When Manchester United laboured to a home draw against Aston Villa, fans would scarcely believed that just two weeks later Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men would have the chance to move to just two points from the Champions League positions.
But after Frank Lampard’s Chelsea stumbled to defeat once again (1-0), this time at home to a Bournemouth side who had lost their previous five games, an opportunity has arisen.
Chelsea had the same sort of bounce under Lampard that United experienced after the initial appointment of Solskjaer last year, but are beginning to falter after slipping to defeats against struggling sides West Ham, Everton and now Bournemouth.
READ MORE: Man Utd vs Everton preview & prediction
The pressure was mounting on Solskjaer after the Aston Villa draw but a well earned win against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham followed by a stunning derby victory at the Etihad has lifted spirits and brought a renewed sense of optimism back to the club.
The midweek Europa League blitz over AZ Alkmaar means the Reds now have three consecutive wins, but is crucial the run continues against Everton tomorrow.
Solskjaer has proven he has what it takes to get results against the top teams in the league, but it’s victories against the lower teams in the league that make a finish in the top four possible.
In reality, United should count themselves fortunate they are still within touching distance of the Champions League spots, but now have to seize their opportunity in the festive fixtures with games against Watford and Newcastle to follow Everton tomorrow.
The Reds now have to prove they can break the lesser teams down and interim Everton boss Duncan Ferguson will be aware of the struggles to break down deep-lying defences.
Ferguson taking over has bred some much needed positivity on Merseyside, and he will know doubt have his side fired up at Old Trafford after the impressive victory over Chelsea at Goodison Park.
Everton had little of the ball against Chelsea last time out and we expect them to allow United to have the lions share of possession again tomorrow afternoon.
The game will be settled on whether Solskjaer’s side have the creativity and imagination to cut through a defence, rather than their decisiveness on the counter in the victory over Manchester City.
Solskjaer on the last few results:
"These results give us the kick up the back-side that we need"pic.twitter.com/oPgyIXS6zx
— UTFR 🇾🇪 (@ManUtd_HQ) December 14, 2019