Adding Ander Herrera to a list of absentees that includes Wayne Rooney, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young for Manchester United’s upcoming battle with Everton may seem like bad news, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Yes, the Spaniard is one of Louis van Gaal’s guaranteed starters in the Red Devils’ new-look midfield, but the rib injury ruling him out of proceedings actually comes with a goal-tinged silver lining.
The two leading candidates to replace the former Athletic Bilbao string-puller love to score in this fixture and both are attractive prices to bag at anytime in the game.
A perhaps left-field option to replace Herrera is the former Toffee Marouane Fellaini, who is rumoured to be ready to return to the fold after his own injury layoff.
Since the Belgian arrived in England as David Moyes’ £15m Everton signing in 2008, no player has scored more in this fixture than Fellaini’s three goals.
With his Man United career in need of an injection, there’s no better side for the afro’d midfielder to re-enter the fray against and he’s 11/4 to bag himself a goal on Sunday.
The only man to match Fellaini’s goal-tally in that time span is Darren Fletcher, who stands a greater chance of filling the Herrera void at Old Trafford.
Having been used as a substitute in the West Ham clash last time out, United’s vice-captain looks set to start against Everton with club skipper Wayne Rooney suspended following his red card.
Fletcher also has far more tempting odds to bag at any time compared to the Belgian, at 7/1, and will provide greater defensive stability to a side that’s 67/100 to claim victory.
That stability should help bolster United’s chances of improving a fine record of six wins in their last eight home Premier League clashes with Everton.