Everton are preparing to take on Manchester United on Saturday as they step up their pre-season preparations ahead of 2021/22.

The majority of the squad travelled back to the UK last week having taken part in the Florida Cup in Orlando, winning two fixtures against Millonarios and Pumas.

Rafa Benitez had already made his first signings as Blues manager by the time those matches came around - with Andros Townsend, Asmir Begovic and Demarai Gray on board.

And the boss will welcome another important trio back to Finch Farm on Monday.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jordan Pickford and Yerry Mina are back after their extended breaks following their involvement in international tournaments earlier in the summer.

All three should be in line to play when the Blues make the trip to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, but how many will start the game?

We've had a guess at how Benitez could line up his Everton side against Manchester United.

Goalkeeper - Pickford

Despite the impressive performances of Begovic while in Florida, and a good display from Joao Virginia in the second half against Pumas, this should be Pickford's chance to step back in.

The goalkeeper has enjoyed a fantastic 2021 in terms of his own personal form, pushing the mistakes that used to plague some of his performances to one side.

Now the 27-year-old has become one of his side's most consistent performers, commanding his area expertly as well as producing the top quality saves fans have come to expect from him in his four years at the club.

The England goalkeeper continued his excellent displays throughout the European Championships with his country this summer, even saving two penalties in the deciding shootout in the final.

The arrival of Begovic will challenge Pickford, in a similar way that Robin Olsen managed throughout last term, but this should be the opportunity for the No.1 to get back in the swing of things before the campaign starts.

Defence - Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne

Picking out Everton's defensive line for the opening match of the season could prove to be a little tricky.

For a start, there's real competition at centre-back at the club now - especially with the return of Mina to training after his exploits throughout the summer in the Copa America.

The Colombia international might come straight into the side for this clash with Manchester United, but having had three weeks off he might be utilised from the bench instead.

Michael Keane and Ben Godfrey started against Pumas last time out and they should be given the nod once more on this occasion, flanked again by Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne.

The latter is one of the first names on the teamsheet whenever fit, and the former hasn't yet seen any competition for his position in the squad arrive through the doors.

It's unlikely Everton will sign their long-term replacement for Coleman before their trip to Old Trafford at the weekend, so the club captain will start this one.

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Midfield - Allan, Doucoure, Gray, Rodriguez, Townsend

Midfield is another area of the pitch where there is a lot of competition.

Working on the assumption that Benitez will go for a 4-2-3-1 formation against United at the weekend, there would only be two spaces available for central midfielders in the side.

Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure were some of the first names on Carlo Ancelotti's starting 11 whenever they were fit last season, and that could easily be the same with the new boss in place.

Jean-Philippe Gbamin, however, might lay claim to one of those positions. He got half an hour against Millonarios and 45 minutes against Pumas in the United States as Everton seem to be easing him back to full match fitness.

On the wings, it should be the club's new men given the nod on this occasion.

Both Gray and Townsend have hit the ground running during their spells with the side, with the former bagging a goal and an assist in his two matches out in the USA.

The former Crystal Palace man, meanwhile, should finally be able to show off his crossing ability to his new striker in this match.

James Rodriguez is the clear choice in the No.10 role even if his future is still under some question, with Alex Iwobi perhaps getting an opportunity in that position in the second half.

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Striker - Calvert-Lewin

Everton will need their striker fully fit for the beginning of the campaign.

So, that means he should be handed his starting place back straight away when the side make the trip to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

Calvert-Lewin unfortunately wasn't as involved for England over the course of the summer as many Blues supporters believed he should have been.

However, that could well have kept him fairly well-rested despite being involved in an international tournament, so he could be raring to go once more.

This will mean Moise Kean, another man still with an uncertain future this summer, will have to drop to the bench - but it's unlikely Calvert-Lewin will play the entire 90 minutes.

The Italian could well still get his opportunity to impress as a substitute at some stage.

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