Assuming this fixture is all about Wayne Rooney would be a mistake. Without doubt the straying striker will be under intense scrutiny but I suspect Everton will be most relieved thatâ€™s the case. The Toffees have had their worst start to a season under current manager David Moyes and there are indications that all is not well at Goodison Park.
Alarm bells wonâ€™t be ringing too loudly, but nobody on the blue half of Merseyside can be happy to be in the bottom three already. Personally, it leaves me scratching my head and wondering if this is the same team that beat both United and City towards the end of last season.
To all intents and purposes it is, but, theyâ€™re all a year older and those who did play in the World Cup didnâ€™t have the most enjoyable time of it. Did they Tim Cahill? Whatâ€™s more, Everton played a huge number of fixtures last year with a much slimmer squad than the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.
It sounds churlish, but if you are looking for a reason for their slow start, then fatigue could well be it. The recent international break, and the reality that they tend to up their game against the bigger sides at home, suggests to me it will be a different story on Saturday.
The margins at the top of this league are not as big as they used to be and Fergie will not be keen to hand Chelsea any more of a head-start than the draw at Fulham has already given them.
Rooneyâ€™s performances for Englandâ€™s limp lions were highly promising and he seemed to function well in a creative role behind the main striker. Whether Ferguson will choose to play the same system seems unlikely, but keeping the strikerâ€™s vein of form going will be crucial to Unitedâ€™s prospects in this game.
Nani and Berbatov have both shown flashes of excellence so far this term but I am yet to attach the word â€˜consistencyâ€™ to either of them. One suspects, against a battling Everton team, that United will opt for experience in this fixture. Donâ€™t put money on Bebe making his debut.
Can this man handle the pressure? (c) Getty
My personal preference would be to chuck Hernandez on with Rooney from the start and see what happens. The managerâ€™s plan is likely to be a touch more intricate and focused on making sure that Arteta is stopped from doing the damage he is capable of.
I have a horrible feeling this could end 1-1 and Chelsea could edge out a bit further ahead. However, there is a man on the pitch who may be determined to make headlines for the right reasons this week. If he succeeds, then nobody can stop him. Okay, it is all about Rooney.