red Devils - a memorable 3-0 win in front of a now-paltry sounding 31,901 at Old Trafford. Peter Beardsley got the Blues up and running just before half time, Robert Warzycha smashed in a stunner with 10 minutes to go and Mo Johnston capitalised on a Peter Schmeichel howler to complete a pretty much perfect afternoon.
On 20 August 1991, a brace from Mark Ward and another strike from Tony Cottee saw the Blues inflict a 3-1 defeat on Arsenal at Goodison Park. Nigel Winterburn grabbed a late consolation for the Gunners.
Darron Gibson's January switch from Old Trafford to Goodison Park saw him become the latest player to appear for both illustrious clubs. Here's our full XI:
In goal, current Toffees stopper Tim Howard commands a back-three of Mark Higgins, John O'Kane and Phil Neville.
A probing midfield quartet is marshalled by Gibson and Norman Whiteside operating centrally. The flanks are full of pace in the form of Russian winger Andrei Kanchelskis and Welshman Mickey Thomas.
And that pairing will be providing a forward three of fearsome marksmen in Louis Saha, Wayne Rooney and Brian Kidd.
Referee: Mr A Marriner
Assistant Referee: Mr S Ledger
Assistant Referee: Mr M McDonough
Fourth Official: Mr J Moss
Tickets for Monday’s Premier League opener against Manchester United are selling fast. To secure your seat, call 0871 663 1878, click here to buy online or visit the Park End Box Office.
Our official online betting partner Paddy Power are offering a range of odds on Monday's game. Here's our pick of the best:
Everton 4-4 Manchester United: 350/1
Naismith to be first goalscorer: 9/1
Steven Pienaar to be first goalscorer: 16/1
Darron Gibson to score any time: 7/1
Nikica Jelavic to finish Premier League top scorer: 33/1
Everton to score a penalty: 8/1