Following a dismal opening day defeat to Manchester United, Leeds United are hoping to bounce back when they take on Everton on Saturday. It is going to be the first home match of the season for the Whites, with Elland Road serving as a perfect atmosphere in their quest to snatch the first victory of the campaign. After a hammering last weekend, we can expect the hosts to appear much more resilient and hungry for all three points.
Predicted Leeds United Lineup Vs Everton
Marcelo Bielsa has a decision to make in a couple of key areas in defence. At centre-back, Robin Koch is pushing to replace Pascal Struijk after the latter produced a miserable display last weekend. With Diego Llorente absent, we may witness Koch starting alongside Liam Cooper at the heart of the four-man backline.
Another crucial area is the left-back position. Bielsa is likely to have Kalvin Phillips available from the start which should enable him to deploy Stuart Dallas in a midfield role. It could, in turn, allow Junior Firpo to make his starting debut for the Whites after signing from FC Barcelona in the summer.
There shouldn’t be too many changes elsewhere with Luke Ayling a guaranteed starter at right-back while the young Illan Meslier should continue in between the sticks despite conceding five goals in the last game.
As mentioned earlier, Phillips is a favourite to start after being left as an unused substitute against Manchester United. The Englishman should offer that perfect stability in the holding midfield role, allowing the likes of Dallas and Mateusz Klich to express themselves even more in the attacking third of the pitch.
However, the presence of Dallas in midfield means both Tyler Roberts and Rodrigo Moreno may have to start on the bench. It is essential for both of them to perform well soon, having struggled to live up to their potential ever since joining the club.
Leeds United shouldn’t make any changes in attack, with Jack Harrison and Raphinha once again being the two main creative spark out wide. Their energy, enthusiasm and skill could go a long way in making life difficult for the Everton defence this weekend.
Alongside them, the attack will be spearheaded by Patrick Bamford. The ex-Chelsea forward will be keen on scoring his first goal of the campaign as he looks to surpass last season’s tally of 17 goals in the Premier League.