In previewing Manchester United’s fixture at Everton FC on Sunday, one aspect immediately jumps out at you- the kickoff time of 7pm. Typically, weekend fixtures only commence at 12.30pm, 3pm and 5.30pm on Saturdays; with 2pm and 4.30pm the slots available on Sundays.
So what gives? Like everything else in sports, all across the world, it’s about the television rights holders, first and foremost.
Manchester United at Everton FC FYIs
Kick off: 7pm GMT Sunday Oct 9
United Team News: go here
PL Position: Man United 12 pts, 6th Everton FC 10 pts, 11th
PL Form: Man United LWWWW Everton FC WWDDD
Result Probability: United 47% Draw 26% Everton FC 27%
Yes, it’s only because the broadcasting network wanted it this way. Period. Full stop. Oh, and United needed a 48-hour gap between this match and their come-from-behind win at Omonia in the UEFA Europa League.
That was rather embarrassing by the way, trailing a mid-table Cypriot side in the second half!
Well, at least they came correct in the end, and avoided further embarrassment.
United manager Erik ten Hag picked a pretty strong team tonight, but he still needed Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to come off the bench in order to rescue a result.
We think Martial has earned a starting spot for the next clash.
MUFC Starting XI Prediction at Everton FC
De Gea; Malacia, Martinez, Varane, Dalot; Eriksen, McTominay; Sancho, Fernandes, Antony; Rashford
Prediction: United 2, Everton FC 1
Look for the visitors to take the David Moyes Cup.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.