It is going to be a very big weekend in the Premier League. All 20 teams are in action from Friday through to Sunday in what will be the eighth matchday of the new season and the final matchday before the final International Break of 2020. As such, getting a positive result in these games could well be crucial before the teams next get back together in readiness for the crucial run in towards Christmas and the New Year.

Chief amongst the games this weekend are two clashes that pit the best of Merseyside against the best of Manchester as on Saturday lunchtime at Goodison Park, Everton will welcome Manchester United for what is a crucial game for both sides for different reasons. Then on Sunday, it is Liverpool who will travel down the M62 to take on their nearest challengers for the last two seasons, Manchester City at the Etihad in what are likely to be two barnstorming games.

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Let’s now take a look at the first Merseyside v Manchester clash and give you our tips for it.

Everton v Manchester United Preview

Everton had topped the table in the Premier League after winning their first four games, but a fortunate home draw with Liverpool was then followed by two successive defeats away to Southampton and Newcastle United, which saw the Toffees drop down into fourth spot in the table this past weekend.

Even so, that compares favourably with Manchester United who have lost three of their opening six games, winning just two (both away from home) and although they have a game in hand on most other teams in the Premier League, even if they win that they would likely move up just a couple of spots in the table.

So, the pressure is on both these teams for different reasons. Everton need a win to get back to winning ways and boost their top four hopes, while Manchester United need their decent away form to continue to help them move up from their lowly 15th position in the table.

Everton will welcome Lucas Digne back from suspension, but Richarlison is still suspended and Jordan Pickford is set for a recall having been dropped for the game with Newcastle last week. James Rodriguez, who was absent last weekend, should be fit for the game at the weekend too which is a huge boost for Everton.

After a trip to Turkey in midweek, it is going to be interesting to see what side Ole Gunnar Solskjaer picks for this game. The United boss hasn’t really settled on a formation or a first choice XI as yet and there are many who believe United don’t really know their best XI. Most of the consternation comes in midfield where United fans are split over who should start out of Pogba, McTominay, Fred, Mata, Van de Beek, Matic and Bruno Fernandes. Edinson Cavani is most likely to start from the bench once again.

Everton v Manchester United Tips

It is fair to say that Everton’s home form this season has been very good (they are unbeaten at home in three games), but also United’s best form in the Premier League has come on the road with wins at Brighton and at Newcastle. The Red Devils have a generally good record against Everton too and the 7/5 on them to win this game is a very tempting bet.

However, I think with James Rodriguez fit, Everton can cause this United side a few problems and while I can’t see the Toffees winning, I can see them landing a draw. As such, I’d take the 5/2 on the draw being the correct option here.

Manchester City v Liverpool Preview

It’s not been the start Manchester City would have wanted in the Premier League, 11 points from six games has left them in 10th position in the table, albeit with a game in hand over most other teams, but they have struggled for goals in those games, netting just nine across the half dozen games.

That said, both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are set to return from injury at the weekend, with the Brazilian Jesus further along his return to match form and he may well make a start against a team City have a good record at home against in the past few years.

Liverpool are top of the Premier League again after seven games but defensively they have real issues with 15 goals conceded in those seven matches and key players like Matip, Fabinho and van Dijk injured, Matip could be back fit for this game but even so the Reds poor record at City makes them underdogs in this one I feel.

Liverpool’s major selection issue comes in attack where the electric form of Diego Jota means that Roberto Firmino’s place in the team is under real threat for the first time since the Brazilian joined the Reds at Anfield. After a hat trick in midweek against Atalanta, Jota has staked a real claim to start on Sunday ahead of the Brazilian international.

Manchester City v Liverpool Tips

Liverpool’s defensive issues, combined with their less than stellar form and their poor recent record in this fixture, which has included a couple of heavy defeats, means that I think Manchester City to win this game at 19/20 is the bet to make here.