FOOTBALL NEWS

08/02/2013 11:01, Report by Mark Froggatt
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Preview: United v Everton

Did you know? In December, ex-Red Phil Neville became the seventh player in Premier League history to make 500 appearances – joining an exclusive club that is led by former teammate Ryan Giggs. Since then, the Everton captain has reached another landmark by starting his 500th top-flight match.

Opposition boss: David Moyes is the third-longest serving manager in the top-flight behind Sir Alex and Arsene Wenger, having joined the Toffees in 2002. The Scot has gained plenty of admirers along the way and has been muted as a potential heir to the throne at Old Trafford, though recent reports have speculated he could be next to ride the managerial merry-go-round at Chelsea.

Star man: Although often overlooked for England, Leighton Baines remains an indispensible figure at Everton and is enjoying a fine season, scoring seven goals and netting twice in a recent 2-1 win over West Brom. With a wicked left foot, the 28-year-old from Kirkby is also a free-kick specialist and must be watched from set-pieces on Sunday.

Quote/unquote: "Everton are very experienced and they've only lost three games this season. Our memory of last season is disappointing - we lost the title versus Everton! But we're playing well, I’m pleased with our form. I'm changing the team around and everyone who has played has done well, which creates competition.” - Sir Alex

Whistle blower: Mark Halsey is the man in the middle for this North West derby. The Lancashire-based official has taken charge of 42 matches in all competitions this season, dishing out 42 yellow cards and three red. United fans last saw him during the 4-3 win over Reading at the Madejski.

Rivals watch: Chelsea host Wigan Athletic on Saturday before Manchester City take on Southampton in

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