Dimitar Berbatov has detailed how “the stadium can be crazy when backs are against the wall” and that will mean it’s “going to be tough” for Manchester United to go to Everton.
The Toffees are reeling from a 10-point deduction handed to them for a breach of profitability and sustainability rules. It’s sent them second bottom of the Premier League.
The general reaction from fans and pundits has been that it’s unjust and other clubs should be handed more severe punishments for similar potential breaches.
Everton’s own response to the sanctions was that they are “disproportionate”.
In any case, they could come out swinging against Man Utd in their next game. Paul Merson is expecting a “mind-blowing” atmosphere at Goodison Park, and he can’t see a way the Toffees don’t use their indignation to inspire a win.
Former United striker Berbatov also feels it’ll be tough for the Red Devils because of the home crowd, but feels a draw is more likely than an Everton win.
“It’s going to be an interesting game. With Everton being deducted 10 points, they’re suddenly in the relegation zone. If they win, it’ll be good for their belief. United have all these injuries, so it’s going to be tough for them going to Everton,” he told Metro.
“You need to know how to make the smart choices as a club, when you don’t, the consequences are severe. The players will be devastated. Now, the players will need to do the hard work of getting the club back out of the relegation zone.
“They’ll be angry, for sure, with that decision. The hard work now starts against United.
“I get the feeling Everton have the chance to win this one based on so many injuries for United, especially if the fans are on board with the team.
“We all know the stadium can be crazy when backs are against the wall – I’ve experienced it. United do have a good record against Everton, though, so I’ll go for the draw.”
A draw could put the Toffees level with Sheffield United in the final relegation spot, depending on their result, but given Luton are only two points ahead of where the Merseysiders are now, they could exit the drop zone immediately with a win, and getting to safety as quickly as possible will be the aim.