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Manchester United v Everton preview: United to pile more pain on Lampard

Everton boss Frank Lampard goes into the cup clash under mounting pressure following a dismal 4-1 home defeat to Brighton on Tuesday which saw the Toffees plummet into the drop zone. 

Ordinarily, FA Cup third round weekend could be a welcome distraction from league woes, but a trip to United, who are on a six-game winning run in all competitions, is likely to be another difficult assignment for the Merseysiders and a heavy defeat would further increase talk Lampard will be shown the door.

WhatMan Utd v Everton
WhereOld Trafford, Manchester
When20:00, Friday 6th January 2023
How to watchITV1
OddsMan Utd 4/9, Draw 10/3, Everton 13/2

Contrasting fortunes ahead of third round tie 

The FA Cup may not be the highest priority for both clubs this season with United keen to maintain their top-four Premier League aspirations at the very least, while Everton's focus is set to be on another relegation scrap in early 2023. 

The contrast between the two clubs is stark ahead of the third round contest. United are clearly on a roll under Erik Ten Hag and have won all four matches since the domestic resumption following the World Cup without conceding a goal. 

They are only nine points behind leaders Arsenal in the league and sit two clear of fifth-placed Spurs directly below them with a game in hand. 

While securing a return to the Champions League remains the main target, a title bid is not yet out of the question in the second half of the season. 

They are also through to the last eight of the EFL Cup, playing host to League One Charlton Athletic on Tuesday, and have a mouth-watering Europa League tie to come next month against Barcelona. 

Shaw and Rashford in sparkling form

Ten Hag has some players in superb form. Luke Shaw, who has been used at centre-back recently, has returned from World Cup duty with England in great shape and scored in the 3-0 win over Bournemouth last time out, while Marcus Rashford also continues to catch the eye. 

The forward was on target against the Cherries as well to take his tally to the campaign to 12 in all competitions and the England man has netted in all four games since the club action resumed. 

Ten Hag may opt to rotate some of his first-team players for the cup tie but Rashford will want to keep his place in the lineup and continue his hot streak with the 25-year-old 11/5 in the Anytime scorer market. 

United are 4/9 to win in Full Time Result, while they are a tempting 5/4 to win without conceding again in the Result/Both Teams To Score market.

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Everton's struggles ongoing 

Everton, on the other hand, are in the bottom three and have failed to win any of their last seven competitive games with the only positive over the past few weeks being an unexpected 1-1 draw at champions Manchester City in the league. 

However, the fact that result was quickly followed up by the 4-1 home humbling against Brighton indicates Everton's ongoing problems and it's difficult to see anything other than a comfortable home win in this tie. 

Everton at least got on the scoresheet in their three games over the festive period, with Demarai Gray scoring twice, and he is 6/1 to maintain his impressive form and score Anytime at Old Trafford. 

The last three meetings between the clubs at Old Trafford have ended in draws, but despite the Toffees' spirited showing the last time they were in Manchester when they went to the Etihad, it seems unlikely Lampard's men will be able to pull off another surprise result.

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