Jose Mourinho will be looking for more of the same when Manchester United welcome Everton to Old Trafford on Sunday following his side’s impressive second-half display in their last Premier League outing.
The Red Devils came incredibly close to claiming victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last weekend thanks to an Anthony Martial brace, but a 96th minute equaliser from Ross Barkley ensured the points were shared on the day.
Nevertheless, it was still one of Manchester United’s better displays of the season, and Mourinho will now be hoping the likes of Martial and David de Gea — who was in top form versus Juventus on Tuesday night — can rise to the occasion on Sunday.
As for Everton, manager Marco Silva will also be expecting his No.1 Jordan Pickford to deliver the goods with the 24-year-old having maintained his standard of performances from the World Cup.
With that in mind, how do the Manchester United and Everton goalkeepers compare ahead of their upcoming encounter?
There were some doubts last summer after Everton spent big on Pickford, who was a relatively inexperienced goalkeeper at the time.
The 24-year-old arrived at Goodison Park after a very good individual season with Sunderland, but did not have any real experience at the highest level prior to that.
However, Pickford has proven those who questioned Everton’s decision to bring him in wrong and has only gone from strength to strength since joining the Merseyside club.
At 6ft, Pickford is not the tallest of goalkeepers in the Premier League. But what he lacks in height he makes up in agility.
The former Sunderland man has cat-like reflexes and is an overall brilliant shot-stopper. The part of his game, though, that probably stands out most is his ability with the ball at his feet.
Pickford’s distribution with his left foot is incredible, while his confidence when in possession is something all managers want to see from their man in between the sticks.
TT Grade: A-
David de Gea
De Gea has had quite the rise at Manchester United since joining the club from Atletico Madrid back in the summer of 2011.
After a very unconvincing start to life at Old Trafford, de Gea is now comfortably the best goalkeeper in the world.
The likes of Manuel Neuer, Jan Oblak, Gianluigi Buffon and Thibaut Courtois are all amazing No.1s and have shown such over the last few years, but de Gea is quite possibly on his own pedestal.
The 27-year-old pulls out saves from absolutely nowhere and is often the difference between Manchester United walking away from a game with three points instead of one.
With less than a year to run on his current contract — although Manchester United have the option to extend it by a further year (via Sky Sports) — Mourinho will be desperate to tie down de Gea to a new deal.
Losing the Spain international would set the club back years.
TT Grade: A*
Pickford has made outstanding progress over the last couple of years. He is now England’s first-choice goalkeeper by some distance and easily one of the best No.1s in the division.
The Everton man is well on his way to becoming world-class in his position. However, he has a long way to go until he reaches anywhere close to de Gea’s level.
The Manchester United shot-stopper is head and shoulders above his upcoming opponent and is one of few world-class players the Premier League has to offer.
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