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 JOHN SIBLEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Allan and Doucoure are expected to be the pillars in the midfield.

Centre-midfield: Abdoulaye Doucoure

Abdoulaye Doucoure will be coming off a huge high after the Fulham fixture, where you could easily argue that he was the best player on the pitch. The Frenchman had a fantastic game and showed what he could really do for Everton when he’s given more touches on the ball, in that game, in fact, Doucoure ranked first in:

Touches (85)   Pass Success (91%)   Total Passes (65)   Interceptions (7)

This game really showed how much of a threat Doucoure can be all across the pitch, he was able to pick the ball up from deep and drive it up the field, and he also had much more space in midfield to be that pivot, which benefited him greatly.

It’s clear Ancelotti is starting to understand how to get the best out of his players and if Doucoure can continue to play like this then he’ll look like one of the most dangerous box-to-box midfielders in the Premier League, able to grab goals while also getting the defensive work done.

Doucoure might not be flashy, but his physicality blended with that French technique can make him the focal point of the Everton midfield is James Rodriguez continues to play on the wing.

Centre-Midfield: Allan

Another everpresent in Everton’s midfield is the Brazilian pitbull Allan who is another player that is coming off a solid performance against Fulham. Allan is known for being a player that gets all the dirty work done which is shown by his 4.4 tackles per game, which he leads the entire Premier League in, and his 2.1 fouls per game, but that’s Allan’s job, he mops up in midfield.

This can also lead to problems though, Allan is currently being dribbled past 2.4 times per game (third highest in the Premier League) which can cause some serious problems for the Toffees even if Allan is eventually able to win the ball most times.

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This issue was highlighted against Fulham where he was dribbled past 3 times and was also dispossessed 13 times (Sofascore), this is natural for a defensive midfielder as they aren’t expected to be as tight on the ball as wingers or attacking midfielders, but Everton need to neutralise this problem quickly because eventually, it could cause a dangerous counter-attack, especially against a team that plays with the pace that Leeds do.

Allan is still a fantastic player and whenever he plays well the entire team plays well, but he still has a mistake in him and the Whites will try to capitalise on every mistake that the Toffees make, so one thing Ancelotti needs to make sure he does is cut those mistakes down and don’t let Allan take any unnecessary risks.

Centre-Midfield: Alex Iwobi

This is something Everton have needed, somebody who is willing to step-up and work hard for a spot in the starting eleven.

Alex Iwobi is one of those players. The Nigerian international was given a chance after an impressive international break, Ancelotti decided to use the tricky winger in a more fitting central midfield role, but in reality, this position is more of a right-wing back, a role which Iwobi impressed everybody in.

I think it’s clear that most Everton fans want Iwobi to be given another chance to show that the inconsistency he’s known for is now a thing of the past and that he can reach the potential many people thought he was very far away from. The only thing to go off for Iwobi in this position is his performance against Fulham, but it was a fantastic performance which grabbed him a 7.1 rating (Sofascore), it also grabbed him:

77 Touches  88% Pass Accuracy  5 Accurate Long Balls  6 Completed Dribbles  2 Clearances

2 Interceptions  2 Tackles

In any other game this would’ve earned him Man of the Match, but due to two fantastic performances from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Doucoure he just missed out, but he was a key factor in Everton’s victory. If he can continue to play like that then maybe Seamus Coleman will have an unexpected rival to worry about.