Everton predicted lineup vs Leeds: £35 million man starts, James, DCL and Richarlison upfront

(Photo by ANDY RAIN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by ANDY RAIN/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Everton (Photo by MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Everton return to action at Goodison Park this Saturday at 17:30 as they face the deceptive Leeds United.

People may be confused about why I call Leeds ‘deceptive’, this is because their table position of 14th doesn’t show how difficult of a game Marcelo Bielsa’s men can be. There’s a reason Bielsa was nominated for ‘The Best FIFA Men’s Coach’ alongside with huge names like Jurgen Klopp who managed to win his first Premier League title with Liverpool. This league title being Liverpool’s first in the Premier League era, so it goes to show the fantastic work Bielsa has done with Leeds ever since his appointment in June 2018.

El Loco’s brand of football, dubbed ‘Bielsa-ball’ is a dangerous matchup for any team in the Premier League, their high press has troubled a lot of teams, see their game against Liverpool, a team known for a relentless high press. The game against Southampton shows Everton can be troubled by a pressing scheme and Bielsa is up there with the best at running this system, so one thing Everton need to rely on this game is breaking that Leeds high press.

Match Preview. Everton face erratic Leeds with more injury worries. light

The easiest way to counter this heavy pressure is to go for quick and effective counter-attacks, an example being Leicester’s first and third goal against the Whites. The Toffees have dangerous playmakers like James Rodriguez and Richarlison, Everton could really trouble Leeds on the counter-attack, especially with Rodriguez’s vision and Richarlison’s dribbling and pace.

The Whites are also a very talented unit, they don’t rely on star players to get results, which can be quite troubling for a team like Everton which clearly relies on certain players for results. Leeds’ gameplan is to outwork teams and it has proved successful for a newly promoted team which could be seen as one of the weakest talent pools in the league.

If I had to pick some key players for Leeds though it would have to be the two in-form Englishmen, Jack Harrison and Patrick Bamford. Harrison has always been a valuable asset to Leeds, but he’s really proved he can handle his own in the Premier League, with a goal and 2 assists in 8 appearances. This isn’t where Harrison contributes the most for Leeds though, it’s his dribbling and eye for a pass which has made him so dangerous.