Monday, Goodison, 8pm, live on Sky Sports 1
AN interesting and exciting first round of Premier League games comes to an end tonight as Man United travel to Goodison.
Sir Alex Ferguson has already seen likely title rivals Man City and Chelsea pick up maximum points and the boss won't want to lose any ground even at this stage of the season.
United, however, face the toughest test of the trio with Goodison a ground where visiting teams have to be at their best although Everton are traditionally slow starters.
For punters it will be all about £24million new boy Robin van Persie who is set to make his debut after switching from Arsenal. Last season's Golden Boot winner is 6-4 with Blue Square to grab a debut goal and 5-1 at Coral to hit the opener.
Van Persie is set it to form a potentially thrilling two-pronged attack with Wayne Rooney who is also 5-1 at Coral to break the deadlock against his former side – and he's a great record against them.
Betfred go 11-4 van Persie nets in a United win. I'm backing the Reds to get off to a winning start but by no means do I think it will be easy.
It's difficult to forgot last season's 4-4 thriller between the sides at Old Trafford when Everton scored two last-gasp goals to claim a point that some said cost United the title.
Davie Moyes' men improved after the arrival of Nikica Jelavic and Steven Pienaar and both will be key men again. Jelavic is 15-2 at Paddy Power to score first and 5-2 at Paddy Power to notch at any time while Pienaar is 20-1 (various) for the opener and 13-2 at bet365 to score first.
Everton will be big in some people's eyes at 7-2 with boylesports while the draw is 11-4 with the same firm.
But for me the addition of van Persie says United mean business so they have to be worth backing at 10-11 almost across the board.
Both teams have scored in four of the last six meetings at Goodison, including a 3-3 and 4-2 United win, and a repeat pays 5-6 at bet365. Everton will fancy their chances with United missing several defenders and attack could be the best form of defence for the visitors.
Ladbrokes are asking what will RVP do first on his debut: score 9-4, assist 9-2, card 11-2, subbed 2-1, play 90 minutes 7-2.
Van Persie to score
(6-4, Blue Square)
Rooney to score first