Leeds United vs Everton

Tuesday, 2 February, 2021 106comments  |  Jump to last
Match Preview

Fabian Delph is fit again but it remains to be seen whether he will go straight back into the starting XI or be eased back off the bench

Everton travel to Leeds on Wednesday evening looking to get their faltering charge for Europe back on track having dropped five of six points available in their last two games.

The 1-1 draw with Leicester a week ago and Saturday's horrendous 2-0 defeat to Newcastle at Goodison Park have set back significantly hopes that the Toffees might sneak into the top four this season.

They come into the game sitting in eighth place, six points off the Champions League places, albeit with two games in hand, but their recent form has left manager Carlo Ancelotti philosophical about his team's prospects of springing a surprise this season in that regard.

He was critical of his players's attitude against the Magpies and reiterated that stance in his pre-match press conference.

“We lost a great opportunity to move up in the table. Now it's beyond us,” Ancelotti confessed in reference to the top four. “It is still a dream for us but the game against Leicester gave us an answer and Newcastle gave us another answer. To fight for fourth position we have to improve. [Those two games] showed the other [side] to our team.

“Spirit is not a light switch you can switch on and off. We talked about this and the players understood because they had experience in the past where beforehand we were a little bit worried. That is what happened [against Newcastle].”

With the winter transfer window out the way, Ancelotti and his men can refocus their efforts on rediscovering some consistency and trying to make up ground again at the top of the table.

The trip to Elland Road will come too early for new signing Josh King (Update: This information was incorrect) whose arrival from Bournemouth was sealed in the early hours of Tuesday evening but Ancelotti welcomed his arrival on a six-month contract, saying:

“Josh King is the right profile that we needed. We were looking at him in the summer and his qualities will improve our squad because he can cover all the positions in front. He has experience in the Premier League so we're happy to have him in the squad.

“I think [he, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison] can play all together because we are used to playing with [Alex] Iwobi on the right and with James [Rodriguez] so the fact that he can cover all the positions up front is helpful to us.

“The squad is quite complete at this moment and I'm satisfied with [it].”

The manager's options have been augmented for the match against Leeds by the return to fitness of Fabian Delph who has been out for almost two months with a hamstring injury.

He will be available for selection against his old club but Allan remains sidelined, as does Jean-Philippe Gbamin. Bernard, whose move to Al Nasr fell through on deadline day, will also be in the squad after being left out against Newcastle in preparation for a possible move to the UAE.

Robin Olsen will start in goal after Jordan Pickford picked up a rib injury in training this week and their could be further changes to the back line in the wake of the Newcastle defeat where Ancelotti could revert back to deploying Mason Holgate and Ben Godfrey as full-backs and pushing Lucas Digne forward into a left-midfield role.

For their part, Leeds finished January in much the same erratic mode that has characterised so much of their first season back in the top flight since 2004. Having made a flying start to the campaign looking capable of fighting it out in the top six, they have fallen away recently having won five and lost five in the League since their 1-0 triumph at Goodison Park at the end of November.

Back-to-back defeats to Tottenham and strugglers Brighton appeared to suggest that the fire was going out in Marcelo Bielsa's side but a 2-1 triumph at Newcastle and a 3-1 win at Leicester last Sunday illustrated that they can't be written off in terms of the European picture.

The Argentine will be without influential attacking midfielder Rodrigo and has further doubts over Raphinha, the match-winner at Goodison, and top scorer Patrick Bamford.

If Everton can remain focused defensively and catch Leeds on an off day, this could play out like some of the Blues' recent away games where they have grabbed an all-important goal and been able to hold on to secure three vital points.

A win would go a long way to restoring confidence in the side before the weekend trip to Old Trafford and could, depending on results elsewhere, vault them back into the top five.

Kick-off: 7:30pm, Wednesday 3 February 2021 on BT Sport 3
Referee: Michael Oliver
VAR: Chris Kavanagh
Last Time: Leeds United 1 - 1 Everton (13 April, 2004)

Predicted Line-up: Olsen, Holgate, Keane, Mina, Godfrey, Davies, Doucouré, Digne, Rodriguez, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin


Reader Comments (106)

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Justin Doone
1 Posted 03/02/2021 at 00:24:53
Carlo does appear to like Delph and certainly IF fully fit he's a better defensive midfielder than Gomes or Siggy.

But IF will remain an injury risk and I'd happily go with the team mentioned for this next game.

But please tell the players to stay on their feet. James I'm looking worriedly in your desperate late lunging direction!

Pete Gunby
2 Posted 03/02/2021 at 00:28:41
We are impossible to handicap. The dire football and uninspiring performance served up in the last 3 half’s played is worrying but very “Everton”.
The league is wide open from 3rd spot down but it’s hard to imagine us seizing the opportunity. The midfield is too slow and lacks creativity, the service to DCL has dried up and our star player(Richie) has gone backward, lost his touch, and the the ability to shoot. Hopefully Carlo can breath life back into the team before we fall into mid table obscurity.
Karl Masters
3 Posted 03/02/2021 at 00:49:58
Time for some of these players to justify their huge wages and big reputations. Not giving 100% or being up for it is completely unacceptable.
Cristobal Aguirre
4 Posted 03/02/2021 at 02:05:50
I would sign a bore draw all day long. I have no confidence in the players ambition. everytime they are close to put Everton in a good position they show a horrible performance. I have seen it many times during the last decade. So 40 points is the target here, at least till the mindset in the team change.
I really think that Ancelotti is a world clase manager and he had improved the team, but at the same time he is not the man to put Everton in the next level. We need a german manager like heynckes or Hietzfield or the modern Tuchel or Naggelman. German manager try to attack and display an aggressive football which is what we need. Carlo is so defensive, and even if this style is useful to win some matches, if you want to be a champions league team you have to look to attack and control the game. Carlo playing at home against Leicester and a poor team like Newcastle tried to defense the 0-0 and he bet for a set pieces to win. That is simply not good enough.
Kieran Kinsella
5 Posted 03/02/2021 at 02:29:55

You rattle off a lot of attacking German managers you like but omit the obvious: Klopp. Personally, I grew up in the 80s, saw the Socrates Brazil team flounder, Italy win the World Cup, Italian teams dominate in Europe, 1-0 to the Arsenal and all that so I’ve been raised to appreciate the art of the defensive game.

Interesting in this match that after the last two games there has been a lot of talk about our lack of attacking intent. Last time we played them we lost and Carlo said it was because we got sucked into Leeds’ all out attacking game.

I’m unsure about the back line and Digne in midfield but I’d prefer to see Davies or Delph ahead of Sig or Gomes in midfield. I’m hopeful of a 2-0 win.

Dave McDowell
6 Posted 03/02/2021 at 04:10:43
Leeds are an all-action high-pressing team, their display at the Old Lady was one of the most impressive I've seen from a newly promoted team in many years.

We cannot, highlighted by the pathetic display last Saturday, allow any of our slow (Seamus) or can't-be-arsed players (Sigurdsson, Delph) near this game.

My line-up would be:

Holgate, Keane, Mina, Digne,
Godfrey holding alongside Doucouré.
Iwobi, James, Richarlison
King instead of Calvert-Lewin on the basis that we just won't lump balls in thinking Dom's going to win everything.

I'm giving Iwobi the benefit of the doubt from stinking out Goodison last match but King could replace either Richarlison or Iwobi & play Calvert-Lewin.


Steve Brown
7 Posted 03/02/2021 at 04:39:05
Sure Delph would give us 20 minutes of misplaced passes before his hammy went. Play Davies in the holding role until Allan returns.
Derek Knox
8 Posted 03/02/2021 at 05:05:10
Dave @ 6, spotted a flaw in your line-up there mate, Josh King is not eligible to play till Saturday, due to the lateness of his signature on Monday. Had it been concluded earlier in the day, it would have been a different matter.

It always beats me that any Transfer Window, is open generally for about four and a half weeks, yet everything is a game of Cat and Mouse, and left to the very last minute, which is exemplified here in the case of Josh King.

I suppose the fact that we actually got it over the line, is better than to not have got him at all. Having said all that, January windows are rarely a flurry of activity, and in our case the main objective was to offload a few of the lingering deadwood cases in this one. That objective pretty was much achieved, so Josh King can be perceived as a bonus.

Kenn Crawford
9 Posted 03/02/2021 at 06:09:22
Keep Delph as far away from the team as possible. He is dire: can't pass, can't tackle, and can't last 20 minutes.
Michael Burke
10 Posted 03/02/2021 at 06:59:45
Why the constant clamour for central defenders as holding midfielders? I seriously don't get it. Don't you think they would be holding midfielders if they were good in that position? Square pegs in round holes.
David Cash
11 Posted 03/02/2021 at 07:05:53
I'm expecting a huge reaction from the players to Carlo's stringing public rebuke.

If he doesn't get a reaction from them tonight, he may as well pronounce the patient dead and start again.

Dave McDowell
12 Posted 03/02/2021 at 07:17:26
Thanks Derek, in my naivety I thought if a team signed a player before the deadline (ie, deal sheet submitted before 11 pm) then they had the right to play him. What a joke. No surprise but what an absolute joke of a rule. I'll call it the “No Jo King” rule from now.

I'm gutted as I was going to watch the match & have a beer I bought from Tesco's; however, I've just received an email from Tesco's saying I can't drink the beer until Saturday as I bought it just before the store closed. This one is the “No Fu King Way” rule.

Eddie Dunn
13 Posted 03/02/2021 at 07:18:09
Isn't Keane facing a mandatory ban for the yellow he got?
Kunal Desai
14 Posted 03/02/2021 at 07:21:35
Godfrey and Holgate back in the lineup. Digne perhaps pushed further forward and bringing back Davies.

Wonder if it's worth bringing Richarlison off the bench for this one? Sneak a 1-0 here.

Bobby Mallon
15 Posted 03/02/2021 at 07:28:06
Team for tonight (that I think Carlo will pick):

Holgate Keane Godfrey Digne
Iwobi, Davies, Doucouré, Sigurdsson

We need pace at the back so Godfrey for me for cover. I would pick Rodriguez just behind Calvert-Lewin in a 4-4-1-1 formation.

Frank Sheppard
16 Posted 03/02/2021 at 07:47:06
Let’s hope the players turn up tonight and look interested. Be a nice change after the last 2 games.
Robert Tressell
17 Posted 03/02/2021 at 07:53:30
I would hope we try to strangle the life out of this one (5-3-2):


Sit very deep, play it long to two muscular strikers to grab hold of the ball. Rodriguez to float around being magnificent and Digne and Iwobi getting balls into the box.

Robert Tressell
18 Posted 03/02/2021 at 07:55:16
Crap. I also assumed King could play. Switch Richarlison back in then.
Mal van Schaick
19 Posted 03/02/2021 at 08:16:23
I can’t see King straight in the starting line up, but after Newcastle, I think there will be changes. Leeds play counter attacking football. Godfrey in for Mina is one change that could happen. I can see this as a 3-2 game either way. King comes on as an attacking midfielder and gets the winner will do me.
Andrew Ellams
20 Posted 03/02/2021 at 08:23:19
Keane's suspended tonight, isn't he? – for his 5th yellow card of the season?
Danny Broderick
21 Posted 03/02/2021 at 08:29:29
I'm assuming Carlo will pick the same team tonight that he played against Leicester City, the team which is probably our most solid team with Allan injured. The only possible exception is Iwobi, who was playing well before his injury. Carlo does like to rotate and I'm sure he thought this team was the best team to play against Leicester and Leeds away, and that he could freshen up the team with some of our more attacking (less solid) players against Newcastle.

I sincerely hope the Newcastle game is a watershed moment for Carlo. Personally, I never want to see Sigurdsson in an Everton shirt again. Along with Gomes, he's not suited to Premier League football. The first thing you have to do is win your battles in the Premier League. Those two play like it's still the warm up! I know it's not realistic for them not to figure again, but for me, they should be filed in the same category as Bernard. They can come off the bench for the last 10/15 minutes when Rodriguez gets tired, or when the game is won.

You are in trouble if you have to rely on players like Sigurdsson. You are in even bigger trouble if he is your captain. Personally, I only want to see brave players in this Everton team now. Bravery meaning always running around and giving it 100% even when you are not playing well, like Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin, or always wanting the ball and dictating play with forward passes like Rodriguez and Tom Davies (not sideways and backwards like Gomes and Sigurdsson).

Newcastle has to be a watershed. We can't finish in the top 6 carrying passengers.

Alan J Thompson
22 Posted 03/02/2021 at 08:33:30
What date is it that all previous yellow cards are rescinded (or not counted) and wasn't Keane's last one after that date?
Martin Berry
23 Posted 03/02/2021 at 08:43:39
We need a combative midfield to gain control against a high energy team are we will be in trouble. Gomes, Doucouré and Davies need to play in a 4-3-3.

Additionally, Clavert-Lewin needs closer support and better crosses or he will struggle again to find the net.

Christopher Timmins
24 Posted 03/02/2021 at 08:44:35
This is a game that will suit the tactics employed against Leicester at home and away. We will sit in and hit them on the break. They, Leeds, are a team that will always give you a chance given the manner in which they set up.

I expect that we will grind out a win which will keep us in the race for the 4th Champions League spot.

Not much joy in the way we play but we are where we are with this group.

Andrew Ellams
25 Posted 03/02/2021 at 08:57:14
Alan, if we have passed that deadline, it must have been very recently because Doucouré missed the Leicester game because of his 5th yellow card.
Mark Murphy
26 Posted 03/02/2021 at 08:59:24
I'm a card-holding, dyed-in-the-wool optimistic happy clapper but, if Sigurdsson or Delph start this game, I'll consider missing it.
Fran Mitchell
27 Posted 03/02/2021 at 09:16:02
I seen the Guardian and other sources quote Ancelotti's "it's beyond us" quote to attribute him saying we can't qualify for the Champions's League.

I do not think this is what he meant. When I watched, I took this merely as a misinterpretation, an issue of translation.

From my understanding of what he said, he meant beyond as in 'we are currently 8th, and 4th is in front of us, so we must improve if we are to get there'. And not 'it is beyond us, the chance has gone'.

Not that it matters much, but I don't think Carlo is the type who would 'throw in the towel', especially as 4th is still in our hands.

Danny Broderick
28 Posted 03/02/2021 at 09:52:31
I think 4th is beyond us. Straightaway, we are not going to finish above Liverpool, Man City or Man Utd. And it would be a massive leap of faith, based on our up-and-down form, to suggest we will finish above all of Leicester City, Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal and maybe even Aston Villa.

Our first 11 would give any of those teams a good game. But does anyone honestly see Bernard, Gomes or Sigurdsson regularly coming off the bench to score the winner, or maintaining our level if they get a game due to injury or suspension?

Is Pickford going to make no more blunders?

As good a season as he is having, is Calvert-Lewin going to keep scoring at the same rate in the second half of the season?

My honest appraisal is that we can finish anywhere between about 6th and 10th. 6th if King makes a good impact and we don't get too many injuries. 8th is about par. 10th if things don't go to plan.

We may be in the mix for 6th place, but I don't consider us in the mix for 4th place while we have an error prone keeper and a squad still containing too much shite from last season...

Clive Rogers
29 Posted 03/02/2021 at 09:57:06
Allan’s injury seems to be dragging on for a hamstring.
Hugh Jenkins
30 Posted 03/02/2021 at 10:07:25
Alan (22), Andrew (25). I may be wrong but I've seen it mentioned elsewhere that it is at the halfway point of the season. So, when 19 games are reached for the club all cumulative cards are scrapped and we start again from fresh.
As we have now reached 19 games, all players in our squad now start with a "clean sheet" as far as yellow cards are concerned – or so I believe.
Bill Griffiths
31 Posted 03/02/2021 at 10:13:01
Andrew, Alan, I couldn't swear to it but I think think think the deadline has passed.

I seem to recall that, when Doucouré picked up his 5th yellow, the commentators mentioned his ban and gave the cut-off date and I'm sure I can remember thinking, if it happened in the next game or two, he would have been okay.

Martin Mason
32 Posted 03/02/2021 at 10:16:13
Here's hoping that we can bounce back after two bad home results but it's historically been an awful ground for us. I hope for the best but fear that we'll struggle to win and that our recovery can start in earnest with Josh King. Results continue to be crazy not only for us.

Please Carlo, no Sigurdsson in midfield.

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 03/02/2021 at 10:18:54
I thought possibly King's signing gave him room to play, didn't Monday take the place of Sunday with regards to signing, you can't sign players on a Sunday, so that should have given the signing room to play.

Has anyone from Everton even asked about this? We are desperate for someone with some pace to allow us to attack a bit more, well a lot more than we did on Saturday.

Eddie Dunn
34 Posted 03/02/2021 at 10:35:16
Just maybe the arrival of King might propel Richarlison to greater heights (wouldn't take much).
Alan J Thompson
35 Posted 03/02/2021 at 10:38:14
Andrew #25, Hugh #30 & Bill #31; Many thanks, I wasn't sure but I thought I'd heard or read that Doucouré would have missed suspension had it been one game later but on what grounds exactly I'm still not sure.
Pat Kelly
36 Posted 03/02/2021 at 10:45:14
I hope they turn up tonight. It's going to be difficult to get anything at Leeds, they've got too much energy for us.

Why bother with Delph? He's not going to last a week.

Mike Oates
37 Posted 03/02/2021 at 10:50:45
The 5 yellow card date (19 games) has gone, but if you get 5 more ie to 10 yellows before or by the 32nd game you're banned again for two games ?

Keane is okay to play tonight.

King cannot play tonight.

Neil Wood
38 Posted 03/02/2021 at 10:57:16
The mentality of the players is being called into question (And rightly so). But I also note the mentality of some fans. I am sick of seeing quotes ''settling'' for pinching a 1-0 win

This is the mentality of a Newcastle, A West Brom or a Sheff Utd (No disrespect intended to them but in their current predicament) team. Not Everton FC.

I fully see the requirement of being realistic, and thinking we can win 4-0 week in week out is not. But Scraping a 1-0 win !
Yes, against a team clearly superior to us like City or the shite then I get that to an extent.

3-1 Everton. A controlled performance with 100% effort and some flair and skill mixed in please.

Ajay Gopal
39 Posted 03/02/2021 at 11:28:11
Iwobi, Coleman, Richarlison and Siggy all deserve to be benched for this game to send out a message that they can't perform the way they did and expect to get picked for the next game. I would go 4-4-1-1:

Holgate Mina Keane Godfrey
Gomes Davies Doucoure Digne

SUBS: Virginia, Coleman, Nkounkou, Delph, Siggy, Iwobi, Richarlison

Neil Wood
40 Posted 03/02/2021 at 11:31:19
I would be bringing Thierry Small into the squad.
Fran Mitchell
41 Posted 03/02/2021 at 11:36:22
Jesus Ajay, I get that some underperformed, but you want us to have nothing to offer from the right side? Nothing at all? 4-4-1-1 with 4 centre backs and 3 central midfielders and 1 left back.

Iwobi was below par, but no worse than Gomes when he came on, or Doucoure.

For me, 3-5-2 with Digne and Iwobi as full backs.


4-4-1-1 With Iwobi and Richarlison on the wings, Digne at left back and Godfrey at right back.

Digne just doesn't work as a winger - he's at his best when arriving on the overlap. He's not a player who will get the ball, dribble, and drive into the box. He'll play neat interplay and cross. If it is him and Godfrey on the left, Digne will again spend the evening crossing the ball aimlessly into the box. With no movement around him making the space necessary for his crosses to be worthwhile.

Brian Murray
42 Posted 03/02/2021 at 11:40:29
Neil. Gordon was told ( warned) by Carlo he needs to be trusted to at least tuck in. Bit like tricky in the 80s. If Small can add that to his game he will be fast tracked into the squad because let’s face it there’s no nailed on starter at efc.
Mat McConville
43 Posted 03/02/2021 at 11:43:26
I fancy us tonight. I think we are set up well to counter punch against team's that will naturally come out and attack us.
James Marshall
44 Posted 03/02/2021 at 11:46:02
I reckon we'll get twatted by Leeds- we couldn't score in a brothel, and while Leeds do give up chances, they score plenty as well.

I hate to say it but I can't see us getting anything tonight.

Andrew McLawrence
45 Posted 03/02/2021 at 12:12:45
I have a terrible feeling that we might get twatted tonight by the pacy and mobile Leeds side. Obviously I hope I'm wrong and we grab a comfortable win with a sold more inspiring performance.
Andrew McLawrence
46 Posted 03/02/2021 at 12:15:27
On the plus side we may only have one keeper on the bench
Mike Kehoe
47 Posted 03/02/2021 at 12:51:39
We have been shite lately but to keep things in context, the Newcastle game could have been so different if Digne’s usually excelled delivery hadn’t been so poor. Yes Sigurdson will never be a competitive midfielder so long as he has a hole in arse and Pickford is always a blunder waiting to happen, but games are won or lost on such small margins. I like Lyndon’s team and hope that’s how we set up. Sigurdson or Delph as starters we will get twatted.
Tony Everan
48 Posted 03/02/2021 at 12:55:27
To get anything out of this match we have to match Leeds physically and for energy.

We know what they will do, they will close us down and make us spill possession for 90 minutes. That means we have to battle them non stop for 90 minutes. Whoever comes out on top of this ongoing battle will win the match.

We need midfielders on the pitch who can close down and get close to the Leeds players and fight for the possession. We have DCL and James Rodriguez creating for him. We have A big threat from set pieces and corners. If we keep it tight by fighting we can come away with a win.

Big problem is no Allan. He’s the player we need tonight. The closest we’ve got is Tom Davies so he’s got to start. Gomes and Sigurdsson are not mobile enough, Leeds will run through them.

I would sacrifice Iwobi before Richarlison because Richarlison has got more tenacity about him which is needed tonight.

I think the time has come to be creative with Holgate. Move him to the DCM role. Tonight is the perfect match to do it, and I think the only way we will get the result.

Godfrey Keane Mina Digne
Doucoure Holgate Davies
James DCL Richarlison

For me there are no weakest links in that team with regards fighting spirit, mobility and tenacity and that’s what it will take.

Justin Doone
49 Posted 03/02/2021 at 12:55:47
Before we can play good attacking football we need good attacking players.

In the modern pressing game all the best teams demand all their players are super fit. Pace, energy, stamina, high work rate.

They also need all of the other qualities for their positions eg defender's that read the game and intercept but can make a block or tackle when needed.

Promisingly we do now have a couple of young defenders and forwards with pace and energy in the team.

Our recent buys in midfield have started to address this with Allan and Doucoure no slouches. If Doucoure can improve his passing and positional sense he'll be a top class midfielder.

Leeds go one on one, believing they will win most of their individual battles and have the player's and game plan to execute it. They don't change if winning or losing. This can be exploited by doubling up on them, quick counter attacks or simply playing good through balls and crosses to runners.

We will have a lot of defending to do and battles to win. Stay solid at the back, play a bit of keep ball in safe areas, don't be rushed into mistakes or give the ball away cheaply.

It should be a good game.

James Marshall
50 Posted 03/02/2021 at 13:00:17
I agree, it should be a good game. I've watched pretty much all Leeds' games this season, and aside from them playing us, they're always a brilliant watch.

If we do get beat tonight, at least it's likely to be entertaining viewing!

Brian Harrison
51 Posted 03/02/2021 at 13:01:35
Well Ancelotti has said that Olsen replaces Pickford and both Holgate and Godfrey start, so will he just move Holgate and Godfrey back into full back positions or will he move either Holgate or Godfrey into midfield.

I think the key tonight is how Richarlison and DCL play as both have been way off the pace in recent games.

Danny Broderick
52 Posted 03/02/2021 at 13:13:57
Tony (48),

I like that team. Can’t see Carlo playing Holgate in midfield though, if memory serves me well he has never played him there?

Barry Williams
53 Posted 03/02/2021 at 13:49:29
Davies -Doucoure

Subs: Broadhead-Bernard-Sigurdsson-Gomes-Delph-Mina-Coleman-Nkounkou-Virginia.

Whenever I pick a team, I feel like a ten year old again looking through his match day programmes wondering why Latchford has a perm if he is such a tough guy, thinking we need to see more of George Telfer, wondering if Martin Dobson should be playing for England, and scratching my bonce as to why we never see Drew Brand play in goal!

However, the team I pick, cos I know better than Ancelotti, has the return of Davies, Godfrey and Holgate (Ancelotti has already stated Godfrey and Holgate will start) to add some aggression, sorely missed against Newcastle. Godfrey to add pace at centre-back, so we can play a higher line and accommodate Digne in his natural position. James behind DCL, with Richarlison/Iwobi either side, with Digne and Doucoure getting forward too, thus some actual attacking intent, plus Davies moves the ball forward quickly as well.

The bench sums up why we needed King, I have put Broadhead in there as he had a good game for the U23s recently, and is a striker. Bernard can come in for a tiring Richarlison, he links up well with Digne, plus we have options to change James, and options to change formation.

Easy this management lark!

Also, with King now in the squad, we might see Richarlison actually step up to the level we expect.

Stu Gore
54 Posted 03/02/2021 at 13:52:35
I’d play the side that started Wolves but with Olsen in Goal. There was lots of movement in that side plus strong, and quick, defensive line. Give DCL and Richy a break (both need one) and bring em on when we are 4-0 up. Leeds are a good side though so it will be a great game to watch.
Michael Lynch
55 Posted 03/02/2021 at 13:57:32
If there was one player I would like never to see again in an Everton shirt, it's Delph. I'd have Per Kroldup in the team ahead of him. Sick note who gives away the ball like it's a hot turd.
Tom Harvey
56 Posted 03/02/2021 at 14:02:53
I'm expecting a nervous defensive display tonight.

If Leeds can negate DCL and James out of the game, the rest of the team team are bringing a feather duster to a knife fight, we're not going to score.

I suspect DCL is starting to lose confidence along with his diminishing chances of actually touching the ball.

Carlo, I believe would take the draw right now if he could.

Will Mabon
57 Posted 03/02/2021 at 14:04:01
Will Mabon
58 Posted 03/02/2021 at 14:08:33
Tom, just noticed you also saying nervous, re. the defence.

I'm just nervous, full stop.

Martin Reppion
59 Posted 03/02/2021 at 14:12:48
I'm getting a bit frustrated at people talking about Centre backs playing at full back, or defenders in midfield.
Some players genuinely have the attributes to do more than one role.
If you can tackle, have pace and are tall you get labelled a centre back.
But if you can also pass, see opportunities and link up play you may be a central midfielder. If you can cross the ball and have a big engine you ay be a wing back.
Wasn't Gareth Bale a left back when he started out. Some on here who decry the idea of Godfrey in midfield (for instance) would probably not be happy with Bale playing in an attacking role because he once wore a number 3 shirt.
Neil MacDonald was a right sided midfielder who was moved to left back at Newcastle early in his career because they had a player shortage. He went on to play most of his career there. Chris Sutton was a centre back who was played as an emergency centre forward at Norwich and became the most sought after striker in the league for a while.
I also remember Paul Rideout playing out the end of a derby match at right back.
These guys are footballers first. Positions depend a lot on interpretation and experience. I would be much happier with a Doucouré/Godfrey pairing in midfield than, say Gomes and Siggy.
For that matter I'd take Digne, or Holgate there as well.
Whatever happens though. I'll be supporting the blues 100% and I've never yet got to the start of a game and thought we would lose.
Nick Page
60 Posted 03/02/2021 at 14:26:57
Just through articles re tonight’s game, and I come across this piece regarding the King transfer

“ The Athletic also revealed that it was Everton chairman Bill Kenwright who was on the phones accelerating proceedings, making it happen whilst chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale was ‘grafting’ to push the deal over the line.”

So good to see The Transfer Impressario hasn’t given up his train set. Jeezus wept. How naive of the naive to think he’s “just the Chairman”.

Nihil mutatum

Martin Mason
61 Posted 03/02/2021 at 14:31:53
Nick@60, why is it wrong for a chairman to assist in the negotiating process? I'd say that the problem would only be if he weren't.
Kevin Molloy
62 Posted 03/02/2021 at 14:32:20
I didnt much used to mind this sort of schtick, but given that the Greatest Evertonian's 24/7 search led to him placing his beloved club in the hands of people whom HMG suspect of being Russian gangsters I'm less inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. It's almost as if he just sold to the people who would let him stick around whilst handing over tens of millions for the privilege.
Nicholas Howard
63 Posted 03/02/2021 at 14:32:35
If we rely on our defense for today game, we are in for a slaughter. Leeds are fast and can run a lot.

On other hand, Leeds defense is very porous...we need to explore that...failing that, hoping our defense to withhold Leeds young attacks for major minutes of the game suicidal.

Bill Gall
64 Posted 03/02/2021 at 14:37:19
Watching the Var decisions on the Utd game last night. I now they scored 9 but 2 decisions to me showed the favoritism to Utd. The first was the offside on Southampton goal how they could say the player was offside when the ball was kicked was baffling, and the second was the penalty that Martial was given and the Southampton player was sent off. You should not be stopping a game for 2 min just to see a players fingernail was ahead of the last defender, as for the penalty even D.Gallagher ex ref says Martial was on his way down and the Southampton player was trying to get out the way.
Brent Stephens
65 Posted 03/02/2021 at 14:39:31
Bill, I'm with you on that Martial penalty - I too thought he was on hos way down. Too much doubt, anyway, for it to be a "clear penalty".
Fran Mitchell
66 Posted 03/02/2021 at 14:46:01
Bill, I wouldn't say it was favouritism in these cases, nor is VAR the issue. It's just baffling rules, that's the problem.

The Bednarek red card was a joke, and the David Luiz one was equally if not more ridicuous. Both were clearly not intentional or cynical fouls. But according to the letter of the law, as they made no 'attempt for the ball', they are deemed straight red cards. Beyond a joke, but the problem is neither VAR nor favouritism, it is just baffling rules.

And in relation to the offside, again, baffling rule. How can it be that you are offside because of where your hand (or in this case, tip of finger) is? You can't score with your hand, so in no way can your hand 'interfere eith play' and be offside. But according to the rule, you can. For me offside should simply be where your feet are. Simple, no matter where your arm, knee, legs, or head...it is about where your feet are - nothing else. this would make it far easier and zero controversy. Offside was created to prevent people goal hanging. The problem again is not VAR, but the illogical rules.

Dale Rose
67 Posted 03/02/2021 at 15:24:42
Karl Masters #3. Your comment says it all. Step up and do your jobs.
Brendan McLaughlin
68 Posted 03/02/2021 at 15:28:39
BBC saying King could feature
Thomas Richards
69 Posted 03/02/2021 at 15:31:06
After being accused, by the manager and skipper, of being outfought in the last game it will be very intetesting to see the reaction of the players tonight.
At least three changes I would say.

Godfrey. Holgate. Davies.
None of them will be outfought.
Guaranteed they will compete 100% in thier own duels with direct opponents.

Keith Meakin
70 Posted 03/02/2021 at 15:41:54
Just been speaking to a couple of Leeds fans, I said your rubbish at home and we are good away so I'm expecting a win tonight. Their reply was, the old pitch was crap and stopped us playing, we have just laid a new one ready for tonight's game.
Steavey Buckley
71 Posted 03/02/2021 at 15:49:39
What is most consistent about Everton is the back four of Holgate Mina Keane Godfrey who would have gained 5 victories out of 5 if Pickford had not gifted Leicester with an equalizer. The back four not only dominate the defence but can cause havoc in the opposing defence through free kicks and corners. No doubt, Ancelotti not happy with defensive consistency will keep on changing the defence.
Stef Busby
72 Posted 03/02/2021 at 15:50:10
Brendan McLaughlin
68 Posted 03/02/2021 at 15:28:39
Flag this commentBBC saying King could feature


Graham Hammond
73 Posted 03/02/2021 at 15:54:12
I am a little bit concerned about our reliance on James when he plays centrally particularly as the defensive spine of the team behind him is relatively weak when injuries hit. I would at least like to see us being stronger defensively if we are going to play James down the middle. He will always play under Carlo and that is the worry for me going forward as I feel we need to be playing more younger players and playing them more consistently as they are generally less prone to injury. Whilst both Allan and James are both quality players I do worry about their ability to stay injury-free and give us very substantial game time throughout the season. I want youth and vitality and energy and pace in my Everton team, the likes of Holgate, Godfrey, Iwobi and even Tom Davies on occasions. Sigurdsson and Coleman are not the future and so Carlo really fucked it up against Newcastle. I would take a point tonight as that will enable us to achieve a top ten placing, if we lose tonight then there is a good chance Leeds will overhaul us. I am happy with the Josh King signing on balance given that we have given away Walcott and Kean and Bolasie and with it pace and directness going forward.
John Davies
74 Posted 03/02/2021 at 16:00:42
Thomas #69. I don't disagree with you that those 3 guys should be brought back in to the side tonight. All of them will give far more effort and commitment than the awful Sigurdsson and Gomez.
But unfortunately Tom Davies will be outfought by his opponent. He will try every bit as hard as him but a stiff breeze would "out fight" the lad. That's not his forte, nor the yardstick by which we should judge him. I still think he will never be a defensive midfielder and should be deployed further up the park. But as I said earlier I will be happy to see him in the side tonight and I have a sneaking feeling we will nick at least a point.
Fran Mitchell
75 Posted 03/02/2021 at 16:00:55
off topic, but anyone se Sean Dyche's press conference?


briliant stuff.

I guess lockdown is getting to everyone.

Ricky Oak
76 Posted 03/02/2021 at 16:03:00
What are you scared off?, its Leeds, ffs, last season lucky to come up, we are premier league stalwarts, if you keep shitting yourself against every team,how does that help our team?
Project some positivity please, false, evidence, appearing, real!!
Brendan McLaughlin
77 Posted 03/02/2021 at 16:11:27
Stef #72
Andy Crooks
78 Posted 03/02/2021 at 16:16:03
Spot on, Ricky. We will win, as Dave Cash suggested Carlo has called them out. Must check what price is available.
David Hayes
79 Posted 03/02/2021 at 16:33:44
Graham #73. Given away ? You named three players that did not play or have any impact whatsoever if they did. These three where ghosts with sqaud numbers. In the case of Kean,blatantly did not want to be here and may recoup a decent profit or more likely throw another strop. Squad members have to be as effective as or same level back up for rotation or impact when required offering options and different tactical solutions. None of the recently departed qualified.
Stef Busby
80 Posted 03/02/2021 at 16:36:08
Brendan McLaughlin
77 Posted 03/02/2021 at 16:11:27

Thanks Brenan . didnt think we was available!!? Bonus if he is!

Jamie Crowley
81 Posted 03/02/2021 at 16:39:13
I'll trust in Carlo for the lineup.

I expect a much, much better game than on the weekend. I can't see another listless performance under Carlo.

Everyone has an off day. Carlo won't stand for two off days in a row.

That being said, this game frightens the life out of me. We don't match up well with Leeds at all IMO. This Leeds side is very dangerous.

But positivity first, we'll be up for the game I'll bet.

Mike Gaynes
82 Posted 03/02/2021 at 16:44:50
Fran #75, the reporters were all in on it too. Love that.
Jamie Crowley
83 Posted 03/02/2021 at 16:51:08
I was just thinking yesterday (why I have no idea) that Sean Dyche would make a brilliant England manager.

He gets maligned for being defensive sometimes, but I don't see that. What he's done with Burnley is fantastic.

I think he'd set up England to win.

His time at Burnley is probably coming to a close. If Southgate ever leaves, I'd love to see a Dyche-lead England.

Brent Stephens
84 Posted 03/02/2021 at 16:56:57
Fran #75 - "lookie likies" - best part of my day so far. Well done Sean Dyche.

Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:00:19
David #79, fine post, but squad members don't necessarily have to be effective, or offer options or solutions.

For evidence I offer the unexpected and horrific consequence of our recent loans/departures... the elevation to the squad of Mr. Human Footballing Detritus In Cleats. If I actually see #30 walk onto the pitch to play, I will be hurling large objects at my TV long after it is actually destroyed.

Tom Bowers
86 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:02:19
With Everton these days we never know what to expect.
They don't seem to have any killer instinct and the work in the midfield area seems to lack real intensity with or without the ball.
Carlo seems non-plussed and his post-match comments are a little puzzling.
They had a decent start to the season and December wasn't too shabby but everything in between was generally poor.

We all have our thoughts on what is wrong from Pickford to Richarlison but the truth is that the squad is not yet strong enough.

Adding Josh King may help the offence but without some real creativity from other areas they will remain an average side always at risk of losing to crap like Newcastle.

Today will be especially tough as Leeds are a better team than the Barcodes so a big improvement is necessary.

Mike Gaynes
87 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:03:08
Jamie, why do you care who manages the Redcoats? Our proper devotion is to the Colonial National Team.
Kieran Kinsella
88 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:07:37
We should win this if we show up. Leeds are entirely predictable in style, they're missing a couple of their better players but they always put in a shift so it's out job to match them in that respect.
Kieran Kinsella
89 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:10:04

I like Dyche. he is funny, honest and has done well. But for the national team he wouldn't be a good fit. Much like Graham Taylor 30 years ago. The media would hammer his style, he'd defend himself but it would get toxic.

Joe McMahon
90 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:14:29
Please guys on the live forum later it can be frustrating I know, but please no one say "we will win this". The last 3 home games when this has been been stated we have lost 2 and drawn one.

The fact that Newcastle have taken 6 points from this eratic team says a everything.

Brent Stephens
91 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:21:18
Joe, I've just posted your request on the Live Forum. Alas, too late.
Jamie Crowley
92 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:27:09
Good point Kieran, but it would be hilarious to watch the press conferences. The English media set out to destroy the national team - it's like their life mission. Dyche v. Media would be a heavyweight bout. I really, really like Sean Dyche. Probably the wife's influence - she loves Burnley. But I just love his down to earth, no nonsense style and I think he's a criminally underrated manager.

Mike Gaynes -

I take an interest in Ireland and England. Of course it's all USA for me. That's all that matters. But I always root for Ireland, and then England.

To be clear, when Ireland play England, I want Ireland to win. But I always pull for just about any Anglo-Island team out there when they play.

Bill Gall
93 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:38:04
This is a game against a team that is beatable but you have to work hard to earn it. They love to break quickly when they win the ball back in their own area, so throwing everyone up for corners is dangerous. Their defense is good but make mistakes, so this will make an interesting game. It is winnable but the effort and desire has to be there.

Hoping that all the criticism from the last game has sunk in, and regardless the result, we get a team of players that show they are willing to fight to wear an Everton shirt. You may have skill but if you are not willing to put the effort in, it is wasted.

Darren Hind
94 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:41:41
15/8 if you fancy us to get a win tonight.

I'm having a nibble

David Cash
95 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:44:46

It all becomes clear why you get so angry if we lose. You've done your dosh and you blame Carlo because you're a mug punter

Andy Crooks
96 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:48:33
Darren, best I could get on my account was 17/10. Was looking 9/4 so gave it a miss. 15/8 seems skinny but good luck.
Darren Hind
97 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:55:44
Maybe Andy, but they have been uncharacteristically generous with Everton this season and suspect many blues have been cashing in.


Dont you start as well. I advocating a win here and your still not happy

Christy Ring
98 Posted 03/02/2021 at 17:59:25
Our attitude and drive needs to be 100% tonight, and for that to happen, play Holgate in midfield beside Davies and Docoure. I don't want to see Sigurdsson and Delph anywhere near the team.
John Skelly
99 Posted 03/02/2021 at 18:07:01
I think if the team can put their last two performances behind them and start afresh we have a chance ?
Brian Wilkinson
100 Posted 03/02/2021 at 18:07:45
One thing in life I have learned about Everton is expect the unexpected.

With our slow midfield and Leeds fast presssing game, you cannot see past a Leeds win.

That is where the Everton factor kicks in, when all logic points to a miserable night, we step up and pull something out of the bag.

I just do not have a clue how the game will pan out, but rest assured, Everton will have us scratching our heads thinking where did that come from.

Jack Convery
101 Posted 03/02/2021 at 18:08:55
My team for tonight would be

Lets dooooooo it !

Darren Hind
103 Posted 03/02/2021 at 18:23:07

No room for Kelly's or imposters hiding in shaddows tonight.

Every man needs to stand up and be counted

Bobby Mallon
104 Posted 03/02/2021 at 18:31:35
Darren I'm going to have some of that 15/8
Thomas Richards
105 Posted 03/02/2021 at 18:32:13
Thought Tom may have got a start tonight
Michael Burke
106 Posted 03/02/2021 at 18:34:04
No holding midfielder for the game.
I think Doucoure is wasted there if that is his position for the game. I can see us getting overrun in midfield with Gomes and Sigurdsson there too. All of a sudden I'm very nervous.
Stephen Brown
107 Posted 03/02/2021 at 18:34:22
James and Keane dropped ?!?!

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