Louis van Gaal is looking for Manchester United to become more clinical next term after the Red Devils’ last home game of 2014/15 ended in a draw with Arsenal.
Kevin Mirallas’ second-half goal added to first-half strikes from James McCarthy and John Stones to seal a comfortable victory for Roberto Martinez’ Toffees at Goodison Park on Sunday, Manchester United’s second straight loss.
Wigan, who overcame Warrington Wolves 30-20 on Thursday, have confirmed full-back Sam Tomkins – who bagged 144 tries in 152 games for his hometown club before his move to Australia – will return to the DW Stadium on a four-year deal, for a fee in excess of £200,000.
Wigan Warriors’ Ben Flower was handed a six-month ban for punching St Helens’ Lance Hohaia in the opening two minutes of last season’s Grand Final but has now served his suspension, gaining inclusion to the squad to face Warrington Wolves at the DW Stadium on Thursday evening.
Manchester was painted red on Sunday as, courtesy of goals from Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata and Chris Smalling, United silenced their traditionally neighbours 4-2 at Old Trafford.
Former Wigan Warriors star Sam Tomkins is set for a return to Super League after New Zealand Warriors agreed to release him from his contract.
United dispatched relegation-threatened Aston Villa in confident fashion at Old Trafford, with a Ander Herrera double and a sublime Wayne Rooney strike sealing a 3-1 triumph to lift Van Gaal’s team into third.
Wigan, currently fifth in the standings, have had far from an ideal start to the campaign and coach Shaun Wane conceded that the Warriors must be on top form in their first competitive encounter with the champions since October’s Grand Final.
England duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling have impressed in United’s last two Premier League fixtures – victories over Tottenham and Liverpool respectively – that have put Champions League qualification well within their grasp.
Gone in (under) 60 seconds: Man Utd’s Van Gaal looking up not down after Gerrard calamity costs Liverpool
Juan Mata notched either side of half time to put the Manchester United into a commanding lead at Anfield, though ten-man Liverpool – who had substitute Steven Gerrard sent off in the first minute of the second half – did pull one back through Daniel Sturridge.
Manchester United’s 3-0 battering of Tottenham has led coach Louis van Gaal to say he believes the Red Devils are capable of overtaking local rivals Manchester City.