Leeds

Leeds United predicted lineup vs Everton - Premier League

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Marcelo Bielsa has faced Frank Lampard on five separate occasions
Marcelo Bielsa has faced Frank Lampard on five separate occasions / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages
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Leeds United travel to Everton's Goodison Park in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.

Marcelo Bielsa has pitted his revered wits against more than 200 different managers across a well-travelled career. Yet, in an odd quirk of fate, has only ever faced two individuals more often than the new Everton boss. Across five meetings with Frank Lampard's Derby and Chelsea, Bielsa led Leeds to three victories and two defeats.

Here's the XI the lauded Argentine may deploy for his half-dozenth encounter against the former England international.


Leeds United predicted lineup vs Everton - Premier League

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Illan Meslier (GK) - No goalkeeper has been forced to collect the ball out of their own net more often than Leeds' beleaguered 22-year-old (43).

Luke Ayling (RB) - In a squad where only one lesser-used youngster runs out of contract this summer, Ayling's deal is the next to expire in 2023, putting an extra edge to his appearances between now and then.

Diego Llorente (CB) - With his equaliser against Aston Villa, Llorente moved onto a tally of two Premier League goals for the campaign, a figure only three other members of the squad can better (worryingly).

Pascal Struijk (CB) - While Kalvin Phillips (rightly) is the most lauded example of Bielsa's transformative coaching skills at Leeds, the Argentine's feat of moulding a teenage Ajax academy product with no top flight experience into an established Premier League centre back is right up there.

Stuart Dallas (LB) - In a team as synonymous with pressing as Bielsa's Leeds, no player in the Yorkshire outfit's ranks has attempted more pressures than Dallas this term (per FBref).

2. Midfielders

Mateusz Klich
Mateusz Klich has appeared in Leeds' last nine Premier League matches / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

Robin Koch (DM) - The ease with which Koch can slip between midfield and defence is a treasured strength in a Bielsa player, though it may not outweigh his chronic unavailability, making just two appearances in 2021 this term.

Mateusz Klich (CM) - The midfielder's preseason warning that 'the second season is always tougher for newcomers' has been proven emphatically true by Leeds' struggles this term.

Rodrigo (CM) - In a campaign pockmarked by injury, Rodrigo's threat going forward - much like the entire squad - has fallen off a cliff; tumbling from a healthy 0.44 expected goals (xG) per 90 ratio to 0.17 this term (per FBref).

3. Forwards

Raphinha (RW) - In each of his three appearances against Everton, Raphinha has found the net.

Dan James (ST) - For a player who attempted two shots with his head in his first pair of Premier League seasons, James has scored two headers this campaign alone.

Jack Harrison (LW) - In a unique career trajectory that has taken the Stoke-born winger to Manhattan, Manchester and Middlesbrough, Harrison actually started off in the red half of Merseyside.


You can read 90min's preview of Everton vs Leeds here.

You can read Everton's predicted lineup here.

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