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 CLIVE BRUNSKILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

James Rodriguez will play a key role in unlocking Leeds defence.

Right wing: James Rodriguez

James had a very confusing game for Everton against the Cottagers, he had flashes of absolute brilliance, the usual, but he also went surprisingly quiet at some points. One thing that was obvious to Evertonians was that he’d been impacted by the International Break, he seemed lethargic at some points and was clearly very tired when he was subbed off.

A tired James Rodriguez was still able to manage a 7.1 rating which shows how good the Colombian maestro really is an how much of a vital cog he is for Everton’s clockwork when he’s not ticking the entire team struggles, which we saw during the second half.

He’s been fantastic so far for Everton. There’s no doubt that a 100% James is one of the best players in the Premier League, after a week of training and resting in England, we should see a dangerous Rodriguez who’s ready to steer Everton back towards the Champions League. It’s vital to Everton that James can get the necessary touches of the ball.

He has the ability to break a press with one pass which is a skill many other players could only dream about, and if he’s even given a few seconds by Leeds then it could result in a goal for the Blues.

The only problem is Leeds know this and will pressure James at every opportunity, but with dynamic players like Iwobi and Calvert-Lewin nearby, this means he needs such little time to perform some magic, and his almost telepathic link with Richarlison means that Leeds could be in a world of trouble if they forget the talent around Rodriguez, since the Colombian can easily bring that player into the game with just one touch.

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Left-Wing: Richarlison

After 3 long games without him, Richarlison really showed how impactful he was in 40 seconds against Fulham, as he was able to find those pockets of space that led to Calvert-Lewin’s first goal.

The only problem was he suffered from the same problems as James, the flight all the way back from South America clearly took its toll on him as he only played 76 minutes, which may seem like a lot, but Richarlison is a player who can usually last 90 minutes for Everton with little issue.

In similar fashion to his South American partner on the wing, Richarlison was still able to grab a 7.0 rating even though he clearly wasn’t at his best and when the attack was clicking it was clear how dangerous this front three can be together and that they already know each other so well.

Richarlison’s best trait for the Toffees is his off the ball movement and also his dribbling ability, he’s able to make tricky runs to lose his defender and then he has the technical ability to beat his man and a deadly finish and killer eye for a pass makes him extremely dangerous when he gets near the penalty area. To put it simply Richarlison has a ridiculous footballing IQ for somebody who’s still only 23-years old and seems to be only getting better.