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Everton V Man Utd at Goodison Park : Match Preview

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20 Aug 2012 15:12:45

Everton V Man Utd at Goodison Park : Match Preview

Toffees New signing Kevin Mirallas is looking forward to helping Everton enjoy a successful season after joining from Olympiacos.

The Toffees confirmed the capture of the Belgium international on a four-year contract after agreeing an undisclosed fee with the Greek side. And the versatile forward, who has been handed the number 11 shirt, told evertontv: "I am very happy because Everton is a big club and for me it's a very good opportunity. "I've known Everton have been following me for a while and after talking with the manager I decided coming to Everton was the best opportunity for me. "I know this is a great club with great supporters and a club that has the ability win a lot of games in the Premier League. That's why I came." The 24-year-old scored 20 goals in Greece last season, having previously played in France for St Etienne and Lille, and has netted five times in 28 appearances for his country. His signing was completed too late to feature in Monday's clash with Manchester United, when the Toffees will be looking to buck the trend of recent seasons by getting their campaign off to a strong start. David Moyes' side finished seventh in the Barclays Premier League table last season but their European hopes were all but scuppered by their familiar poor early form.

Striker Victor Anichebe told Press Association Sport: "We always finish the season really strong so if we can start well this year then you never know where that will take us. We're certainly looking to start better than we have done. "I don't think we should expect anything, just play and then we'll see where we are. But Everton's a big club and should be finishing in the top half of the table, and I'm sure we will." The Toffees have taken points off Sir Alex Ferguson's side in each of the past four years, including in last season's remarkable 4-4 draw at Old Trafford. Anichebe said: "It's always a tough game against them but we're at our home ground, our fans really get behind us so it's going to be a great opening fixture for the club and the players. Hopefully we can get a great result." As well as Mirallas, Everton have secured the permanent return of midfielder Steven Pienaar from Tottenham along with Steven Naismith's arrival from Rangers and both should be involved.

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney is aiming to have as much fun in his second decade as a Premier League player as he did in his first. It is amazing to think 10 years have passed since Rooney made his top-flight bow as a raw 16-year-old for Everton against Tottenham. That Rooney should be heading back to Goodison Park to mark the occasion seems somehow fitting, even if the reception he gets from the supporters he has always considered himself one of tends to be less than friendly these days. With four Premier League titles and a Champions League winners' medal to show for his time at Manchester United, Rooney has no need to justify why he left the Toffees just two years after that momentous debut. But he realises there is much more to achieve.

"I'm still fairly young," he said. "I feel young anyway. "It's great to have played in the Premier League for 10 years. "It's an exciting league and I still feel exactly the same about my football as I did when I made my debut. "It does feel like a long time ago, though. "I just hope I can play for another 10 years and have as much enjoyment as I did in my first 10." Rooney should get more pleasure now he can count last season's Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie amongst his team-mates. Van Persie's arrival has livened up the atmosphere around Old Trafford after three years of seeing all the marquee players land at Manchester City. Not that everything is rosy for Sir Alex Ferguson amid reports that Rio Ferdinand is set for an extended period on the sidelines after picking up a training ground injury. With Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling also sidelined, Michael Carrick seems certain to partner skipper Nemanja Vidic in central defence. And Vidic's fitness cannot be taken for granted as he only made his comeback from major knee surgery a fortnight ago. Rafael is set to be handed the right-back berth even though he did not feature at all during pre-season as he was part of the Brazil squad that failed to land that elusive Olympic gold medal.

Everton V Man Utd - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.


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