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Friday, May 24, 2024

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Premier League: Everton vs Leeds United; ‘we have to be concerned; we have to be worried, we conceded too many goals’

Everton will be welcoming Leeds United to Goodison Park on Saturday and it will be their first game against each other in the Premier League since April 2004.

So, as you can imagine a lot has changed as now Everton and Leeds have two of the best managers in the league if not world in charge.

Both sides started the season in wild fashion with goals, goals and some more goals.

That does not seem to be stopping anytime soon even though Leeds United were involved in a 0-0 against Arsenal but they did hit the woodwork what felt like a thousand times.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side have scored 14 and conceded 17 whilst Everton have scored 19 goals but conceded 16.

As I said goals, goals, goals. 

Conceding them is obviously the problem for both sides as it is the reason why Leeds only sit in 14th place even when they are playing some scintillating stuff and it is the reason why Everton were hanging on for their life against Fulham last weekend.

Carlo Ancleotti mentioned the defensive issues in his press conference for the game saying: “Of course, we have to be concerned, we have to be worried. We conceded too many goals. We are working on this.”

It might be hard for Everton to fully work on it with two of their main players out the backline.

Seamus Coleman will be missing yet again and is doing personal rehab at the moment whilst the big news was that left-back Lucas Digne has suffered ankle ligament damage potentially ruling him out for up to three months.

Youngsters Jonjoe Kenny and Niels Nkounkou are the natural back-ups for the full back positions, but they might not immediately slot in due to a change of system from Carlo Ancelotti against Fulham playing three at the back.

Alex Iwobi played at right-wing back and probably played his best game for Everton in that position, but it could be a risk to play an open three at the back formation against the pressing monsters of Leeds United.

Ancelotti said about the system: “We are thinking about this. Three centre-backs can be an option still, we have Niels Nkounkou who is young but has a lot of quality.

“I think Iwobi can play on the left as a wing back, in my opinion. So we will see.”

However as everyone saw against Fulham that three at the back can easily turn into a nine at the back as The Toffees defended for their lives at Craven Cottage which realistically they should not be doing, they should be dominating the game from start to finish.

But a win is a win especially after losing three on the bounce so everyone to do with Everton will not care as long as there is an improvement in performance come 5:30pm.

The front three should be starting again and two of them really stood out against Fulham with Calvert-Lewin scoring in under a minute from a Richarlison assist.

James Rodriguez was quietly effective but was not at his outstanding best. There is no hiding the fact that Everton really need him firing on all cylinders as due to his work-rate if he is not impacting games it can have a negative effect on the game for Everton.

The Colombian needs to start winning games by himself again, that is the type of player he is.

Saturday evening game has potential to be a great watch for the neutral but a blood pressure raiser for fans of the respective sides.

Ancelotti said: “it’s going to be an open match I think.”

We can hope so.

Written by Elliot Thompson

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