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Everton will begin the 2012/13 campaign against a familiar foe, as they and Manchester United are two of only seven teams to stay in the Premier League for its 20-year existence. They hosted United on the opening day of the 2005/06 campaign and slipped to a 2-0 defeat while they have registered just one win in their last 14 Premier League meetings with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
Manchester United will be gunning for an instant return to the top of the Premier League after a traumatic end to last season which saw ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City steal the title from their grasp in the final throes of the action. But the eyes of the football world will be on Robin van Persie when he strides out onto the turf at Goodison Park. Ferguson admitted Van Persie’s arrival will give him one of the toughest selection headaches of his tenure at the club. Van Persie joins Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Javier Hernandez and Shinji Kagawa, the attacking midfielder, in what he feels could be his best strike force since the Treble-winning team of 1999.
• Everton lost eight of their first 14 Premier League matches last season.
• In the last two seasons, Manchester United have been two goals ahead going into the final 10 minutes against Everton on two occasions and drawn.